Issue.32.Boeing_SP

The Boeing Patent Awards recipients with Singapore Polytechnic Principal and Chief Executive Officer Tan Choon Shian, Manging Director & General Manager of Jeppesen Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Boeing, Mr Gardiner V Porter and Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling.

What began as a few abstract ideas by six Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students gradually evolved into innovative in-flight solutions that may be included in a suite of fittings for Boeing’s new planes in future.

US aerospace giant Boeing Company (Boeing) has patented three inventions from these students – who come from a mix of engineering, business and design backgrounds – and even named them as co-inventors. This is the result of a successful partnership between SP and Boeing, the first collaboration of its kind between the plane maker and a Singapore education institute.

The students’ ideas for the inventions were developed during a five-week programme in 2013 where they worked with Boeing researchers and multiple teams of cabin crew to identify common problems faced by the crew during flights. Through interviews and user-centric studies, the students were able to design three unique in-flight solutions that fit Boeing’s needs and improve crew safety and productivity.

One was a redesign of a plane’s larder compartments for easier retrieval of food and drinks while another was a cover for aircraft galley sinks to create more workspace. The third idea featured a locking system with visual indicators that allow cabin crew to tell at a glance which storage compartments are open or closed, saving time for the maintenance and flight crew who need to check the compartments before each flight.

In recognition of their key contributions, the students were presented with The Boeing Patent Award during the opening of SP’s new AeroHub. The Aerohub, a new aerospace training facility located on campus, aims to provide SP’s Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering (DARE) and Diploma in Aerospace Electronics (DASE) students with an authentic, hands-on learning experience. The four-storey building houses facilities such as a flight simulator room and an engine maintenance room, plus four life-size aircraft.

More collaborations between the school and industry players are in store in 2016, as Singapore Polytechnic works together with key aerospace partners to offer enhanced internships for their students. Through these 16 to 18-week attachments, students will get the opportunity to intern at over 10 aviation companies, including Bombadier Aerospace, Thales and SIA Engineering. They can also look forward to working on close to 20 real-life industry projects and benefit from the mentorship of experienced professionals.

Said Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry at the opening of the Aerohub: “With authentic learning experiences coming from both the state-of-the-art environment of the AeroHub, and the wealth of knowledge of the engineers during the enhanced internships, together with multi-disciplinary projects, I believe that SP students will be better placed to master skills to maximise their potential and achieve their career aspirations.”