From 20-23 August, I got to take part in a cyber-physical exchange with Shenzhen Technology University and learnt more about the production processes of solar panels. Although, we did not get to be there physically, watching our SZTU counterparts work in the lab and hearing from their professors about the details was very eye-opening.
I did not have much expectations regarding a cyber-physical exchange since it effectively limited the interaction we had with the other university. However, this exchange proved to me that despite this limited interaction, we were still able to walk away from it learning something from each other.
All in all, this FACT with Shenzhen Technology University was an interesting programme to be a part of.
We started off with the typical introductions however this was followed up by lectures taught by the SZTU professors who taught us more about perovskite solar cells.
We also got to watch videos specially prepared by the SZTU students that showed us around their campus. Their campus was so much bigger than any campus in Singapore. Their canteen alone has 3 storeys! It looked very modern as well. I hope we can hold a physical FACT soon so we can go over to Shenzhen and visit the campus in person.
We also showcased our school’s programmes and campus to them as well although they must be amazed by the compactness of our campus and how we can operate here.
Our ice-breaking activity, was very unique since we made use of this drone-flying game that was made by the campusX programme. The groups raced through the virtual mockup of the SUTD campus and we were made to answer ice-breaking questions before we were given the location of subsequent checkpoints.
There was also an additional caveat that there was a prize for the team with the happiest expressions during this game. This was going to be analyzed by the AI programme.
On the second day, we proceeded with more lectures in the morning done by SUTD professors this time. They taught us about solar panel planning and understanding how to angle our panels to maximize the amount of light the solar panel receives.
We also had a period where we were watching our SZTU counterparts show us how solar panels were made and all the processes from spin-coating of the cells all the way to lamination of the cells.
In the afternoon, we then started to plan for what our boats will look like since the major task of this exchange was to build solar-powered boats.
Here is one of the designs we came up with.
We were dedicated to building the boats for the morning session, while in the afternoon, we finally got the chance to test the boats in preparation for the competition the next day.
This iteration of boat designs was all very unique and every boat brought something different to the table.
SZTU students were also having fun with their solar cooking devices.
They even played badminton at night!
The last day was also the finale where we would see all the boats that we made race each other. It was especially fun since we also noted that both SUTD and SZTU had a professor that decided to take part in the boat race as well by making their own boats.
To wrap up all the activities, each group did a sharing of the boats that they made.
Lastly, with some closing words from professors and students on both sides, this FACT came to an end.
– Gabriel Yong