Students of University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang for the third time in a row won the first prize in the EPICS-2020 Contest with the versatile life jacket



On June 22, at the American Center of the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, a group of students from the University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang (Dam Tien, Ba Thang, Da Thao, Le Nha and Nhan Tam) were honored to be named the first winner of the Engineering Projects in Community Services (EPICS) Contest in 2020 for students of Vietnamese universities (technical and technological sector) with the project of versatile life jacket products (sCoat).


sCoat project presentation group


The unique and practical idea of the project was that the GPS integrated technology product is not only a life vest to help fishermen feel secure to go to sea but also to assist in searching and rescuing in urgent situations. With the same form as normal life jackets but thanks to special interior design  of neck and two arms floats, along with the CO2 compressed air system which allows t to inflate the life jacket and helps users self-float on water.


US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink

appreciates the ideas of sCoat project


The back of the jacket is also fitted with reflective panels, horn devices, lights and a small knife to help fishermen in distress can use to get the attention of the means of rescue and survival support in case of getting lost in the accident. These are fit snugly inside to retrieve to use for survival if the user ever get lost after the accident. With the support features and appropriate form, compact, not affecting the normal operations of fishermen, sCoat products bring new experiences, it is appreciated and expected to be a safe companion for fishermen as well as seafarers.


Useful sCoat product with many preeminent features


The sCoat design concept came from a practical experience at Tho Quang fishing port, Danang city and was told the story by Mr. Loi about his colleague who was missing and died at sea due to the waves, Dam Quang Tien shared. According to Dr. Nguyen Thi Anh Thu, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology (FAST), University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang, who is also a guide and consultant for the project development team, the price of each sCoat’s life jacket is 450,000 VND which is acceptable for the income of potential customers who are professional seafarers. According to the project, the team will focus on promoting and developing product in the Danang market in the first 6 months, then within 1 year the team will expand the product to the Central Coast region and expect to spread nation-wide after 2 years of implementation.


The process of field trips at fishing ports and

protective clothing store for project planning


Upon receiving the honorary award from the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Vietnam, Mr. Daniel J. Kritenbrink, representative of the student author group of the University of Science and Technology -  The University of Danang, said: “This is a great effort of the group with the support of lecturers, and the creative process has helped our group learn a lot of useful things; At this moment, the feeling of bursting with joy and the joy of multiplying when thinking about this useful product will help bring the safety for fishermen in our country. We hope that sCoat will be welcomed and have more support to successfully develop that comes to life and serves the community as humanitarian meaning of the product and this contest.”


The sCoat project author group

University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang


Tien shared, ”All volunteers feel comfortable and safe to experience this life jacket in the tests. Speaking at the awards ceremony, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, who visited the Maker Innovation Space -UD on the occasion of the APEC Summit in Danang city), has recognized and appreciated the ideas and projects of Vietnamese students, including the students from the University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang, that they are not only creative but also practical and feasible through this "playground" and can promote the development of community service talents and sustainable cooperation on education and science between the two countries.


Taking a photo after the awards ceremony


EPICS is a prestigious contest held annually by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University (ASU) and the STEM Dow Program in collaboration with universities training in various fields and leading technology in Vietnam, attracting a large number of talented students to attend such as: University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang, University of Science and Technology – Vietnam National University, HCMC University of Technology and Education, Industrial University of HCM city (all in Ho Chi Minh City), Can Tho University, Lac Hong University, Dong Nai University... 09 teams presented simulation of innovative products in front of experts, business representatives to call for investment capital for products and projects this year, which are assessed to have high scientific value and practical applications such as: sCoat versatile life jackets, shoes for the blind, safety insecticide sprayers, anti-blind software for truck and container drivers... This is the 3rd consecutive year, students of University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang won the first prize in this Contest (First Prize of Smart Mattress EPICS 2018, First prize in EPICS Showcase 2019).


Through EPICS, students can apply their knowledge and skills in many technical fields to come up with ideas, design and implement solutions and projects through which they can experience and develop many necessary skills (teamwork, decision making, leadership, strategic planning, project defense presentations, etc.), from that they have more practical experience before becoming a global citizen, adapting to the requirements of the domestic and international labor market which is increasingly competitive.


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