HKU and Peking University host joint capstone design project

Aug 15, 2016

The Faulty of Engineering, HKU, joined hands with the College of Engineering of Peking University (PKU) to offer two inter-institutional capstone design projects for undergraduate students in the academic year 2015-16, under the China 1000 Exchange Programme. Two groups of students formed by both HKU and PKU completed design projects in offering solutions to real life engineering problems, under the supervision of both HKU and PKU scholars. The pilot run of the scheme proved to be a success as participants enjoyed the cultural and academic exchange with their counterparts, and the deliverables attracts the interest from the industry.

Alongside the close collaboration between HKU and PKU in scientific studies, the two institutions organized their first joint university capstone design project in the academic year of 2015-2016. A group of six students, three from HKU (supervised by Dr. Anderson Shum) and three from PKU (supervised by Professor Yanyi Huang), worked side-by-side to propose solutions to two seemingly different problems: generation of droplets generation and breakup of liquid bridges.

Through a year of hard works, the two teams came up with a common solution to the two different projects. They have experimentally verified that the two problems can be solved using a simple yet low cost technique by connecting a motor to the dispensing nozzle in different relative positions, the two forces, shear force and centrifugal force, in the rotation process can either be used to generate droplets (FIG. 1) or to break up liquid bridges (FIG. 2).

Students from both sides worked closely through constant Skype meetings and regular trips back and forth. In an interview performed after their project presentation, the students, with their smiles of satisfaction, say in unison that the project was a great opportunity for them to experience collaborative research, and it should be sustained in the future to strengthen the collaboration between HKU and PKU. Other than making great friends abroad, the collaboration became a good source of cultural exchange with China as well.



FIG.1: a) Schematics of rotation position. b) Droplets generating in experiment.



FIG.2: a) Schematic of a rotating liquid dispensing nozzle. b) Experimental demonstration of the breakup of a liquid bridge.

FIG.3: Group photo of the joint capstone design project presentation; Dr. Anderson Shum (2nd from right)

Under the supervisor of Dr. Kaibin Huang from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, a team of undergraduate students from the same department has collaborated with another team from Peking University to demonstrate the potential of a new technology, called Wi-Fi Direct, in enabling peer-to-peer gaming between mobile phones. The issue of the conventional approach that rely on cellular networks to connect mobile phones is the long latency that causes difficulty in fast peer-to-peer gaming. WiFi Direct is new device-to-device (D2D) technology that establishes direct low-latency links between mobile devices bypassing cellular networks. This technology is envisioned to be widely deployed in next-generation networks feature D2D communications as well as Internet-of-Things. In this project, the students from the two institutes have worked closely together to successfully develop a prototype implementing an interactive Gomoku game between two mobile phones using WiFi Direct with low latency (see FIG. 4). The implication of this project is much broader and shows that Wi-Fi Direct is a promising technology for future D2D communications and has huge market potential.


FIG. 4

Dr. Kaibin Huang (2nd from right) and his team