Many students dream of hopping a plane to backpack across Europe or relax on an exotic beach. Not Matt Rendall, a Waterloo mechanical and mechatronics engineering grad now an MBET student who packed his bags this summer and traveled to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It was a fitting trip for Matt, whose fourth-year thesis project topic explored using landmine detection robots to sniff out the deadly instruments. Cambodia remains one of the hardest hit locations in the world and when Matt visited the country’s landmine museum, he knew his vacation destination was a good one.
“It was really interesting to be at the heart of one of these problem areas after doing all the research for a solution,” he says now.
Landmine detection wasn’t his only success as an undergraduate student. He and three teammates won first place for their virtual button technology in the innovation design category at the Ontario Engineering Competition. Put simply, using micro-sensors and vibrational mechanics, a virtual button can be placed on nearly any surface. No touch screen required.
It a perfect piece of technology for people who have problems with dexterity or are unable to push traditional buttons easily.
Matt who is enrolled in Waterloo Engineering’s Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program admits he enjoys helping people through his work.
“If I can make a difference and still put food on the table, I couldn’t ask for anything else,” he says.