Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Republic of China This year, Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Republic of China (STAM) is honored to host 2018 Asia Pacific Mechanics Contest for College Students. STAM’s mission is to advance academic research and engineering application in mechanics by actively promoting academic communication and holding regular mechanics competitions, which provide a platform for students to strengthen scientific knowledge, polish interpersonal skills, and enhance technological literacy.
STAM is a nonprofit membership organization that comprises of Taiwanese experts from diverse fields in mechanics. In 2001, STAM materialized the establishment of the science popularization committee, whose main responsibility is to promote public understanding of mechanics and science communication. From 2002 to 2014, STAM, in cooperation with several educational institutions, devoted to organize national senior high school mechanics competition in Taiwan. Due to the growing demands from research institutes like universities, college students are required to equip with the necessary technological capabilities as well as hands-on experience. Since 2015, STAM undertook the effort to initiate national mechanics contests for Taiwanese college students. In 2018, this contest has been upgraded to an international one. Through this contest, students from all over the Asia Pacific countries can have a chance to collaborate, create, and develop communication skills to advance knowledge in mechanics.
Mechanics is the basis of engineering science and is highly related to our daily life. It usually includes dynamics (wave propagation including) and control, materials and solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, energy systems, environmental earth sciences, medical engineering, etc. Those subjects are the main courses in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, naval engineering, vehicle engineering, engineering science, applied mathematics, etc. Since classical mechanics are no longer sufficient to satisfy human desire toward unknown technological territory, new areas, e.g., nanomechanics, modal control, macromolecular structure, molecular dynamics, biomechanics and nonlinear mechanics, have been further developed. Nowadays, the new generation of engineering application emphasizes on integrating the knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy and biology. To achieve this goal, interdisciplinary incorporation and innovation in technology become more and more important.
Although mechanics has been widely used in engineering applications, the general public has not well acquainted with the concepts of mechanics. In fact, there are a lot of simple and interesting phenomena related to mechanics in our daily life, e.g. the frequency change in siren sound of ambulance/police car, construction of arch bridge, high frequency wide band ultrasonic devices, the development of atomic force microscopes, etc. In an era of knowledge-based economy, the undergraduate education must focus on not only the in-class lectures/activities but also out-of-class homework/projects. By actively promoting public science education, students can have an opportunity to get to know engineering-related subjects and develop a strong interest in mechanics research.
In order to enhance design-driven innovation capability of college students in Taiwan, STAM in conjunction with universities had proposed national mechanics contests for college students since 2015. This year, this contest becomes an international one due to the new southward policy proposed by the Taiwanese government. Students from countries of the Asia Pacific region are welcome to participate in this competition. Through this contest, domestic and international college students can have a chance to mutually collaborate and compete. Also, students can engage their imagination, passion and creativity to technology innovations.
2018 Asia Pacific Mechanics Contest for College Students – Preliminary Round (only required for Taiwanese students)
The preliminary round is open to all college students, i.e., undergraduate and graduate, majoring in mechanics related departments in Taiwan. A written exam that evaluates basic mechanics knowledge and ability will be held at National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University, and National Cheng Kung University in early July. Students could choose the place to take the exam depending on their preference. Two basic subjects are included in the exam, i.e., Mechanics of Materials and Fluid Mechanics. The participants could choose either one or two subjects. All participants must complete the online registration form and pay the registration fee. The students who get an excellent grade on the written exam will be invited to participate in the final round without any extra charge. For international students, there is no preliminary round.
2018 Asia Pacific Mechanics Contests for College Students – Final Round
At the beginning of the final round, there would be a welcome reception and orientation to settle all the participants. In the final round, mechanics hackathon, which includes training workshops and a hands-on competition, will take place in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). The contest campaign will last for three days (Aug. 15-17, 2018). Training workshops includes forums in which students can be engaged in discussing mechanics-related subjects with experts and seminars in which scientists/engineers will share their knowledge on cutting-edge technology in mechanics. Hopefully, students would be greatly enlightened and are able to explore the infinite possibilities in mechanics applications through these activities. The hands-on competition is on the team basis of 5-6 participants. The teams will come up with design based on the contest requirements, perform tests and brainstorm for the improved designs. Through several iterations, the team must deliver an oral presentation on their design concepts and the final team designs will subject to test. The presentation and test results will be evaluated to determine the ranking.
This contest is open to all college students from countries of the Asia Pacific region. The international students could register as a team or individual without any registration fee. A team must be comprised of 5-6 students. During the period of mechanics hackathon, international participants will be arranged to stay at the NCKU student dormitory. All international participants will be insured during the contest. Taiwanese participants are selected from those perform well in preliminary round. The competition team could be formed by both Taiwanese and international students to enhance communication and creativity. One assistant will be assigned to each team to provide necessary help. In March 2018, STAM will launch the website for publicity campaign and establish a contact window for Asia Pacific universities. The organizer will invite the general public, especially junior and senior high school students, to take part in the final competition, which will take place at the last day of the mechanics hackathon. This would be a good chance for high school students to have some understanding about mechanics. To further enhance the impact of this contest, the competition will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube to outreach the general public.