UTEC and Harvard’s Remote Workshop


UTEC students worked remotely as a second part of the 7th UTEC-SEAS Collaborative Program

For the second and final part of the 7th Collaborative Program between Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), UTEC students had to develop a prototype of a device that was designed within the past few months. This prototype is a portable device that measures the nitrogen content in a plant to help improve agriculture.

Under normal circumstances, UTEC students would have traveled and visited the Harvard laboratories (USA) for a week to build a prototype. However, due to the global pandemic and because of precautionary measures established by the local government, it was decided that students had to participate in the workshop remotely.

Under the leadership of Carlos Ríos, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UTEC, and Joost Vlassak, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Materials Engineering (SEAS), the program was redesigned to enable the students to gain as much knowledge as possible. 

Since the workshop was done remotely, students faced the challenge of building a prototype at home. This required the professors to ensure that the UTEC students received all the necessary tools, guidance, and feedback throughout the program. 

Gladys Cavero, a Bioengineering student at UTEC, shared with us some of her expectations at the beginning of the remote workshop: “Despite not having the opportunity to go to the Harvard labs, I know that the information that we are going to receive will be just as important.” UTEC students received talks via Zoom from Anas Chalah, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning (SEAS), Alvaro K. Zevallos Hauser, Undergraduate Research Intern-Mechanical Engineering Department (UTEC), and Guillermo Ghiglino Vásquez de Velazco, Undergraduate Research Assistant-Mechanical Engineering Department (UTEC). Topics included microfluidics, in-depth information about the u-SNAP device, an electronic circuit simulation and arduino programming workshop, and more.

With the talks and constant guidance from the professors, the UTEC students were able to successfully finish this program. It was indeed an unexpected circumstance for them and everyone involved, but they were excited to overcome it and make the most of it.