Wednesday, 5 June 2013

SST-NTU Day 1 Reflections

Pre Camp Reflections 1
NTU Flagship Camp
4 June 2013

Q1. What sounds interesting about this project?
A1. I chose this project because I always wanted to know how to distill 2 molecules within a liquid industrially, outside of what I have been thought in school. The fact that this project has very real world implications and applications also interested me. It is also relevant to the job scopes of major MNCs like Esso and Shell. All of which, should I possess the adequate skill set, could land me a job with them. Of course, this is a little bit far fetched. At my present moment, learning about industrial distillation could broaden my horizons beyond the 4 distillation methods taught to me by my teachers in school.

Q2. Any thing that you can learn from this project?
I can learn a lot from the about the technical aspects of industrial distillation from the experienced professors here at NTU. Having so many hands-on sessions in the lab could also allow me to hone my lab skills, an important aspect of my Science Practical Assessment. From a not so academical point of view, I could learn how to interact with my group mates and be a better team player. I will be also able to see life in a university and give me a broader perspective of universities in general. It will also aid in my selection of a university in the future.

Q3. Any immediate questions regarding the project?
I would like to know more about the technical aspect of this challenge. Example, how a distillation column works etc. I would want to know the extent of out hands on activities. I am also wondering if what we have learnt in school about filtration and distillation still applies and is as effective/efficient in the industrial world.

Learning Points:
Plenary speech 1: Earthquake research on the Coral Reefs of Sumatra
I learnt that we could actually predict the timing and location of the next earthquake and tsunami. Islands rise and fall in a cycle that is known as the Super Cycle. The island slowly sinks due to shifts in tectonic plates and after around 200 odd years, a earthquake pushes the island back up to equilibrium. Thus, as opposed to my previous understanding of earthquake, I found out that earthquakes had a practical use to it.

Plenary Speech 2: IT for Animation
I learnt that as opposed to popular belief, 3D animations are actually cheaper that 2D animations. I learn about the full process of making a typical Japanese Animation and that it consists of tens of thousands of sketches for each frame in the anime. Making a Japanese Animation is actually very labour intensive and time consuming as it requires a lot of skilled artists working continuously for periods of around 6 months or more.

Plenary Speech 3: Nano technology
I learnt that constructing 3D printing, also known as nano-printing, is much more cost and material efficient as it goes from the ground up and only uses as much material that it needs and no more. Traditional printing, goes from the up down and usually involves a big slab of material that is cut into the desired shape and the rest of the material is then disposed of. As you can see, this wastes lots of material and takes a lot more labour to construct the same object.

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