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Objective: to inspire and stimulate students for innovation and biosensors

SensUs is an international competition organised by students of the Eindhoven University of Technology. We challenge students from all over the world to develop new innovative biosensors to detect certain biomarkers. The aim is to stimulate education, innovation, and awareness in the field of biosensors and thereby improve health care. Currently, 13 international student teams are taking part in the SensUs competition which will take place on September 7th and 8th at the TU/e.

This year, SensUs is not only organising an international competition, but also a competition for high school students to further stimulate the impact of biosensors. We hope to encourage young talents for technology and all its diversity by stimulating the creativity of students by building real prototypes.

Last year, SensUs organised a pilot competition for high school students: the High Schools Project. This project inspired and stimulated students for innovation and biosensors and was a real success. Sixteen students from the Van Maerlantlyceum in Eindhoven took part in this competition. They worked together in small groups on a concept for biosensors in the field of heart failure. This year, the competition has grown to 3 different secondary schools in North Brabant (Stedelijk Gymnasium Breda, Van Maerlant Lyceum, and Frits Philips Lyceum). During this project, the pupils will focus on a biosensor in the field of antibiotics.

The pupils will develop concepts for biosensors that can detect the protein PBP2a. This is a protein that is excreted by bacteria. If you can detect PBP2a, this can give an indication whether a bacterial infection is decreasing or not after the use of antibiotics. The students work according to the TRIZ model (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). This method means that social needs and problems are identified and translated into new inventions. Eventually, the students will present their concepts alongside the international students at the SensUs event in September.

Tomorrow, Hans Baaijens (Signify) and Christoph Dobrusskin (Philips) In March, will tell all about the use of TRIZ for business as well as for education.

SensUs already organised a kick-off lecture for all participants of the High Schools Project. The pupils were told about the vision and goals of SensUs, the TRIZ model and what the assignment entailed. The pupils think that SensUs is a good initiative and that it is especially good that they work together in different international groups that all have the same goal: to improve health care. Everyone actually already knew the best-known biosensor for diabetics to measure glucose levels, but they didn’t think that biosensors could have a much wider impact on measuring all kinds of diseases and doing analyses. The pupils feel like working on their own concept, but realise that it will be difficult. They are eager to learn new things and to be part of the SensUs competition. Some are even considering a technical study.

This is what SensUs hopes to achieve with the High Schools Project: stimulating young talents for technology and for all its diversity. Only by participating in it can students really see what a technical study is all about. Not only can they get themselves oriented well in this way, but they also practice their soft skills, such as making scientific posters, working together in groups and giving presentations.

We look forward to all the new creativity and ideas that will come out of the High Schools Project!

In the coming months, E52 will regularly report on the preparations for SensUs 2018. This is what else we wrote about SensUs.