S2PAfrica, a non-profit organisation aiming to groom professional engineers in Sub-saharan Africa, held its annual regional engineering design competition(EDC) awards ceremony on February 26, 2022.
The ceremony was opened and moderated by Dr Olayinka Adewumi, the internship programme director of S2PAfrica. She welcomed the audience, introduced some speakers, and broke down the event’s agenda.
Dr Tunde Adegbola, the Chairman of S2PAfrica, welcomed everyone in attendance. He gave a brief history of S2PAfrica, its objectives and what birthed the engineering design competition.
The event sponsors, Cummins West Africa limited(ltd), International Development Research Center (IDRC-CRDI), Autodesk, Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), Google, were acknowledged and thanked for their support.
The next session was led by Professor Omotayo Fakinlede, director of the S2PAfrica initiative, who gave a short lecture titled, ‘Why IDRC-S2PAfrica Design Competition?’
According to Professor Fakinlede, S2PAfrica seeks to develop globally marketable engineering skills in young engineers, increase interest in identifying local engineering problems and find solutions by developing problem-solving and engineering skills through training, interventions and organising engineering design competitions.
The target group for this initiative are young people, especially those in their penultimate year in tertiary institutions to fresh graduates either preparing or serving in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
S2PAfrica provides virtual laboratories, online design-related courses and engineering design competitions.
Michael O. Faborode, Professor of Agricultural Engineering and former Vice-chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Mr Tosin Tomori, Vice President Operations, Cummins Inc; Dr Andreas Putz, Principal Data scientist, Ballard Power Systems; Dr Toluwalase Ajayi, Senior lecturer, department of Chemical Engineering, University of Lagos; Dr Kome Oteri, wireless communications expert, Dr Eddie Diei, Managing Principal, LeanTech Solutions, LLC; Dr Victor Olaniyi, seasoned engineering and management professional, all served as judges for the competition.
Dr Nadu Denloye, current Chair, ICT committee, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), served as the chair for the Engineering design competition.
Dr Adewunmi introduced the finalists, team Koye Hydro, Keytric, Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater System for Irrigation, Kryotech, Electromagnetic Active Suspension (EASS), Drones for Plant Health Monitoring, De-husking Machine for Nigeria Coconut Farmers, Improved Charcoal stoves, Carbonated Hydroxyapatite/Polylactic Acid (PLA) for Bone Regeneration, and Capture, along with their affiliated tertiary institutions.
A short video presentation of each team’s project was played, after which the category prizes of the competition were announced.
The winners of the category prizes are Team Keytric, who won two category prizes—the Innovative Ideas category with prize money of $200 and the Localisation category with prize money of $500.
Team EASS won the Energy efficiency category prize of $500, while Team Capture won the Harnessing Ignored Energy category prize of $500.
The sponsors of the various category prizes commended the winners and emphasised their commitment to encouraging and helping upcoming talents to achieve their potential.
The S2PAfrica regional engineering design awards were announced, starting with the second runner-up award, which Team Improved Charcoal Stove won. They took home prize money of $500 sponsored by Cummins West Africa.
The first runner-up was team Keytric, who worked on a door lock that automatically switches a room’s light when the door is locked or open. They were awarded prize money of $1000 sponsored by Cummins West Africa.
Team Koye was announced the winner of the 2022 S2PAfrica regional engineering design competition. They worked on an optimised micro-hydro power plant to generate electricity in Koye community, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Team Koye Hydro went home with the grand prize of $10,000 sponsored by IDRIC CRDI and another prize worth $2000 sponsored by Cummins West Africa.
The winners were commended, with Mr Tosin Tomori of Cummins Inc. commenting that the winners created a project that was relatively personal and could easily scale up.
Dr Andreas Putz commented that the localisation and scalability of the hydropower project proved decisive in choosing the winner of the competition.
Dr Victor Olaniyi said that the project of team Koye hydro has a good value proposition that can develop into something big. He advised the winning team on areas to focus on and scale their project.
The other judges and the competition chair also congratulated the winners and contestants for participating in the event. They also advised them to keep building and working on their ideas to scale.
The chairman S2PAfrica, Dr Tunde Adegbola, congratulated all contestants that made it to the finals. He went on to say that the main objective of engineering education is not to get the title engineer but empowerment to change the society and environment at large positively.
He also reserved special congratulations to the winners of the competition. He said that the project was quite exciting and recommended that the project could serve as a solution to power problems in rural areas.
Dr Adegbola gave a vote of thanks to the judges, friends and associates, sponsors who contributed to the event’s success. He also encouraged the participants and attendees to get their friends and more people involved in the subsequent engineering design competition and S2PAfrica project.
S2PAfrica is a non-profit organisation with a mission to impact education that empowers graduates to harness science to create products and services that meet the needs of their immediate environment.
They develop professional Engineers in Sub-Saharan Africa to turn African challenges into entrepreneurial opportunities. S2PAfrica works with its partners to create opportunities for individuals and educators to add more practical and skill training into their education.