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The Engineering Chemist

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

The week started with presentations and getting feedback from our TA’s. It is indeed a great encounter to see everybody present what they are working on and also see the level of their confidence boosted. One thing I love about these presentations is that they allow us to share our ideas and get positive criticism. I have also learnt that it is important to allow others into your projects because life is not all about you, you need others to proceed and in any case as engineers, feedback pushes us forward into a world of more possibilities and positivity.

As my team members were focusing on the other two projects, I dug deep into the dental mouth opener. We agreed on using rubber to make the bite block that enters the patient’s mouth. That’s how I became a chemist and a mixer playing with silicon rubber. I did several tests on the different types of silicon rubber and in the end decided to use Dragon-skin rubber.

After this, a mold was made for the bite block, however the results were not as good as we wanted. I was a little disappointed but then I remembered that designing is an iterative process and that failure is a way of letting you know that you can just change direction. After a few discussions and opinions, we later decided to use clay molds. To add color to the clear silicon we have, I incorporated red food color to the mix and the outcome was satisfactory.

One big lesson from the week is that engineering design is not for the faint hearted. You need to keep on keeping on and in the end, things shall work together for your good. Two more weeks to the internship and I wonder how time flies.

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