Hi my names Jaia and I’ll be talking to you about the IC4life programme which runs every half year.
What is it?
The IC4Life programme is in partnership with Coventry University and gives Coventry University students the opportunity to travel to a designated place in Europe and tackle a small problem over a week coming up with a design to better aid the world. Students meet up with other students from across Europe and partnered Universities who are from different and similar professions such as Occupational therapists, software/ automotive/ mechanical engineers, Computer science students, and product designers. Within the programme everyone is mixed up in groups of 6 and have the chance to design, prototype and present the product to a panel in a Dragons den style Pitch.
This year me and six other students from Coventry University ventured out to Hasselt in Belgium for 12 days. We are a mix of Mechanical and Automotive Engineers and had just finished our first year of Uni. Even though we stayed in a hostel, it was one of the nicest hostels out there, nearly like a modern hotel. And what’s not to like about Belgium? There’s beer, bikes, Belgium waffles, and French fries (Originally invented in Belgium)!
What did you do?
With the program itself we all warmed up to it, as each day required each of our specialities knowledge, so everyday a member of our group was an expert for the day with helping design the product. It was an amazing opportunity to work with international students who come from various backgrounds, as who knows where we may work in the future being engineers. The task set gave us different issues to resolve and create something for that problem. The issue my group faced was to create something to help aid a visually impaired/blind person in everyday life. With this we came up with our product called “Amicus” a voice activated interface placed at bus stops to allow the blind more access for traveling around unknown areas. And with my awesome group, “Innovare” we placed first and won the pitch!
Free exploring time?
You also get free time in Belgium to go out and explore, some of us headed to Brussels on the weekend which was great. There was plenty to do despite the weather, we visited chocolate museums and indulged on the free chocolate given, and visited beer museums, and the found the Manneken Pis (the pissing boy statue) which turns out wasn’t all that. But it was great heading down to the Irish pub with our new international friends for some drinks, karaoke, and a few free dinks on the staff.
How much did it cost and when’s the next one?
With funding from the University, the trip only cost each of us £100 to attend, par spending money for 12 days. The next trip runs in January 2018 and will be hosted here in Coventry! And a big thanks to Martin Lander, Nick Golsby, Mark Bevan, and EEC for organising it. It gave us all a good experience placing our learnt knowledge so far out into real world applications, also helping us to see what working with international people may be like, and also using some of our design knowledge from engineering. If any of you want to get involved with the trip next time, I recommend talking to Martin or Nic.
For more information about the Summer School Courses available click here.