Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 2 Reflections

Today, we did the three parts to our project, tensile strength testing of engineering materials, scanning electric microscope, composite material processing.

For the first project, there was no first project. This is because I was involved in a basketball competition which caused me to miss the first project, and a little of the second project.

For the second project, I also missed most of it. I only came for the last few minutes where my group was already done. However, I felt like I should have helped my group more since they have done everything themselves.

For the third project, we made carbon fibre composites. Firstly, we understood what composites are, which is two or more materials combined together to obtain useful properties. In the project, we had to mix seventy-five percent of epoxy and twenty-five percent of hardener to form a solution which we used to glue certain things together. We glued these things as follows - Plastic sheet, Teflon, Tissue paper, Carbon fibre cloth/Glass fibre cloth, Tissue paper, Teflon, Plastic sheet. From gluing these things together at this certain order, we will receive something hard and light tomorrow, which can be very useful in our lives now. It can be used to make mirrors of cars, materials of cars, to improve their efficiency.

From todays activities, I learnt how different factors of different things affect the properties of certain materials. I also realised how composites when put together will change the properties of that certain material to make it so much more useful. I figured out that I was rather ignorant about my understanding of the discipline. I can apply this in the future, maybe if I take the route of an engineer. I would have a head start on that subject. Lastly, I hope I will have future opportunities like this because I had a rather large intake on my project!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 1 Reflections

Today, we attended three plenary sessions by professors or bosses.

The first session was about Earthquake Research on the Coral Reefs of Sumatra, by Professor Kerry Sieh, Director, Earth Observatory of Singapore. The professor explained about how big earthquakes are, and how they affected islands, such as making them go up, and making them go down before an earthquake occurs. This is due to the indo-austrailian/tectonic plate which goes down in the ground of Sumatra, which will then shoot back up. This will create waves, in other words an earthquake. Lastly, it has been proven that forecasting earthquakes are possible.

The second session is about IT for Animation, be Prof Seah Hock Soon. The three most important things in animation is innovation, science and technology. Also, people do not just focus on the animation being nice when making animations, but focus on the story telling. There are two types of animation, 3-Dimensional and 2-Dimensional. 3-D movies are more cost effective than 2-D animations, thus they are created more often. Also, less labour and resources are needed for 3-D animations.

The last session is about innovation breakthroughs in Nano-science and Nano-technology, by Associate Professor David Butler. We were thought about how nano technology works and impacts people in their daily lives. An examples of this is like sunglasses which are created by nano-tech. Also, we were told what nano-technology means. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Another way nano-technology can help us is carbon nano tubes, which can be metallic or semi conducting. This material is really strong, and can be used in many situations.

To me, what sounds interesting about this project, you may want to know. Being able to use huge machines to test how strong materials are, because I have never really come in contact with such huge machines before.

I think I can learn how different factors affect what the strength of the material is. This will then help in deciding which material can be used in what you want to do in engineering.