Industrial designer, innovator and entrepreneur ShanShan Wang is tackling some mega health science problems.
So many innovations start with a problem. For industrial designer, ShanShan Wang, that problem was “what on earth am I going to write my thesis on?”
The answer came in surprising form – she spotted a mother and young child, tugging around a large cylinder, which she later learned was for the supply of pure oxygen. After some research, ShanShan realised there hadn’t been much improvement to this method of delivery for a long time, despite many people needing to use O2 tanks daily. “I saw a problem, and I wanted to solve it,” she says.
ShanShan started her STEM journey by learning how to code in high school. Later, an arts and design tour at the MoMA gallery in New York exposed her to industrial design. ShanShan knew she wanted to make things that people would love to use, which led her to study industrial design at UNSW Sydney. ShanShan launched Roam Technologies – and a plan to convert air to O2 on demand, in a small, easy-to-transport device – the year after she graduated from university. She has since won more than five international design, entrepreneurship and innovation awards.
ShanShan says that looking at the big picture of a problem is vital for innovation. So, for her, one of the most exciting parts of this project was combining the device with data and closing the loop between hardware, software, and those working in the medical industry.
“It’s impactful health,” she says. “And this year, COVID-19 has exacerbated a lot of problems that we’re trying to solve, so it’s more important than ever.” She and her team are accelerating development of the device for regulation approval, before it is released to the wider market.
And it’s not the only health-based project ShanShan has been working on, either. This year she participated in a few hackathons, resulting in the creation of Elavo which is an integrated infection control system.
ShanShan’s advice for the next generation of innovators? “Try to figure out if your idea is a need or a want. If it’s a need, it will have a bigger impact on the world. As Steve Jobs said, make a dent in the universe.”
ShanShan’s study and career pathway to becoming an industrial designer
- Bachelor of Industrial Design, UNSW
- Industrial Designer, Forcite Helmet Systems
- Strategic Innovation, Sphere Healthcare
- Founder and CEO, Roam Technologies
Author: STEM Contributor
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