SAINTGITS has entered into a collaborative program with California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA in the area of Product Design for the Developing World. This academic partnership has facilitated the SAINTGITS students to team up with Caltech students in identifying the needs of the rural consumer in order to design products that are affordable to the consumer. The ongoing course on Product Design is scheduled for the Fall Quarter 2010 (September to December, 2010). Seven teams each comprising of Caltech students and SAINTGITS Mechanical Engineering and Business students are working on seven distinct projects. Dr. Ken Pickar (Professor) and Michelle Jiang (TA) from Caltech, along with Dr. Jason Cherian Issac and Vinay Mathew John from SAINTGITS are the instructors for this course. Video conferencing using Polycom system is the medium for course delivery and interaction between the international student teams. The student teams are also involved in market research so that their efforts lead to new products for the rural consumer that will aid in income generation thereby improving the lives of the people at the 'bottom of the pyramid'. The collaborative program with Caltech provides a great experience for Saintgits students to work with the students and faculty of world's number one technical university, exposing them to learning at a different cultural and technical background.

A joint project 'New Product Development for Developing World'  by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with Saintgits College of Engineering and Saintgits Institute of Management  started in 2010 is in progress.  This year, subsequent to the video conference series for a period of three months from May 2011, joint teams of students of Saintgits College of Engineering and Saintgits Institute of Management undertook a study of the small scale industry to identify process/product improvement areas.

A group of three faculty and eight students of California Institute of Technology and its Art Center led by Prof. Kenneth Pickar visited Kerala for a   two week period in August- September 2011 to study the identified projects together with the Saintgits teams. Each day of the visit a stock taking session was held to review the major observations of the visit and to identify potential projects with evaluation criteria for projects being Do-ability,Impact, Technical value, Marketability and Interest of teams.
Further, the project continued through e-learning platforms and video conferencing sessions which included project presentations, lectures on product development and marketing, discussion sessions and proto type design. Professor Dr. Jason Cherian Issac and  Asst Professor Vinay Mathew John  of Saintgits College of Engineering and Professor Thomas Varghese  of Saintgits Institute of Management co-ordinated the joint program on behalf of Saintgits. The product developments based on select projects are under way.

Saintgits College of Engineering, Saintgits Institute of Management and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA has been working together on a project 'Product Design for Developing World', for the past three years. The joint team identifies problem areas including products and processes, where economic, mechanical solutions can improve productivity, reduce hazards and create better earning potential to lower segments of society. This year, the team of eleven students and faculty from Caltech led by Professor Kenneth Pickar visited Kerala for a ten day period from 3rd to 12th September and along with team of students & professors from engineering and management of Saintgits, visited about thirty organizations to study processes
and products. Compared to manufacturing units in 2011, this year, NGOs were an area of focus.

Based on the projects identified, students will work on project assessment, prototype development and product development through collaborative teams of Caltech, Caltech-Art Centre, Saintgits Engineering and MBA over the period.




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