Engineering students representing four (4) tertiary institutions in Nigerian competed in the finals of the competition and team UNN emerged the winner receiving a cash prize of N1 million.
Forty-five (45) tertiary institutions were shortlisted for the competition, out of which four made it to the finals in Aba.
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA), Federal University Otuoke (FUOTUOKE) and University of Nigerian Nsukka (UNN) were the finalists and are ranked according to their performance (scores) in the competition:
1st University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
2nd Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH)
3rd Federal University Otuoke (FUOTUOKE)
4th Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA)
The Nigerian Genius
The Nigerian Genius Engineering Competition (Campus Edition) brought together Nigeria’s brightest minds in tertiary institutions to solve Nigeria’s toughest engineering and manufacturing challenges.
Tochukwu Chukwueke, the Lead Coordinator of Nigerian Genius, spoke to TechEconomy.ng about the process of the event:
“They learnt Advanced Engineering Skills from industry experts and were given access to Precision Manufacturing Equipment at CLINTONEL Advanced Engineering Centre Aba to build engineering and manufacturing solutions for Nigeria.
“These young geniuses spent two weeks at the CLINTONEL Advanced Engineering Centre Aba undergoing intensive training on engineering and different manufacturing processes including: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Product Design and Development, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), 3D Printing, Laser Engraving, Laser Cutting, CNC lathe machining, CNC 4-axis Machining, Welding, Fabrication, Metal Casting, etc.
“A team of experts mentored and guided the students (contestants) for the 2-week period as they deploy the skills acquired to design and build different engineering products and solutions.
“To facilitate industry-academia collaborations, industry experts teamed up with engineering lecturers to mentor the students, including a professor of mechanical engineering”.
Continuing, Chukwueke, said the Nigerian Genius Engineering Competition was set up to draw national attention to engineering as a critical part of manufacturing and national development.
He said that this will further inspire tertiary institutions to improve their engineering education, paying more attention to industry relevant skills and Project Based Learning; equip engineering students with essential industry and manufacturing skills, and boost local manufacturing, resulting in employment generation and economic development.
“Through Project Based Learning approach the contestants were trained to acquire essential industry and manufacturing skills which they deployed to build products using different manufacturing processes”.
Image: Mobile Phone Charger
The students built the following products which Nigeria currently imports:
- Mobile Phone Chargers (produced through electronics design software, PCB CNC milling and 3D printing)
- Adjustable Tables (produced through metal fabrication)
- Engine Parts (crank shaft produced through metal casting and connecting rod produced through CNC machining)
- Plastic enclosures and engravings (produced through laser cutting and engraving)
“This builds capacity for local production of goods which will boost Nigeria’s economy and strengthen the Naira”, Chukwueke, explained.
The challenge: Solving Nigeria’s Power (Energy) Problem
Chukwueke who is also the founder of Clintonel Innovation Centre, said that the contestants were given a challenge to design and build solutions for Nigeria’s power (energy) problems using renewable energy sources.
Team UNN (Benstowe Destiny, Uzodinma Somto, David Okenwa) designed and built a Portable Water-Powered Electricity Generator that can be installed in every home with overhead water tank. It also includes an Energy Management System which monitors and displays power generation, consumption and reserve.
This innovative product will make free electricity available in virtually every home in Nigeria
Team LAUTECH (Oyewo Taoheed Oyetayo, Abisoye Akinloye Samson, Ayanwole Iyanuloluwa Moses) designed and built a Hybrid Solar and Wind Electricity Generation System which includes a tracking and positioning system for the solar panels.
Their system provides energy both in the day from sun and at night from wind.
Team FUOTUOKE (Udo Success Ifunanyachi, Nwaneri Ifeanyi Vincent, Sampson Hekagemkosiem Ojum) designed and built an Inverter and Automated Solar Tracking and Positioning System for solar panels.
This will significantly improve the power generated from solar panels.
Team FUTMINNA (Abdullahi Adeyemi Asimiyu, Reheemah Alayaki, Attahiru Jibril) designed and built a Hybrid Solar and Wind Electricity Generation System with a mobile phone tracking function.
This enables consumers to track their energy generation, sharing and consumption on the go wherever they might be.
Engineering for Industry (E4I)
“The Nigerian Genius is implemented under Engineering for Industry (E4I), a national program designed by Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC) Aba to bridge the engineering skills gap in Nigeria, facilitate industry-academia collaborations and drive industrialisation.
“Clintonel is partnering with tertiary institutions nationwide delivering industry-focused capacity building for engineering lecturers, students, and fresh graduates. Over 570 engineering lecturers and students from 4 tertiary institutions have been trained under E4I.
Similarly, three indigenous STEM kits have been designed and developed with which 881 secondary school teachers/students have been trained on STEM”, he said.
Introduction to Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC)
He further said that the Nigerian Genius was designed and implemented by Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC) – a solar powered STEM Centre, Nigeria’s first Makerspace (Engineering Tech Hub) and Hardware Startup Incubator.
Interestingly, Clintonel provides training, mentoring and equipment for young people to create engineering innovations, build indigenous products and start up technology businesses.
With a vision to facilitate industrialisation in Nigeria, Clintonel has trained over 600 young persons in Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Renewable (Solar) Energy and Entrepreneurship. Hardware Startups incubated by Clintonel are now producing different indigenous products, employing several young persons and helping to reduce poverty in Nigeria. Clintonel is also working towards building medical equipment in Nigeria, in partnership with University College London (UCL) and COVIDaction (UKaid).
“In an effort to build and support the Nigerian hardware ecosystem, Clintonel started Hardware Nigeria Community (HNC) – a national network of Nigerian inventors, engineers, makers, investors and hardware entrepreneurs working to build hardware products and businesses in Nigeria.
“To deliver on the mandate of building engineering capacity, generating employment and reducing poverty in Nigeria, Clintonel has worked with different partners including: PIND Foundation, ACT Foundation, Royal Academy of Engineering, Ford Foundation, Autodesk, ATOM, GEMINI, UKaid, UCL, etc”, Chukwueke explained.
Clintonel is a licensed Autodesk Learning Partner (ALP) and Authorised Testing Centre (ATC) for different International Certifications on Technical and Engineering Skills.
The Nigerian Genius is supported by ACT Foundation, Engineering X (Royal Academy of Engineering), CLINTONEL Advanced Engineering Centre and Autodesk.