LAUTECH beats 4 universities to win first ever Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition

The University of Lagos Engineering Society (ULES), the student body of the Engineering Faculty of the school, hosted the first ever Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC) on Friday, July 14 2017, in honor of the late professor. Late Professor Ayodele Awojobi, who lectured in the faculty for 18 years until his death in 1984, was an inventor, social reformer and considered a genius. The event was held at the Main Auditorium, University of Lagos.

From over 100 applications, only 26 teams made it to the semi-finals of the competition. Ultimately, 7 teams from five Nigerian universities pitched their designs and inventions to judges at the competition. The following are the seven finalists according to ranking:

7th POSITION: Team CUMESA of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State

Team CUMESA fielding questions from the judges

The five-man CUMESA team of Chidiebere Ogbuehi, Daye Omuna, Nwenji Emmanuel, Obuekwe Chukwunonso and Udombana Nsikak represented Covenant University with a design for a multipurpose farm equipment which performs basic operations in smallholder farms, such as ploughing, weeding and watering of crops. Team CUMESA referred to the equipment as The Cartor. While the judges and panelists agreed the design was a nice concept, they doubted the probability of the design to effectively implement all the activities for which it was meant.

6th POSITION: Team SUCCESS of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State

Traffic is a persistent problem in major Nigerian cities. This informed the decision of Akanmu Sodiq, Akanda Ridwan and Olatunji Eniola to design an Intelligent Road Transportation Control and Monitoring System which they believed would improve efficiency in road traffic control and improve safety on Nigerian roads. According to them, the system will notify motorists of traffic-congested roads and recommend alternative routes. Also, the system is expected to run on both solar power and batteries. Apparently, this team did not think through how the device should switch power source from solar to batteries, thus failing to convince the judges.

5th POSITION: Team BIORAYS from the University of Lagos, Lagos State 

This team proposed an innovation to bridge the deficit in the power transmission capacity of Nigeria, using residents of Tarkwa Bay (in Lagos) as a case study. The innovation will take waste from major cities close to the rural areas and re-purpose it as Biogas and Solar energy, distributed through micro grids, thus reducing the burden of the national grid and its periodic shutdowns, there by enhancing better power generation and distribution in the country. Adeniran Adebayo, Omolaja Emmanuel, Ikuenobe Osenele, Ojelere Oyinlola and Ogunlusi Emmanuel were team members on this project. The cost of the project ran into millions of naira and the judges did not think the invention feasible. Also, the transition from solar power to biogas appeared hazy, as proposed by the team.

4th POSITION: Team ALPHA Excel of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State

Team Alpha Excel defending their design

Moshood Muyideen, Olajide Sodiq, Igbayilola Abiodun, and Ezennia Chukwudi believed global warming contributes to incessant flooding in Nigeria. For instance, recent flooding in some parts of Lagos led to the displacement of persons. According to them, this challenge can also be found in other parts of the country.  The teammates presented their designs for a shelter made from bamboo sticks and reinforced aircrete (which is lightweight and does not burn). The end-product is expected to provide 47% thermal comfort for its occupants.

3rd POSITION: Team PPG (Photo-Plethysmography) of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State.

(L-R) Team PPG, the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, UNILAG, Prof. Funso Falade and the President, ULES, Segun Adejumo (Switch)

The PPG team from LAUTECH proposed, designed and constructed a mobile health monitor.  The team has Lawal Teslim Alao and Oyeranmi Sheriff as partners. The portable blood pressure and body temperature-monitoring system measures continuously, without the need for a cuff and ECG signals.

Team PPG’s device

The device facilitates rapid assessment of patients in acute conditions and emergencies and allows ambulatory self-monitoring, because it does not require a pneumatic cuff. It also reduces the stress and discomfort experienced by patients due to cuff inflations. The monitor requires no pre-operational knowledge, is cheap and  transfers readings directly to the doctor or patient’s phone, depending on which mobile phone number is pre-installed on it. The team made a demonstration with the prototype. No doubt, the judges and panel were quite pleased with Team PPG’s efforts and awarded them the third position with a cash prize of N100,000.

2nd POSITION: Team ECO of University of Lagos, Lagos State

Team ECO comes upstage for their pitch

According Iyogun Toluwalase, the United Nations has proposed a ban on the use of plastics, because it is not bio-degradeable and 35 years from now, the volume of plastic waste in the world will exceed the number of stars in the galaxy, if people continue to use plastics at the current rate. Iyogun is a member of the trio which makes up Team ECO. The other two members are Emehin Ezekiel and Ajibiye Tobiloba. Team ECO proposed the Recycler 1000, a piece of equipment which completely takes plastics out of the environment. This equipment is designed to decompose certain types of plastics in the absence of oxygen and at an elevated temperature, in a thermochemical process known as pyrolysis. The output of this process is usable fuel and biogas for cooking. This design will reduce land and water pollution and provide alternative energy for Nigerian households. Though apparently complex in its process, the feasibility and usefulness of its design earned this team a second position, with a cash prize of N150,000.

1st POSITION: Team Mufasa of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State

First prize winners Team Mufasa displays their prize money, as they pose with the Dean, Faculty of Engineering UNILAG, Prof. Funso Falade and members of Team PPG

In case you never knew, ‘Mufasa’ is Swahili for ‘King’. So, it was no surprise to some members of the audience at PAADC 2017, when the Mufasa team was crowned king and took home the sum of N200,000 for their invention. Really, this team worked hard, showed ingenuity and had a ready prototype to demonstrate for the judges, panel and audience. Its invention was an ultrasound reversing guide and micro controller for vehicles. This device estimates the distance between a vehicle and any object  which is at least 4 meters away, turns on a red light and gives a buzzing sound, once the car gets less than 80 centimetres close to any surrounding object or another car. This is expected to minimize road accidents. Olagunju Hammed, Aleshinloye Saheed and Oyewole Babajide were the team mates on this winning project.

A cross-section of the audience

In a short speech before the pitches started, Professor David Aderibigbe, one of the panelists at the competition, described the late Professor Awojobi as an ingenious professor par excellence, as he recounted his experience under the late professor’s tutelage at the University of Lagos. The audience was told how, as a lecturer in the University of Lagos, Awojobi successfully converted his family car (an Opel Olympia Rekord) from right-hand drive to left-hand drive. Prof. Aderibigbe who began his teaching career in 1980 as a Lecturer Grade I in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Lagos, attributed his success in his career to the efforts Professor Awojobi made in helping him secure his first teaching job. He therefore commended the PAADC sub-committee and ULES for the concept behind the competition, as it celebrates Professor Ayodele Awojobi’s exceptional intellect an hisd vision for Nigeria to become technologically advanced.

The Dean, Faculty of Engineering University of Lagos, Professor Funso Falade was impressed with the competition. During his speech after presentations by all 7 teams, he said, “The government of Nigeria needs to take a cue from this and see the need to discover engineering talent wherever they are. This is the only thing that can move the country forward. Without Engineering, we cannot have technology.”

MD/CEO Siemens Nigeria, Tifase Onyeche, gave her advice to the participating students.

“Innovation starts now, because Nigeria faces unique challenges that represent opportunities. If you are creating solutions that we cannot benefit from in the long run, there is no point creating these solutions….develop the right skills and have the ability to make impact. It is also important to have membership of organizations, in relation to your expertise,” she said. She also revealed Siemens’ efforts towards bringing education and practical experience together and the company’s plans to partner with the University of Lagos to encourage innovation.

Other notable guests at the event were Musa Aibinu, Head, Megatronics Department, Federal University of Technology Minna and Idris Musa, Group Head, Information Technology at Oando Nigeria, among other top academia and other personalities.

PHOTOS: Williams Ojo/Outrepreneurs


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Chiamaka Akuba51 Posts

Chiamaka Akuba is a graduate of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about emerging markets and entrepreneurship and is actively working with the industry. She loves her conversations challenging and can’t help laughing when you call her ‘Honourable Writer of the Federal Republic'. Chiamaka is a Staff Writer at Outrepreneurs.


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