After the Christmas holidays I had to hand in several assignments and sit for seven exams. This semester I am focusing much more on my project and have just four study units.
For my final year individual project I am developing a modular and ergonomic instrument handle for use in minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures. In February I had meetings with a few medical device supplier representatives and with a plastic surgeon. Through this I got a good idea of what instrument handles are currently being used and their good and bad features.
I was fortunate enough to be given some samples which I disassembled and used for benchmarking. I then got busy working on the Quality Function Deployment (QFD), the Product Design Specification (PDS) and the morphological chart. Over the Easter holidays I worked hard on various concept sketches.
In parallel with the design aspect of my project is the writing aspect, which I enjoy doing. It is good to see everything coming together nicely in the form of a dissertation. I am learning how important it is to be very organised, and to keep track of all the work I am doing using a logbook.
In March I attended a conference organised by the Malta Council for Science and Technology regarding the launch of a National Research Strategy for Manufacturing. It was very interesting to listen to the opinion of people from different manufacturing sectors. I am keeping up my involvement with the Malta Student Ramblers and Insite (our student media organisation on campus). The ramblers organised two hikes during the term - one was in February in pouring rain, and the other in March in brilliant sunshine.
I have written a few more articles for Insite and also helped with distributing the magazine to colleges in Malta. I am a keen long-distance runner and am really enjoying my stress-busting runs. Unfortunately a lot of students tend to reduce the amount of exercise they do as deadlines approach but I try and do the opposite.
Next time I write I will have finished my degree and the World Cup will be over. My degree has been sandwiched between two World Cups. My degree course started a few months after the last World Cup and this time round I'll be sitting for my final exams... hours away from completing my undergrad degree.