Science to Product Africa Initiative (S2PAfrica) is a non-profit organization based in Nigeria, developing and implementing a holistic approach to engineering education in pre-industrial African communities.
Acting on the need to break out of the endless cycle in which a lack of industry creates poorly trained engineering graduates and the lack of adequately trained engineers becomes an impediment to industrial development, as well as the seeming cynicism with which theory is usually perceived in pre-industrial societies, S2PAfrica takes advantage of modern ICT to deliver engineering knowledge and skills to students. Based on the use of 3D solid modelling, engineering students are taught to conceptualise, visualise, model, simulate and prototype Products, Processes, Goods and Services (PPGS) that address local problems requiring engineering solutions. Skills for building parametric 3D models in the virtual space of computer memory, using Python API are taught to students, enabling them to create complex systems that can be endlessly modified, simulated and tested towards pre-defined product-behaviour goals in a virtual laboratory. Symbolic Algebra is used to mediate the tedium of mathematics while still maintaining mathematical rigor in manipulating complex ideas such that outputs are still guaranteed to work as anticipated by design. Simulated and tested computer models are physically realised by 3D printing as prototypes that can be subjected to empirical tests, such tested prototypes becoming basis for mass production.
In the last three years, S2PAfrica has been involved in a project titled “Rethinking the West African Engineering Eco System”, funded by IDRC of Canada and supervised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. In concluding the three-year project, S2PAfrica is organising a West African Engineering Design competition. 50 sets of students from 18 Nigerian and one Ghanian universities submitted entries. Out of these 50 entries, 46 were accepted and the top 15 will be pre-judged by in-house experts. The final judgment is to be pronounced on the 26th of February 2022 (in a Zoom Meeting) by a jury of international and local experts, carefully chosen, mainly from diasporic African engineers that have made their marks in organisations that are global leaders in their various engineering fields.
The grand prize of $10,000.00 offered by IDRC will go to the team or individual that produces the most innovative solution to a pressing local problem, based on the application of relevant and appropriate theory to optimise material use and predict product behaviour under pre-defined use conditions. The top ten finalists shall receive $500.00 each.
Other prizes include $2,000.00 offered by Autodesk for the team or individual that produces a design that makes the best use Fusion 360, a 3D Solid modelling software product of Autodesk. There is also a commitment from Cummins West Africa for support of the competition.
Apart from these, there are various other category prizes and well as individually sponsored prizes.