A massive congratulations to one of our Level 3 Electronic and Electrical Engineering students, James Zaremba, who has been chosen as one of the EW BrightSparks of 2020!
This annual program led by the Electronics Weekly highlights the brightest and most talented young Electronics Engineers in the UK today. James was nominated and selected among 64 entrants to win this prestigious award with his design project – A low cost battery powered personal computer for rural schools.
As the College of Engineering, we are immensely proud of James and his achievements, and he is a testament of the high quality, innovative and ambitious students we have as a university here at Swansea.
More about James' project:The unit which has been also implemented and tested is novel and unique in the way it integrates Raspberry Pi with a micro-projector and several other components. It provides all functionality expected from a portable personal computing device, including high resolution display and rich connectivity. The design is very compact (86 x 113 x 62mm) and it has relatively low energy consumption (less than 12W), so it can operate for approximately 1.5 hours. With further optimisations, it is likely that the device can be reduced to a pocket size whilst achieving much lower energy consumption.
The original idea for James’ project was to design a small, low cost personal computer for use in rural schools around the world. Although there have been many projects of this kind previously, none of these devices appear to achieve the compactness of James’ design. Having a mini-projector on-board enables to create a sharp display on smooth surfaces which is much larger than a screen on a typical laptop computer. Such configuration is beneficial and can be utilised in various scenarios including not only classrooms, but also during travel and outdoors. For instance, scientists on a field trip in remote areas may carry this type of personal computer as it is easy to make the design very light-weight, and at the same time very sturdy, as well as water and dust-proof. The devices integrating a computer with a projector could also be placed in public places for information and advertising purposes. However, the main purpose would be for classroom teaching as it may be possible to equip every seat in a classroom with the device.
Overall, this project is a great example of how the ingenuity of our students can combine known solutions in new, highly innovative ways, and help the world to be a better place. James is now well positioned to take his design further and find out whether he has what it takes to become an entrepreneur and turn his level 3 project into a commercial enterprise successful in the market.
Interested in becoming an Electronic and Electrical Engineer like James?
Check out our portfolio of Electronic and Electrical Engineering courses here at Swansea University.
8th April 2020.