Moi! My name is Sandra and I come from Barcelona, Spain. I am a student of Mechatronics Engineering and I am currently doing my semester abroad in TUAS.
I will explain you my experience in TUAS as well as in the Global Research Hatcheries course.
At the beginning of my semester, in January, I was a really confused with everything, new university, new way of teaching, new city and new weather (It was snowing hard and -20ºC, not easy for a Spanish!!). As soon as I got to know my courses, I thought about the Global Research Hatcheries, but I as I was trying to adapt here, I thought it was a lot to do, so, I didn’t enroll the course.
As the semester progressed, I realized the course was a good idea, as one of my new friends told me about it. She was in the 3D printing with recycled materials’ project and I started being curious about it. So, I joined the course a month later. It was also the same as my friend, 3D printing with recycled materials, mostly centered on global business models. Piia, our mentor, was very nice to me and she explained everything I had lost.
This group turned out to be multicultural group. We were 4 people from 4 different countries, a girl from Luxemburg, another girl from Poland, a guy from Germany and me from Spain. This was a huge difference between projects in my home university.
Firstly, because we don’t have this kind of projects and it was a bit hard to understand the concept of Global Research Hatchery and business models. It wasn’t easy to get used to the concept of hatchery and to understand what a business model is.
Secondly, because I wasn’t used to work with multidisciplinary groups with so different people. All of them were very active and we all had a lot of energy in doing our best; but every one of us works and thinks differently. As soon as we began working together, we all tried to know each other for a better communication and a better understanding of the project itself. It turned to be a very good group working weekly and having very satisfactory results.
As we were enrolled in the GLOBAL Research Hatchery, we were partly working with a group of Indonesian students. They were working in their home country while we were working here. We were just sharing a part of the project plan.
Our final review of the project was not as expected. We were looking for companies that combine both techniques, but this 3D printing is not their main work (such as automotive companies or health care). But we found some others just focusing on 3D printing with recycled materials. Moreover, we centered out attention in Plastic as a recycled material, as it is one of the biggest waste in the world.
We did find companies doing filaments out of waste materials and companies making printers that use waste plastic. The project itself is a success, as we have several Business Models and we now know how all these companies work. Furthermore, we found a group of companies working together and using 3D printing with recycled materials. Some automobile companies buy items already done from other companies that work with recycled materials. That was a very positive point in our research, as we can know that some companies are trying to implement these two techniques and it will be a big step forward for the society and the world.
It was a pleasure to work in a Global Research Hatcheries as I had the opportunity to work with people all around the world and learn from all. It was a great experience that I definitely recommend. Piia is a very nice mentor and she knows how to guide the project to keep all students in the correct path.
Text: Sandra Castilla Molina