GradSWE Overseas, Liberia

The Final Day – LSWE Camp Day 8


Thursday 8/23/18

Courtney Wright, Mechanical Engineering, BSE ’18, SWE at UM

On Thursday morning, everyone arrived promptly at 9am for the LSWE Case Competition final presentations. Teams presented their solutions to the challenge posed by August Goanue from the Liberian Rural and Renewable Energy Agency—how to best overcome Liberia’s energy crisis by utilizing Liberia’s abundant supply of renewable energy. Judges for the final presentations included Augustus Moore—Dean of the University of Liberia College of Engineering, Dr. Aline Cotel— a Civil Engineering professor at the University of Michigan who helped start the partnership between UofM and UL through the US EHELD project in 2011, and Emily Aiken—a coordinator with the UofM International Programs In Engineering Office.

Our three judges – R2L: Dean Augustus S. Moore, Emily Aiken, Dr. Aline Cotel

The eight teams presented a wide range of innovative solutions incorporating solar, hydro, and biomass energy technology. Several teams analyzed how the construction of new hydropower plants, or the improvement of the existing Mt. Coffee hydropower plant through an added reservoir or reinforced transmission lines and substations, could expand Liberia’s energy capacity. Another team posed an action plan to collect unused fruit from rural farmers, and process this organic material to generate power for the grid. A few other teams explored the feasibility of off-grid solar panel systems for homes in rural areas, that could not otherwise be easily reached by transmission lines.

The audience was captivated by the speakers’ enthusiasm about their research, and eagerly answered each proposal with a barrage of questions. The judges were impressed by the work all of the students put into the presentations throughout the past week, and announced that the winners would be named at the final Networking Dinner on Monday night.

After lunch, Xiaohang gave a presentation about Civil Engineering and Ethics. Xiaohang is a Master’s student in Civil Engineering at UofM, and introduced the students to a range of famous engineering works, known either for their astounding success, or terrible failure.

Xiaohang presenting on Engineering Ethics

This last official day of camp was rounded out by a brief workshop about Goal Setting and Strategic Planning. Students discussed their personal and team SMART goals, and how they planned to achieve them. LSWE members also had an opportunity to review the National SWE and UofM Chapter Strategic Plans, and began drafting several strategic objectives for their own chapter.

LSWE SUCCESS Camp members in front of the University of Liberia’s Engineering Building

After dinner, some of the LSWE students challenged each other to a dance-off and invited several the UofM students to join. Celebrations that evening included the singing of several patriotic Liberian songs, since the following day was a national holiday—Flag Day.

GradSWE Overseas, Liberia

“Hands” On Engineering – LSWE Camp Day 7

Wednesday, 8/22/2018

Xiaohang Ji, Civil Engineering, MSE, GradSWE at UM

Start up with our morning with small sandwiches and boiled eggs, a brand new day comes!

Our breakfast of sandwiches and boiled eggs

In the morning, students continued to work on the FM Radio. There are a lot of additional information included in the FM Radio handout booklet. Students also put some time on reading the instructions and background knowledge. They tried their best to solder the elements on the circuit boards. After they finish soldering, most of the students wanted to keep them. Some of them from electrical engineering and related majors said that they had learned about the knowledge of the FM Radio, but they didn’t have access to do it by their own hands. Students pressured about the chance to make a FM Radio by themselves. As they were making on the FM Radio, they got a better understanding about the basic of the theories. As for the students from other different majors, they also felt this session was a good chance for them to learn about other engineering majors.

For lunch, we had chicken with potato leaves soup with rice and papaya, which provided our energy for the coming afternoon.

Our lunch of potato greens, rice, and papaya

Graduate School Application session began at the beginning of afternoon. This session started with two reflection questions: What do you know about graduate school? What have you heard about graduate school? After a warm discussion, Chris gave us an example by sharing what her academic career was. Based on her own experience, she showed the students how to write a good personal statement. As for other parts of graduate school application, Chris and Xiaohang gave tips of preparing letter of recommendation, CV, GRE and funding.

After the Graduate Program Application workshop, Lauren held her biomedical hand activity. Before everything starts, Lauren showed us a funny video of computer based walking pattern of different animals, which successfully draw the tensions of students. And then she explained to us how the nerves work in our hands, and then taught us how to make a hand model. Here’s the hands that students made.

Time flies. A day with a good combination of engineering activities and workshops ended. On our way back to dormitory, beautiful clouds showed up. What a fulfill and wonderful day!