Updated: Feb 28, 2019
It was a very long week for 47 students from the faculties of Health Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Business & Management worked in diverse teams to come up with marketable engineering solutions to medical challenges.
This ambitious endeavor was led by Dr. Stav Rosenzweig (Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management), Dr. Yair Zdaka and Dr. Kineret Oren (Faculty of Health Sciences) & Prof. Amir Shapira (Faculty of Engineering Sciences).
I chatted with Yaniv Knobel, a 3rd year student in the Department of System Engineering, who participated in this revolutionary course. This is his story.
Q: OK, tell me the truth, did you enjoy working with such a diverse team or did murder cross your mind at some point?
A: To sum it up - this week was insane. I think I've lost a few years of my life to stress, but I would undoubtedly do it all again if I had a chance. I was in a great team, we clicked right from the start and we managed to handle it all without even arguing once (I was truly shocked, we were so different from each other, but we got along so well!).
I did hear rumors of teams that were (VERY) close to committing murder so I guess I got very lucky with mine.
Q: What was your project about?
A: So, at first we thought about trying to help elderly people by putting a watch/band device on them so that it could monitor their vital signs 24/7, learn their habits and, with time, predict future situations.
But... The first day's judges kind of slapped us across the face, so we changed direction: We ended up with the same watch/band device, but one that is used in hospitals and monitors four vital signs to keep nurses from doing their rounds. It saves them a lot of time and allows better interaction with the patient (additionally, the nurse won't wake up patients at five in the morning just to put a plastic thing on their index fingers to check temperature and blood pressure). Also, we can prevent, or at least be aware of, someone reaching critical condition during the night, something that happens only in the ICU (a sad, sad reality).
Q: Name one new thing you learned, you didn’t know a week ago?
A: I would probably have to go with 'The Art of Research.' Most of the time was spent finding the right chip for our device or the right company to work with or how much would it cost to build an assembly line for the product. We got so deep with the research that I can, just of the top of my head, give you 5 alternative technologies to work with from the one we chose. It's crazy how lack of time and constant stress can motivate you to work.
Also, after 5 whole days, I can proudly say that I remember my teammates names!
**I have to admit, I was expecting to hear you learned something from the fields of medicine/management, kinda cool how the experience made you a better engineer.**
Q: I’m sure the week was not without challenges - many opinions, many disciplines; do you think this method should be applicable to other courses
A: DEFINITELY. First of all, the staff was so caring and supportive- I wish all of my courses had such amazing lecturers and staff members. If it weren't for them, my opinion would have been different- so that's a big part of that.
Secondly, the stress and the pressure did their job just right. I wish I've had more time some of the days (ALL OF THEM), but retrospectively, we did just fine. And again, my team was AMAZING, so our work flow wasn't interrupted by disagreements or arguments- it was pure work and stuffing our faces with sandwiches.
Q: What was the first thing you did when the week was over?
A: That night, on Thursday, I had a dinner date and then we all went to a bar (the people from the course). I was EXHAUSTED! I got back home and slept SO WELL! Friday and Saturday were very slow, very chill. A lot of tasty food, just to gather some energy (after all, we had been eating the best mediocre sandwiches on campus for 5 days straight).
Q: This, technically, is a 3-credit course, which you concluded completely 1 week before the semester even began (also, no exam 😉 ) – what are you going to do with the spare time during the semester?
A: I still have a full semester of courses to do, but to commemorate the hard work we've put into that week, I'll try to catch some sun on the campus lawns (who am I kidding, I'm Russian- we burn faster than BBQ, so probably more beer and maybe a minute or two of video games!!!)
I hope you enjoyed the 3-minute read about this amazing (almost) survival story. Wanna know what it was like for the TA (Metargelet)?