2018-06-04 05:00:00 2018-06-05 04:59:00 SPH 2 Mr Mohsin Ahamed took a leap of faith - and a 24-hour flight to Brazil - after a video conference call with a coordinator at an aerospace company.

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Mr Mohsin Ahamed took a leap of faith - and a 24-hour flight to Brazil - after a video conference call with a coordinator at an aerospace company.

"The design challenge sounded interesting. I was also eager to experience living in a foreign culture for an extended period of time," said the 23-year-old final-year engineering product development student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Together with a Singaporean teammate, he started a three-month product design internship last year at Embraer in Sao Paulo. The pair were tasked with re-designing the layout of an aircraft cabin to fit more passengers in the same space without skimping on comfort.

Mr Mohsin learnt to use a 3D modelling software called Catia to create virtual prototypes of his seating concepts. In his last few weeks, he visited a nearby aeronautical university to make 3D printouts of his designs.

"I was able to exchange ideas for the project, as well as exchange cultures with the students there," he said.

His final design expanded the plane's seating capacity by 296 seats - topping his goal of 230. His plans did not always work. Some - like those with aisles that were too narrow - did not keep to flight regulations. "Every week I changed my idea. By the end, I had like 20 different ones."

Mr Mohsin also appreciated the Brazilian hospitality. "I met new people and made friends easily. Most could speak only moderate English...I tried to talk to them in conversational Portuguese," he said, before recounting a solo jaunt to Lapa, Rio's nightlife district. "A mixed group of tourists and locals took me to the largest open air club in Rio... These spontaneous friendships are common wherever you go in Brazil."

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