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WEPICS 2017 Competition – Women Engineering Projects In Community Service – Semi-Final Round

 

After 2 months following the competition’s launch, 26 teams from different provinces moved on to the semi-final round – Idea Presenting Round of WEPICS Competition – Women Engineering Projects in Community Service Coompetition held by Fablab Danang in cooperation with Arizona State University, The University of Danang (UD), The University of Danang – University of Science and Technology (UD-DUT) and Evergreen Labs on March 5th, 2017.

WEPICS is considered one of the projects in pursuit of WiSTEM – Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Gender balance development in STEM is currently considered one of the global trends. It is undeniable that females’ role has been taken for granted when it comes to majors like Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, especially in Vietnam. Projects like WEPICS were held in order to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship of STEM women students, engineers, entrepreneurs as well as researchers to support the sustainable development of the local community.

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WEPICS 2017 Competition is known as the successor of “Women in STEM” Conference held in August 2016 in Danang City, Vietnam. “Women in STEM” was one of the very first conferences all over the country with the topic of promoting women’s role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The event successfully gathered the attendance of roughly over 300 guests including representatives from various governmental departments, enterprises and individuals. WEPICS 2017 creates chances for women to help the community, to satisfy their passion in research, creating and building, to be motivated in STEM fields through projects and entrepreneurship and to build network and relationships.

Mr. Ezra Simon, the representative of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the main sponsor of the competition, said “Really this is about further motivating each and every one of you to explore, to discover, to figure out ways to work hand in hand and make new connections. These will reduce the isolation of ideas, so that in the future you’ll know how to collaborate better and to get beyond the traditional classroom settings to all the exciting places where changes can happen.”

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NGUYEN BA HOI, VICE-DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION (UD), FOUNDER OF FABLAB DANANG IS MAKING HIS SPEECH AT WEPICS 2017

In the scientific conference STEMCON on March 1st, 2017 at the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake in Hanoi, the representatives of UD and UD-DUT – one of the pioneers in promoting WiSTEM trend all over the country – were invited to share about their WiSTEM promotion model and related activities to other universities and partners.

To join the competition, a project team must be made up of 04 or fewer individuals and must be led by women. All prize eligible team members must be Vietnamese and proposed ideas and products MUST be original – not previously submitted to any other classes, competitions or programs.

Since its launching on January 1st, 2017, WEPICS has attracted 26 teams from different provinces to join the semi-final round – Idea Round. Before that on December 21st, 28 contestants from 18 teams joined Danang Field Trip held by WEPICS board of organizing committee in Tho Quang Fishing village, Hoa Vang District’s Health Center, Quang Chau Village, Quang Chau Temple and Tuy Loan organic farm to explore community issues.

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Created on February 8th, 2017, for only one month, the number of likes of the page “Vietnam Women in STEM: Wepics Competition” where all project teams could share their ideas and call for community votes has reached roughly over 2,100, of which the female fans account for 55%. Noticeably, there were more than 100 likes from international facebook-ers like the American, Taiwanese, South Korean and Japanese, etc. Within Vietnam’s market, 44% of the likes come from Danang viewers, 23% from Ho Chi Minh City viewers and the rest 33% are from the viewers from other provinces. The posts of contestants’ proposals also attracted hundreds of likes, comments and shares. It can be said that WEPICS 2017 has become viral not only in Vietnam but also received the attention of people from around the world.

The semi-final took place on March 5th, 2017 in both morning and evening shift. Contestants had the chance to prove their confidence during their presentation and their improvisation skill during the Q&A part in totally 10 minutes. Assessment results of ideas will be calculated based on the results of online community popular vote and the ones from WEPICS Board of Judges. The jury will determine the best ideas by their applicability in community, their innovation and their economic feasibility.

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08-12 best project ideas will be selected to continue to Round 2 to develop their ideas into viable projects. The teams selected to continue to Round 2 will each be awarded a budget for project materials, facilities and mentoring from technical supervisor team. In addition, 02 outstanding ideas will each be awarded a $250 USD in cash. The final award for the most excellent idea will be up to $1000 in cash and a $500 value start-up package from Evergreen Labs.

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THE CONTESTANTS HAVE BLOWN THE JURY AWAY BY EXCELLENT QUALITY, CREATIVITY AND FEASIBILITY OF THEIR IDEAS.

Cyber Group proposed the idea of smart public waste bins classified into 3 drawers for 3 types of garbage in order to raise awareness of waste classification in Danang citizens and tourists. The person who has placed the rubbish into the correct bin will have an opportunity to receive a bonus. The bonus is recorded/saved when putting a RFID key in front of the RFID scanner of the bins. Applying IoT technology, the bonus can be converted into little gifts such as Danangbus tickets and vending machine coins.

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To solve the existing problems about delivering the right medicine to the patients in hospitals nowadays, LOG team came up with the idea of the Automated medication distribution system (ADMS). The system consists of a database storing each patient’s name and their prescriptions, and an automatic medicine dispenser which dispenses patients with the right medicine based on their prescriptions, stored in the database. Each patient owns a “patient card”, which allows them to authenticate to the automatic medicine dispenser and receive their medicine based on their doctor’s prescriptions.

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In order to utilize biogas effectively in rural Vietnam, BIOGAS group brought up the idea of removing H2S by adsorption method. Adsorpbents based cheap materials include bentonite and spent zeolite from Dung Quat refinery. This biogas purification by waste materials methods has various applications and benefits, such as: Absorbent materials are waste and/or cheap materials and are easy to find; duration of using the filter is pretty long and absorbent materials can be regenerated easily; this method also helps to reduce the corrosion potential on the stove or other energy conversion machines and also can be developed for further purification of various pollutants gases that causing air pollution, both in the factory chimneys, motor vehicles, etc.

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Mr. Jonathan, one of the WEPICS 2017’s jury shared that “It’s been very very interesting with lots of very very good ideas. I’ve been the jury of many similar competitions and overall I would say that the quality of this contest’s ideas is superior to what I’ve seen in the last 2-3 years. You should all be really proud of yourself. And I have one piece of advice for all of you here today: However you do in the competition: first, somewhere in the middle or wherever you end up, don’t stop here! Work on them and I’m pretty sure you’ll all do very well in the long run.”

RESULTS OF THE SEMI-FINAL ROUND

The assessment results of ideas will be calculated as: 40% from on the results of online community popular vote and 60% from the results from WEPICS Board of Judges. (Details can be found on: Voting regulation and Assessment Criteria). All the groups performed brilliantly their idea presentation as well as answering the questions from the jury cleverly.

WEPICS 2017 would like to congratulate the following 12 teams on excellently moving on to the Final Round:

  1. RSL – “REUSE FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING” GROUP: Reusable cotton waste for mushroom cultivation and fertilizer
  2. BIOGAS GROUP: Using biogas efficient in rural area
  3. CYBER GROUP: Publics smart trash bin
  4. QUICKSILVER GROUP: Silver nano-coated bio-tape
  5. STARLIGHT GROUP: Reading and writing technical equipment for the blind
  6. IS-UTE GROUP: Transportation monitoring by using image processing technology
  7. LOG TEAM GROUP: Automated medication distribution system
  8. A.T GROUP: Geometry maths learning kit for blind or visually impaired people
  9. CACTUS GROUP: The Smart Tutor Robot for children from 5 to 15 years old
  10. THANH NIÊN ĐỒNG BẰNG SÔNG CỬU LONG GROUP: Floating vegetable garden
  11. GREEN AGRICULTURE GROUP: Harvesting used sawdust biocarrier of ganoderma lucidum culture for straw mushroom
  12. DCT-SMART WRISTBAND GROUP: Technical support equipment for children with autism

Congratulations to RSL – “Reuse for sustainable living” Group and BIOGAS Group on receiving the award of $250 in cash for the 2 most excellent ideas. The teams selected to continue to the Final Round of WEPICS 2017 will each be awarded: (1) A budget of up to $70 USD for project materials. (2) Use of the upcoming ASU-UD Maker Innovation Space and (3) Mentoring from technical supervisor team.

WEPICS “appreciate your commitment and your work with your team, your creative ideas, your wonderful ability and your passion for the problems in community service that you’re trying to solve.”, said Dr. Kathy Wigal – the project director of BUILD-IT, Arizona State University.

BOARD OF JUDGES:

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ASSOC.PROF. PHAM VAN TUAN, DIRECTOR OF TESTING AND EDUCATIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE, VICE-DIRECTOR OF CENTER OF EXCELLENCE, COORDINATOR OF BUILD-IT PROJECT AT UD-DUT GAVES FLOWERS AND CERTIFICATES TO JUGDES. 
  • Kasia Weina, PhD: PhD in Molecular Biology with focus on cancer research in Germany. She has worked in various laboratories in different countries and co-founded Evergreen Labs, a social and environmental project development company. She will also be a lecturer and research consultant in the Biomedical program at VN-UK, The University of Danang, Vietnam.
  • Le Phuoc Cuong, PhD: PhD in Environmental Engineering in Russia. He currently works as the lecturer in the Department of Environmental Engineering at UD-DUT. He has implemented many research on the realted fields and especially, he was announced first place in the national competition “Lobachevski” of The Republic of Tatarstan, Russia in the field of Green Chemistry (supercritical fluid technology) in Kazan, Russia in April 2011.
  • Nguyen Thi Hong Phuoc, MSc: She currently works as the Business Promotion Group Manager in SHIFT ASIA. She’s got 12-year experience in global IC memory & analog design and owns a great many achievements including Designing and verifying the first Smart Low-Side Power Switch for Automobile Motor Driver as well as having worked on first circuit design at 14nm technology in the world

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NGUYEN THI ANH THU, COORDINATOR OF “WISTEM” OF BUILD-IT PROJECT AT UD, UD-DUT, FABLAB DANANG GAVES FLOWERS AND CERTIFICATES TO JUGDES.
  • Le Thi Nhu Y, PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science, Institute of Materials Science – Vietnam. She was the Head of Chemical Engineering – Petroleum and Gas Division at UD-DUT. She owns various publications and researches in the related fields.
  • Le Quoc Huy, PhD: PhD in Applied physics in France. He currently works as the Lecturer at Division of Automation, Department of Electrical Engineering at UD-DUT. He’s the author of many national and international publications, research and reports in related fields. In addition, he received the “VIFOTEC creative engineering” award on technology and science awarded by VIFOTEC.
  • Jonathan Neale, MBA: He has extensive experience in teaching management for many years in many countries: UK, Abu Dhabi and has now been in Hanoi for nearly 4 years. Prior to entering academia, he had his own consultancy specializing in turnaround management – successfully turned around over 23 businesses. He has also helped several start-ups and many former students I to leading graduate schools around the world.

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