—By Kwanjit Sudsawad and June Coates
In May, university students across Thailand participated in the country’s first unmanned aerial-vehicle contest, the Thai Aerial Mission Engineering Challenge. The contest was jointly organized by Seagate, the Royal Thai Air Force, the Thai Robotics Society and King Mongkut’s University of Technology of North Bangkok.
Sixteen teams competed for a $100,000 baht ($3,208) prize. During the competition, unmanned flying robots were tested in a variety of challenges, such as carrying a golf ball, dropping the ball in a specific area and landing in the same spot. Teams were evaluated on their ability to build and operate the aircraft.
“As the contest sponsor, our ultimate goal is to support higher standards of excellence and help develop the next generation of scientists and technologists,” said Jeff Nygaard, SVP, heads operations at Seagate. “We were amazed by the quality of talent at this year’s competition.”
As part of the contest activity, students visited the Royal Thai Air Force Museum and Korat Air Force Base.
Also in May, students from 10 Northern Ireland schools took part in a challenge to create art with a storage theme. The art competition (students could work in several mediums, such as painting, sculpting, photography or computer animation) was held as part of Seagate’s recent 20th anniversary celebration for its Springtown operation.
First place honors—and a cash prize of £500 ($760)—went to 13-year-olds Jack Foley and Edward Karran. They created a new visual take on “Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo DaVinci. “Our objective was to take the viewer into a consideration of how the ‘average’ boy can be consumed by technology and how technology is paralleled in our DNA,” Foley explained.
Their work (and others) was displayed at Seagate’s Springtown plant.
Fergus O’Donnell, senior engineering director at Seagate, said that he and the other judges were impressed by the entries.
“Creative thinking is of the utmost importance in our industry so we were vastly encouraged to see this depth and range of creativity from our local young people,” O’Donnell said. “These students are already showing the sort of qualities that we hope to see from future employees. Perhaps some of those who exhibited their work will return as adults to build creative careers with Seagate.”