Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fin's and Candle's Creative Contests: towards the motivation of engineering students

We engineers are in general not the best communicators nor the best at appreciating arts. These are not really topics of interest during university studies in Engineering Schools around the world. This was the theme of a latest editorial in Ingenia, the magazine of the Royal Academy of Engineering, where Dr Steedmand said "Engineers are rarely taught about public engagement and as a result are often criticised for lacking communication skills. A few engineers, through their work, do spend time with the public, but this is not enough. We need much more public engagement if we are to raise the awareness and understanding of engineering and its role in society".

I wanted to build on this in the two courses I teach at Imperial College, ME2 Heat Transfer and ME4 Combustion. I also wanted to boost somehow students' motivation. So I organized Creative Contests at the beginning of the new academic year. The instructions to participate were the following:
"I have three extra copies of the textbook to give away. If interested, send me a poem, comic, drawing, painting, song, video, or anything creative that explains why you are taking this course. Art, wit and humour are allowed". 

And I gave them one week to submit their pieces. I received several submissions and found three winners for each course. Congratulations to the winners, hope you use extensively your new gifted textbooks.

Submissions to the 2013 Fin's Creative Contest in ME2 Heat Transfer:
(first three are the winners. Each received a hardcopy of Incropera's Foundations of Heat Transfer)

by Keon - Heat transfer is not a lie - Click for song . Click for lyrics.
by Hugh  - Amazing Heat Transfer Acrostic


By Eifion - Heat Transfer Limericks

By Kathryn- why study heat transfer?
By Robert - Five reasons why I am studying heat

 Submissions to the 2013 Candle's Creative Contest in ME4 Combustion:
(First three submissions are the winners. Each received a hard copy of McAllister's Fundamentals of Combustion Processes).

By Christian - Combustion, it blows you away!
By Wayne - Little deyas

By Maria - Flames estatue

by William - Combustion
Miles sent this photo by McLaren of an P1 exhaust flame

Boris - Hot air balloon in Morocco

Guillaume - First bone fire in human history - synchronistic style

Walaa selected the poem Fire by 'livin the night life'

Saturday, 26 October 2013

When smart buildings help Fire Commanders

I recently gave an invited talk in Warsaw on the prospects of fire protection in smart buildings. The talk is now avaible in youtube and as slides.
Forecasting Fire Dynamics: When smart buildings help Fire Commanders

Together with other colleagues we were invited by the organizers of the 1st ICRA Workshop who are researching the topic of decision support during fire emergencies merging the points of view of Computer Science and the Fire Service. Oriol Rios, whom I had the pleasure of supervising during his MSc studies, gave a talk on the forecasting of wildfires (youtube, slides).