The second week was devoted to acquiring a better understanding of the problem and context, as well as the design requirements, which is the second stage of the challenge. Our TAs, Bernard Dzozi and Chiku Walani, guided presentations on Monday. They walked us through problem scope categories such as background, business perspectives, existing solutions, and things that regulate the problem such as laws, standards, and regulations.
On the second day, Chiku Walani taught us how to conduct a design context review and how to use the results. We watched numerous YouTube videos about design context review as he described each one in depth. Dr. Matthew Wettergreen claims that DCR assists the team in explaining the problem, objectives, and solution. DCR helps us explain the background of the problem, study how others have addressed the answers, and broadens the spectrum of possible solutions, which is what I took away. In an engineering design project, people, papers, and destinations can all be sources of our DCR. As a consequence, we were able to distill all of our concepts into a single winning concept.
On the third day of the meeting, we were really fortunate to have a workshop with Mr. Million T, Mafuta. Mr. Mafuta, an electrical engineering lecturer, spoke about his experience with engineering design projects such as the bilirubin monitor devices. He walked us through project scoping, which is the first phase in the engineering design process. He demonstrated how we can scope the projects. It was a privilege to learn that when interviewing customers, the following tactics are most useful: validation, clarification, delving further, and remembering to ask open ended questions. We had various think-pair activities that helped us improve our brainstorming abilities. The session has helped me come to the conclusion that whatever observations we have as engineers may lead us to construct an issue that requires a solution. Furthermore, we had a good time on this particular day, and when I say good time, I mean it. We had a delicious breakfast, lunch, and 4:00 p.m. tea break. It's what I'll refer to as the "unforgettable day."
On the fourth day, at 10:00 a.m., we conducted various interviews with people working in disciplines related to our projects. We chatted with prince mtenthaonga, an epidemiologist at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital's RICE 360. All of these interviews made us aware of the problems that the health-care industry is currently facing. The following are some of them:
There aren't enough baby monitors since the majority of them are too expensive to purchase, are damaged, or require too much maintenance, rendering them useless. There is no single vein finder at QECH, making it difficult for nurses to discover veins. As a result, one is required to alleviate the issues nurses face. From his point of view, he gave us suggestions and thoughts for what would work. He told us at the end of the interview that we should return to discuss the subject of training equipment. He responded to our questions on the subject once more and offered some advice. This day was more productive than the day before. I learned a lot of new skills and had a strong understanding of the questions we were supposed to answer. The interviews let us realize how important tailored solutions are in Malawi.
On Friday, the fifth day, we continued our literature review for our projects. The chiku walani provided us with clarification on the DCR. Around 10:00 a.m., something interesting happened. Stipends were deposited into our bank accounts. What an amazing day!!! It was cuteness personified. I realized that joy creates happiness, and this increased our technical approach to our research tactics.
Another advantage was that I learned how to collaborate with people from other departments in order to come up with the best answers. My teammates are extremely helpful and understanding. They push me and I've learned a lot from them, and I hope to keep learning from them in the future.
I'm looking forward to the third week, when we'll have design context review presentations. Next week, I'll see you!!!!!!!!