Author: Helene Lipp -

One of the great opportunities the MSc Engineering Business Management and MSc Innovation & Technology Management offer are the Practice Track project. Practice Track helps to translate what students have learned during the year to a real project. You work with an actual, innovative company as part of a multicultural team.

The project
The company in our Practice Track is Somnus Scientific and they are developing a real-time blood propofol monitor. It will increase patient safety by showing that the drug is being delivered to the patient and assess how deeply the patient is sedated. The monitor will stop the use of anesthetic gasses, making a significant contribution to managing the climate crisis.

Our team
Our team consists of 3 nations. Simon, Shidi and Eric are from China, Nancy is from Taiwan and I am from Germany.

We all had different reasons to choose this Somnus Scientific project. Due to COVID-19, Simon has developed a strong interest in medical technologies and wants to further understand and study them. Nancy is excited about how medical development has been highly focused for many decades. She believes that it would be valuable to show that high-tech and innovation are also implemented in the medical industry.  Eric wants to apply the business theory he learnt on his course to a practical project.

I believe that because it is a startup for a new medical device, the processes will be dynamic and will leave a lot of room for creativity and strategic thinking. And Shidi’s personal preferences made him choose the project.

Challenges of working remotely
Time differences limit our meeting schedules and make it difficult to work efficiently or address problems immediately. Accessing SharePoint is not always possible and we sometimes have internet connection issues. Concentration, motivation and productivity are easily affected by this remote working environment as there are many distractions to struggle with.

One of the key challenges is the possibility of misunderstandings and miscommunication which may happen more than in face-to-face meetings, because we can’t understand others’ emotions as easily through the screen. For people who are shy it is even more challenging as it can be difficult to find the courage to speak up. It's difficult to estimate if we are moving on too fast or too slow or whether someone needs more time to reconsider things.

We agree that the Practice Track this year is more challenging than normal. But it also offers a lot of possibilities to explore the core issues and to develop better remote working in the future.

Posted in: Department of Mechanical Engineering, msc, Postgraduate, Student projects

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