A move to Ireland for his undergraduate studies in the mid 2000s has allowed Shibo to follow an entrepreneurial, innovative and educational path in Waterford
Assistant lecturer in Engineering Technology Department in WIT Shibo Cai, came to Waterford to study Electronic Engineering at WIT has recently gone on to inspire secondary school students as founder of Creartinno Education y & Innovation Technology.
The company provides high-quality advanced STEAM education to secondary-level students.
Shibo has completed all his academic studies at WIT. The BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering degree in 2008, and his Masters degree in Electronic Engineering in 2009. Now he is also doing PhD study in the Nanotech Research Group in the Department of Engineering Technology Department at WIT.
Here he reflects on his decision to move to Waterford:
“Many years ago, I was a student of WIT, many years later I am still a ‘student’ of WIT, perhaps this well-defined the meaning of Lifelong learning. It seems that my life has deeply bonded with this institute, and it seems will be bonded deeper. Sometimes people say that if you stay somewhere too long, then you will become a part of it. I think it is actually happening to me.
As a former international student, I very much appreciate the education and learning experience I have got from this institute. I am even more grateful to the trust of the institute to let me become a member of the faculty of the Engineering Technology department. I started my lecture work in 2011. This part-time lecturing opportunity opened the door of a completely new world to me. I found I am very enjoying my lecturing work and wish to continue as my life career. In 2015, I officially become a whole-time lecturer in Engineering Technology Department.
“From the beginning of my lecturing work, I start to focus on the teaching method development and student learning experience. After lots of talks and discussions with students, and thoroughly thinking through all the resources and background, I decided to focus on drone innovative technology as my education approach. So I start to introduce drone technology within my lecturing material. I have established the Drone Race Club in WIT. I also organized many exciting drone race events for students to participate in and experience the fun of what technology can give.
Career break for company founder
In order to promote Engineering Technology Education, in 2019, I took one-year career break and established the company, Creartinno Education & Innovation Technology. Creartinno, stands for CREative, ARTistic and INNOvation. The company mainly providing advanced STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education to secondary students. Our advanced STEAM education courses are highly related to drone technology. It also involved many Engineering Technology areas such as drone concept design, 3D modelling, 3D print, Arduino electronics, programming, measurement and sensors. I wish my effort will to inspire more secondary-level students to choose Engineering Technology for their third-level education and to build themselves a great future.
One of the important things about Creartinno is that it is not only providing STEAM education to teenagers but also offers professional skill-based development project work to college students.
This one of the dreams that I have had during my undergraduate education. When I was an undergraduate student, I worked a lot for part-time jobs to support my living expense and savings for college fees. But all my work was normal part-time jobs such as work in Tesco, Burger King, Woodies etc. I always dreamed that I could work for a technical job that related to my professional knowledge and skills when I was an electronic engineering undergraduate student. So that I could enhance my knowledge and professional experience. However, there never was such an opportunity.
Creartinno offers project-development-based technical work to college students. The students who are learning engineering technology course that have the essential knowledge of electronics or mechanics are all welcome to participate.
Upskilling college students in STEAM education delivery
We will evaluate the quality of the project work. For those who complete the work to a high standard, we will offer a professional training programme. The student will learn the education principle and concept of STEAM education. The training will also guide them on how to develop the STEAM education course so that they can develop their own teaching material. Maybe one day, they will work as an educational engineer who will teach more young people about engineering technology.”