Science students' innovations make life easier

Michelle Leung

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How do you track missing trail-walkers? Need a new approach to managing the family’s grocery shopping? What about modifying the design of sandals using manufacturing engineering technology? Answers and insights into these questions could be found in the Student Project Exhibition at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) from 26 May to 27 May.

Students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) showcased 78 creative projects that addressed everyday needs, highlighting the efforts made by the University to promote applied research.

The projects on display were developed by undergraduate students from the Departments of Physics and Materials Science, Building and Construction, Biology and Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, and Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management. In addition, the Cooperative Education Centre, under the auspices of FSE, took part.

Sadly, an off-duty police officer is still missing after going hiking among the many trails of Hong Kong. This unsolved case inspired Ng Ka-ho, a Department of Electronic Engineering student and keen hiker, to develop a monitoring system that utilised the Global Positioning System (GPS). With a Bluetooth GPS receiver, a mobile phone supporting the Java application and software designed by Ng Ka-ho, hikers can identify their exact location on a mobile phone screen. They can also preset a time to automatically send an SMS to a designated emergency contact, indicating their location should an accident prevent the user from moving for a certain period of time.

Student Brian Chung Chun-hei, from the Department of Computer Science, developed the Family Grocery Management System. Family members can create a shopping list through a computer or PDA. The system can suggest what to buy based on past shopping preferences and issue a reminder to buy groceries that will soon be used up.

Creative projects on display also included a new alloy for biomedical applications, the conceptual design and simulation of a 3D printer for model prototyping, development of a new rehabilitation machine and modification of the standard design for sandals.

Group visits were arranged to give local secondary school students more information about FSE’s programmes and activities. More than 1,000 students visited the exhibition.

Professor Henry Chung Shu-hung, Associate Dean of FSE, said the exhibition served two purposes. “The Student Project Exhibition recognises CityU students’ creativity and application of knowledge in applied research, and at the same time brings the University and secondary school students closer,” he explained.

The Student Project Exhibition is one of the summer activities organised by FSE for secondary school students. The upcoming activities are the Project-based Outreach Programme (POP) and the Science and Engineering Fun Days (SEFD). POP, running from May to September, creates a learning environment outside the classroom for students through territory-wide or specific study projects. SEFD allows participants to recognise the practical and interesting facets of scientific knowledge through laboratory tours and experiments, held from 23 July to 25 July.

Please visit for further information about the FSE summer activities.


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