Is cleaning and vacuuming your home a drag for you? Our SUTD innovators invented a wearable vacuum in the form of a superhero vest to help kids enjoy cleaning from young.
As a young university, SUTD is making a name for itself as an emerging engineering school. In fact, SUTD tops the list of emerging engineering schools in the world. That is the pay-off for having a unique curriculum that emphasises self-directed, collaborative and hands-on learning. It is also probably why our students stand out and become proficient in critical problem solving.
Be it engineering, architecture, or computing at SUTD, all our students are trained in Design Innovation and take the “Introduction to Design” module. As part of the project work for the module, innovators Team Pacifier created the wearable vacuum to encourage kids to clean by making it fun for them.
These young inventors shared with us how studying at SUTD has enabled them to turn their ideas into reality! Read on to hear Team Pacifier’s experience as freshmores (first-year students) at SUTD!
Lim Jun Hao (JH), 21
Liu Kaiyu (K), 21
Li Jiaxi (J), 18
Nicholas Siew (N), 21
Lang Jun Xin (JX), 21
Your project looks cool. Getting children to do house chores! Tell us more about it!
JH: Every Freshmore student has to do the Introduction to Design module and there is an exhibition to showcase our innovations. The theme for the showcase this year was “At Play”.
JX: We used to help out with cleaning at home when we were young, but we know that not many children do that. So we had the idea of building a vacuum that children would want to use. Most of us are Marvel fans, and we thought, why not make it appealing to children by making it like Iron Man’s gauntlet?
N: We tested on my sister’s fiancé’s cousins aged 6 and 10. When we put it on the older boy, he started trying it out on his home floors! I think he had fun. The gauntlet was too big for the younger one but he is an Iron Man fan and he got really excited. Their mothers say the boys don’t help out enough with chores and she was very interested in our device!
“Students in SUTD generally have a shared passion in design innovation, so project work can be very engaging.”
Wow! It’s amazing that you guys had so much fun in your project. What do you enjoy most about project work in SUTD?”
JH: I like that students in SUTD generally have a shared passion in design innovation, so project work can be very engaging. For instance, while working on Pacifier, our group was very proactive in churning out ideas and drawing up designs using software like Solidworks and Adobe Illustrator. This made the experience really fun.
J: Studying in SUTD is fun because you can really apply what you learn. You will have many chances to communicate with seniors and professors, which helps to spark new ideas.
JX: I really liked how we could learn from each other through the process of working on Pacifier. Some of the members are more well versed in the technical aspects, some better in the theoretical aspects. We all came together to share our knowledge and help one another out.
Would you be keen to take your project further? Maybe even commercialize it?
N: The SUTD Entrepreneurship Centre offered to fund our project development, but after discussing with my team, we felt that as freshmores, we don’t have the skills yet to improve our project in the areas that we want. We are however thinking of continuing our project when we have more engineering skills. Some of us, including myself, have also applied to Dyson for internship to build up on the knowledge necessary.
“The small faculty-to-student ratio and hands-on learning caught my attention. I also applied to NUS, but after learning more about SUTD’s curriculum during Open House, I decided that the way that SUTD students learn is better suited for me. I am someone who remembers and understands better through a hands-on approach.”
Hey team! So here’s the big question – why did you #ChooseSUTD?
JH: I have always had an interest in tinkering with objects and making prototypes, but the pre-tertiary education system in Singapore never really managed to provide an outlet for my creative ideas. I believed that the environment in SUTD would allow me to do so! But my parents felt that SUTD did not have a long history compared to NUS, and the concept of Design Innovation was new to them. I spent six months convincing my parents to support my decision to study at SUTD!
JX: I chose SUTD mainly due to its unique pedagogy! The small faculty-to-student ratio and hands-on learning caught my attention. I also applied to NUS, but after learning more about SUTD’s curriculum during Open House, I decided that the way that SUTD students learn is better suited for me. I am someone who remembers and understands better through a hands-on approach.
N: SUTD just seemed more fun! I heard that the typical engineering course can be quite dry, so was looking for something that will be more interesting and practical. I applied to mechanical engineering in NTU as well. Hearing from seniors in both schools, SUTD appealed to me more as my impression is that engineering in other universities can be quite dry and theoretical.
K: I chose SUTD because the curriculum offers more hands-on activities and projects. To me, that is the more practical way to learn new skills. And of course, the high employment rate and starting pay are attractive as well!
J: I enjoy learning hands-on skills which are very practical for engineers. Also, as an international student (from China), learning overseas broadens my view, and it’s very interesting working with local students!
“I love the new facilities —new hostel rooms, new classrooms — which make for a great study environment.”
There are so many reasons to like a young university like SUTD. But personally, what matters to you the most?
N: The culture. I feel that the atmosphere is very friendly and helpful, especially after hearing from friends how competitive other universities can be. In SUTD, people are willing to help each other out.
K: I love the new facilities —new hostel rooms, new classrooms — which make for a great study environment. I also enjoy the small cohort class learning. I can get to know my fellow classmates better, and build friendships. I feel a sense of family bonds in my current cohort class.
“If you like collaborating with like-minded individuals and enjoy creating things, even just for the sake of it, then I think you would enjoy the SUTD experience!”
One last question! What kind of students would you recommend SUTD to?
JH: If you like collaborating with like-minded individuals and enjoy creating things, even just for the sake of it, then I think you would enjoy the SUTD experience!
N: SUTD really supports innovation and creation, so I feel that it’s perfect for those who like a hands-on experience, and the space and facilities to do their own projects.
K: For those who enjoy hands on learning and wish to immerse in an engineering education, SUTD is the best choice!