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Newbie Fever

Hie am Doreen Asimenye Ndovie a Biomedical Engineering 4th year student from Malawi. Well just like most students who go out there to learn a new skill and take part in the real world, I got the chance to apply for this really cool internship program at my university, MUBAS. It is an internship program that affiliates with the RICE 360 University and if you are into science and engineering like I am, surely you will want to find out more about it, well do so and thank me later. So far it has been quite an eventful two weeks from brainstorming sessions to workshops with field expertise one could never have had a better experience.

My first week was great, well more than I had imagined it would be but don’t worry I'll give you a breakdown. On the very first day we had introductions and orientation of the Design Studio workspace with Will Moyo, the Design Studios manager at MUBAS, Hope Chilunga and Francis Chilomo, the Design Studio teaching assistants and Wongani, the Design Studio technician. We were then split into 3 groups and I was placed in a group with 3 other students namely Hope, Charles, Jacob and well me Doreen ha-ha. Each group was given 2 projects to work on and to explore a third one on their own and our two projects were to develop a low-cost oxygen analyser and a vein locator. Long pause right, these devices were all new to me and this was a great challenge I was taking up to learn a new skill in the engineering field and yes this was it. The following days we had workshops facilitated by different guests and on one of them we had a session with some of the MUBAS lecturers, Mr. Mafuta and Mr. Ng’anjo on the subjects of needs finding and project scoping. The presentations were really eye opening and after I got out of that boardroom, I did not leave the same, literally and figuratively because well we took food and knowledge home.

Now we had started brainstorming and discussing ways on how we were going to solve our given projects. My team members are very open so we had so many ideas on the table and we documented everything we discussed. And basically, the whole day was dedicated to problem finding and brainstorming ideas as a group. We went to the RICE 360 warehouse to observe the mechanisms of the devices we were trying to come up with and we managed to get a hold of an oxygen analyser but the vein locator is not available in Malawi so we didn’t have much to work with there but the internet. After a trip to the WAREHOUSE, team exercise and material hunting.

So far the first week was more of theoretical practice as I learned problem solving skills and tackled the first steps in engineering design as well as formulation of a good and analytical Design criteria before embarking on any project. The exercise also helped my team building skills as of how to incorporate myself in a team environment and keep up with daily activities and a bonus my documentation and project planning skills have literally scaled to a ten.

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