NTU students showcase technological innovations
A hybrid car seat that can be easily transformed into a child car seat. A mechanised shoe rack which saves space and allows you to retrieve shoes effortlessly. A device that alerts the visually impaired when the bus they are waiting for is arriving.
These are just some of the 63 technological innovations developed by about 800 students from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE). These inventions, which were developed over a span of five weeks, will be showcased at the annual NTU Engineering Innovation and Design Competition 2009 (EID09) Open House. Organised by MAE, the competition motivates students to create innovative products that have social relevance and economic viability.
The five-week long competition saw student entrepreneurs attending a series of workshops and lectures in engineering, finance, as well as in business strategy subjects. Students were divided into 63 teams with faculty members as their mentors. On top of conceptualising and developing innovative ideas to solve real-world problems, the students have to come up with a viable business plan.
Placed in five categories, the students’ works will be exhibited and judged on 5 June 2009 at the EID09 Open House. Three winners will be selected for each category.
The judging criteria include: potential market value, technological innovation, cost (development and material) and ‘X-factor’.
Says Associate Professor Cai Yiyu, EID Coordinator, MAE, NTU: “This competition serves as a good platform for NTU students to showcase their project management skills and potential in applied research work. It gives them the opportunity come up with innovative solutions while working under the constraints of a budget and tight timeline. It is a real test of the students’ creativity and ability to transform abstract concepts into useful and marketable applications. Some of the proposed solutions, such as a device to alert the visually impaired when the bus they are waiting for is approaching, and a contraption which binds crab pincers effortlessly, have received positive feedback from the industry. This goes to show that our students’ innovations have excellent market potential.”
In addition, the Nanyang Venture I, an eco-friendly car designed and built by a team of 25 students from MAE and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, will be on display at the Open House. The eco-car wowed many at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2009 held in Germany, from 7 to 9 May 2009. At the end of the final day of the race, the car placed 4th in the Prototype (Solar) Category and clinched second place of the 'Safety Award' in the 'Special Awards' category. It was a remarkable achievement for the team, which participated in the Shell Eco-marathon Europe for the first time.
Patricia Yap, Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications Office
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