NTU Part 1 3/07

Today was the first of a two day intensive tour of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and facilities. It started out with an intensive presentation of the Singapore Institute of Material Technologies (SimTech). This gave me a greater understanding of how Singapore is able to be such a developed and rich country with no natural resources, unlike Australia. This presentation illustrated how Singapore is able to be a big competitor in manufacturing by taking advantage of its greatest resource, its citizens.

When the presentation concluded we made our way to the School of Materials Science and Engineering department of NTU. Here we were given presentations by PhD and Masters students on their research topics. The presentation I was most intrigued by was the study on the sucker teeth of the Humboldt Squid. This showed how nature has already beaten humans to the nanoworld by showing the structure of the teeth as being comprised of non-mineral nano-tubular proteins. From this I learnt that sometimes if you want to do something right, just look at nature.

To finish of the day we had a tour of the labs. Inside one we found a number of different electron microscopes with specific functions that I have yet to understand fully. The next stop was the Biomaterial Labs which was interesting seeing heat stints that have a layer over the actual stint and inside is a drug which gets released into the body to help cure the cardiac disease. The final lab visit was to the Organic Materials Service Lab. Inside was research into imprinting of biological cells onto a polymer film.