Engineering in Korea

Group of students who studied abroad in Korea.

Eight mechanical engineering students recently took a trip to South Korea with Dr. Jeong-Hoi Koo as part of a study abroad opportunity this summer.  The students fulfilled their Senior Capstone (MME 448/449). Six native students from KAIST Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) also participated in the project.

The students split into three groups, with a goal to design something that would be able to help parts of the world without readily accessible access to electricity or education.

Rob Sutliff, a senior, said his group decided to focus on sub-Saharan Africa and identified three main problems: (1) People living in this region rely on kerosene lamps to provide light, which can be very dangerous as kerosene is flammable and can become toxic. (2) Many children drop out of school because they don’t have a safe environment with sufficient light for studying at night. (3) Mosquitos carrying the malaria diseases claim thousands of lives each year.

“We designed and fabricated a solar powered lamp that used low energy LEDs as the light source. This lamp also had a mosquito trap incorporated into it, such that the mosquitoes would be attracted to and killed by the trap rather than the people using the lamp,” said Rob of his team’s solution.

The group also incorporated a built in pencil sharpener to the lamp that when turned, can generate additional electricity.

In addition to completing their Senior Capstone, students also had the chance to participate in weekend excursions. The second weekend the group took a trip to Pohang and Gyeongju, and were able to visit steel manufacturing plant POSCO.