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Students Engineering Design Solution for the Community

A group of BEng in Mechanical Engineering students has provided an engineering design solution for helping elderly people in Hong Kong and has won The Service-Learning Scholarship Scheme.

As a part of service-learning subject offered by ME department, back in September 2014, students YAU Sung-kin Thomas, LO Kit-lun and NG Chun-chiu were assigned a partially disabled elderly person living with his ailing wife as their service client. They have identified that their service client experiencing a difficulty in bathing. Due to the unavailability of a suitable bathing chair in the market, the service client was getting the assistance of his ailing wife to have his daily bathing. After analyzing the physical disability, specific bathing needs and considering the limited space available in his washroom, the team came up with a customized bathing chair which is foldable, stable, non-slippery and adjusted to the ergonomic needs of the service client.

The design solution was well received by the service client. The salient feature of the design solution is its suitability for the key needs of the service client. It is easy to use, easy to store and very safe to use. The project has provided a clear evidence of ME students’ ability to apply the knowledge they gained from classroom lectures to solve real problems faced by the underprivileged people living in our society.

Team leader YAU Sung-kin Thomas was awarded the Service-Learning Scholarship for his outstanding leadership, demonstrated social awareness, responsibility and active engagement in the project activities.

In alignment with PolyU’s goal of developing graduates into “responsible global citizens”, the University introduced the Service-Learning Requirement into the new undergraduate degree programme curriculum since 2012. The Department of Mechanical Engineering has offered the subject “Engineering Design for the Community” where students worked together with the elderly and disabled people living in the community and elderly homes, to design some assistive devices to help facilitate and ease their lives so as to rebuild their self-confidence and daily-life ability.