Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Budweiser and College Life

May 19, 2010

At our hotel this morning, we were greeted by five students from the Imperial College of London at our hotel.
May 19, 2010

At our hotel this morning, we were greeted by five students from the Imperial College of London at our hotel. The Imperial College is one that focuses on science and technology. The activities there are concentrated in the South Kensington campus, just across Hyde Park. When we arrived at the campus, we had lunch at the Union in Imperial College, where we were given 5 pound vouchers.

Lunch by the Union with Imperial College students.

After lunch, we received lectures from a professor, Richard Syms, and a Postdoc, Alex Cassan. They each introduced us to the research they were conducting. Despite the fact that the lecture room was several floors up, we took the stairs because (according to the student guides) the elevators were slow. Professor Richard Syms talked about biomedical applications of Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS).

Richard Syms gives a lecture about Bio-MEMS.

The second lecturer, Alex Cassan talked about medical applications of electronic engineering. His research group did ASIC design, analog circuit design, digital circuit design, PCB design, algorithm design, and performance testing and statistics. Although the research spanned a large area, Cassan only described miniaturized EEGs which are much like cardiograms, except they measure brain waves.

Students listen to postdoc Alex Cassan's lecture

After the lectures, we were given a tour of the electrical and electronic engineering (EEE) laboratories. Among the many projects we saw was a third year design project constructed by undergraduate students at Imperial College. The project was a computer-controlled musical instrument made of Budweiser bottles. Controllable air pumps were fed into the lips of the bottles. The tones were adjusted by varying the amount of liquid in each bottle. To prevent evaporation, the liquid was a chemical much more toxic than beer.

Students listen to Budweiser music-machine playing "La Bamba"

The students finally brought us to the London Eye, or the Millenium Wheel. At the top of it, we had a far-reaching panoramic view of London.

The group and Imperial College students at the London Eye