Tag Archives: Science

SMART CREATE center.

The morning was spent in out Pico and Nano groups working on our group assignments which are worth 30% of our overall grade mark. I was doing a report on IMRE. Considering writing is not my strong point, I have been finding these reports hard.
In the afternoon we went to the SMART CREATE (MIT Joint Centre) at University Town which was only a short walk from our meeting point at Starbucks. The centre was research laboratory for biological materials such as disease research like cancer and malaria. In vitro drug interaction using microfluidics. They then showed us how they make the microfluidic chips using PDMS by soft lithography.
The second laboratory section we visited was a high precision optics lab which shoots lasers like pew pew. Which changed the refractive index of the medium around the scanning area which would alter the path of the sequential laser beam, gense giving a result.
Overall the day was pretty short. We were dismissed at 4:00 which was pretty early considering we were already at Utown. So seven of us went to the basketball court where we played a few half court games which was a really nice chance to show the like-mindedness of the students on the tour.

Creating Group Work

The plans for today didn’t work out as we hoped to have an industry visit however it turned out to be a bonus for the students as it gave us some much needed time to catch up and start organising group work. This day started off with team nano meeting together to organised the various part of the group work and also started to research key parts of the assignments.
After this morning of intense researching driven by the team leader Trey Guest, we went to meet Paul who took us to the SMART CREATE MIT centre. This was mainly focused on micro fluidics and the applications they can have. It was really educational to see how they mircofluidics were made and how they could be applied to problems that hospitals face. It was really intruging to learn how cancerous cells where separated from normal cells considering that they are almost identical. Today was an extra day to plan our assignments that we hadn’t planned on and therefore it was super relieving.

NUS with SPS

Today by far has to be my favourite day of the trip thus far. We were lucky enough to visit the NUS (National University of Singapore) science wing where we visited several labs, and met some important people.

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Our first stop was the SPS (Special Program in Science) headquarters. They had their own specially designated area for them to study and/or relax in, a library, conference room, and wet lab. I definitely would love it if the La Trobe Nanotechnology students had an area like this in our Melbourne campus. At SPS we met a group of five students, one of them being Kevin who will in fact be travelling to Melbourne soon to study at the Melbourne campus of La Trobe. They were our guides around NUS and also joined in all the activities in which we partook. They were an extremely kind group of people who I hope we stay in contact with.

The first lab in which we visited was extremely exciting as it contained a linear accelerator, which there aren’t too many of around the world. They would use the accelerator in order to accelerate protons into silicon in order to make channels and patterns. They could also accelerate the protons into certain cells to determine what they were composed of in an attempt to help with drug delivery systems. It was very rewarding to be allowed downstairs to get up close to the linear accelerator as not many people at the age of 19 get to do such a thing.

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We then had the chance to walk around the campus some more and look at some of the other labs they had such as their clean room. It was slightly difficult to peek into some of the labs however, as many of them had automatic doors. So then as soon as you go up to the window to peek in, the doors would start opening quickly and give you a freight. At least some of the students were amused by this.

Jenny from Quantum then met us for a quick seminar on what Quantum is, what they do and are trying to achieve. We were then shown around some of the labs where they are using cold atoms to create quantum entanglement. One of the two labs shown to us at Quantum was where they create chips that are used to catch atoms, the second lab being the one in which the chips were used to catch the atoms with the help of magnetic fields in order to cause quantum entanglement.

After a lunch break with the SPS students we were extremely lucky to be able to have a meeting with Andrew Wee Thye Shen who is the Vice President of the university and global relations. He told us all about NUS, what they want to achieve, how they bring the world to NUS, and send NUS to the world, and about all their colleges around the world.

The final activity for the day was a demonstration lab which was extremely fun, interesting, and informative, it was the best way to end the day. We got to play with liquid nitrogen to learn about superconductors, learnt about electricity and how lightning rods work, and many other simple but educational experiments.

I think that the main reason today was so enjoyable was because of the way in which everything was explained to us. Even though they were all extremely technical processes, they were explained was simple enough for undergraduates to understand. It was one thing that I found difficult with IMRE that it was explained in a way that only the more advanced students could understand. At NUS however, the way in which they explained everything, I believe any person could just about have gone on the tour with us and had a decent understanding of most of the processes. It really made me have a very high opinion of NUS and make me want to return sometime in the not too distant future.

Science time.

After meeting up, it was only a short trip to our activities of the day, with today being fully contained in the science faculty of NUS. We meet five local students who took time out of their day to spend it with us. They were also studying various areas of science. We all then went around to their particle accelerator and they spoke to us about the research they have done and techniques they use with the accelerator.
Our cohort then travelled to the Centre for Quantum Technologies, which was established as Singapore’s first research centre of excellence in 2007. CQT was given $195 million of core funding for 10 years, this has allowed CQT to develop a world-class research program with strong theory and experiment groups.
We were given a presentation by one of the researches about single photon technologies and quantum entanglement with applications in cryptography. We were also given a tour of laboratories where they isolate atoms using magnetic fields which begin to exhibit different properties.   

For our break, the local students took us to a food court where we once again had amazing food at great prices. After that, we went back to our original meeting location where we had the privilege of having a presentation by the dean of the faculty of science. He spoke to us about NUS and it’s science programs.
We were then shown to a science demo lab which is always fun. The demonstrator showed us many concepts in science we have learnt about, but it is always nice to see them again and in action. Such as superconductors, standing waves, and kinematics.      
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Clean room
Clean room
Super sos
Super sos