The 2019 edition of Project Skill Competition, now known as “Idiat Amusu Project Skill Competition” lived up to its billing as young innovators from 22 secondary schools in Lagos showcased the future of engineering talents at the Ralph Alabi Engineering Centre, Lagos.
At the event attended by distinguished Engineers comprising Deputy Gov Elect Ogun State, H.E. Engr. Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Deputy President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, the representative from Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Oluyemisi Adebesin, Immediate Past President of Nigerian Academy of Engineering and the first registered female Engineer in Nigeria, Engr Olu Joanna Maduka, Past President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr Olorunfemi Ademola Isaac, the first President of NIMechE, Engr Akintunde Zedomi, Past National Chairman of NIMechE, Engr Ayo Fanimokun, MD/CEO, Kenol Nigeria limited, Engr Olu Ogunduyile, a three times Vice President of NSE , Engr Margaret Oguntala, and host of others; the young innovators gave the country hope in quest for technological advancement and environmental conservation.
The 2019 edition is a dual event as it also served to honour the Nigeria’s first Agricultural Engineering Graduate and also first female COREN Council member, Engr Idiat Oluremi Amusu.
The competition panel headed by Engr. Mrs Felicia Agubata, the President of APWEN, extolled the vibrancy of Engr Amusu within the engineering community and described her as a role model worth of the honour and emulation.
Engr Agubata informed the audience that the theme of this year competition is aimed at addressing environmental challenges using scientific principles and methods. about 22 schools were invited but only ten (10) school finalists are selected for presentation.
She said the finalists were evaluated based on their presentation, functionality, originality, local content, engineering relevance. The panel also considered practicality of the projects submitted.
Iju Senior Grammar school showcased self powered house that rouses up renewable energy, The project aims at achieving zero emission.
Ikeja Senior High School presented a smoke absorber that absorbs smoke and bad smell which can be used in the kitchen and the toilet. The same school also presented a solar fan.
Keke Senior High School presented a solar panel which they claimed was built from the scratch using locally sourced materials. Engr. Agubata commended this group, saying she expected this from other schools.
State Senior High School, Ikeja presented a robotic car app. They claim this can help tackle terrorism in Nigeria and even rescue the abducted school girl, Leah Sharibu, but they were unable to demonstrate sufficiently how it works. The Lagos State government showed keen interested in this project; just as the NSE Deputy President, Engr. Babagana, who hailed from North East Nigeria, where Boko Haram unsettled the states was very keen in further development of the prototype because if it’s potential life saving uses.
Ikeja Senior Grammar School presented a quick inverter pump, it can be used without electricity. They also presented a blender that uses inverter.
Babs Fafunwa Millennium High School presented a hydraulic crane which has application in tackling flooding and also serve other agricultural applications.
Vetland Senior Grammar school presented a vacuum cleaner and popcorn maker which can work without electricity.
Agidingbi Senior Grammar School presented a smoke absorber, which converts carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide.
Oregun high school presented an Eco-air cooler and an electrical vacuum cleaner.
Lastly, Army Cantonment Senior Secondary School presented an electrical bus, which does not release fumes or make noise.
The students showcased these inventions and demonstrated how it works and also how it can solve environmental challenges and usefulness to the society.
The judges found most of the works very commendable and innovative and enjoined the students to keep developing.
Thereafter, the Chairman of the Panel of Judges, Engr. Agubata announces the winners of the competition.
The 2nd runner up – Vetland Senior Grammar School, for their simple vacuum cleaner made with locally sourced materials.
The first runner up – Iju Senior Grammar School for their self powered house.
The winner of the competition is Keke Senior High School. The team built a workable solar panel. It was chosen based on its applicability and also scalability.
The winners were each given a laptop and other prizes. Engr. Olu Ogunduyile, MD of Kenol Nigeria Limited awarded N200,000 to all the participants of the competition.
A senior lecturer at Yaba College of Technology, Engr. Alebiosu, said she is very impressed by the prototype showcased by Babs Fafunwa Millennium Secondary School-the hydraulic crane- which aims to tackle flooding, she presented a special gift for their effort and also encouraged them to go further in the innovation.
Earlier in her address, while welcoming the distinguished guests, the chair of the Branch, Engr Mrs. Funmilade Akingbagbohun recalled the beginning of project Skill competition which first started in 2014 when the branch felt the need to bring secondary schools together to showcase their skills, innovations and also encourage the schools to develop them in practical application of science and technology.
However the Branch under her tenure decided to rename the Competition as “Idiat Aderemi Amusu Project Skills Competition” in honour of Engr Idiat Amusu who has been a strong support for STEM education and a role model to many young people in their career. It is also in a bid to celebrate her highly distinguished engineering career.
”I want to continue applaud these young ones and support them in the design they have come up with, and also continue to have the support of the Lagos State government and ensure this program continues to run not only in Ikeja but all over the country- ” Funmi Akingbagbohun
Akingbagbohun further praise Amusu as a woman of many firsts ‘she is a mentor of mentors, a motivator, the first female Agricultural Engineering graduate in Nigeria and the first female COREN council member. What is more she also has also produced many pioneering exploits at Yaba College of Technology, Yaba where she lectured until her retirement and has produced many male and female engineers who are doing well in their career.
She said the plan for the Branch is to use the project as a vessel for the grooming of the next generation of engineers. And that some of the ideas brought up by some of the students already found application multinational corporations.
‘I want to continue applaud these young ones and support them in the design they have come up with, and also continue to have the support of the Lagos State government and ensure this program continues to run not only in Ikeja but all over the country ‘. She said.
Other distinguished engineers presence at the events extolled the virtues of Engr Amusu and praised the Branch’s efforts in putting together such a laudable and life impacting programme.
Engr Babagana Muhammad counselled everyone to be honest especially those in the profession as it helps. He said ‘Engineering strives to solve problems in the society and called on the engineers present to mentor the younger ones’. He said it is in the interest of profession to give back to the society because, ‘you will not rest if you do not’.
Her Excellency Deputy Governor elect of Ogun State, Engr Noimot congratulated the Branch and promised to support the Branch in anyway she can. She commended the students and described their presentations as very impressive. She emphasized on the importance of caring for the environment.
Engr Olu Maduka, the first President of AWPEN was also in attendance. She appraised the incoming deputy governor of Ogun State, Engr Noimot, she believes in her to do great and do everyone (in engineering) proud.
She congratulated the finalists and encouraged them to go further in the field and develop their potentials. She welcomed them into engineering
She also use the opportunity to congratulate the honouree, Engr Idiat Amusu for being positive side of history and for spoke glowingly of her many services and commitments to engineering.
Engr Idiat Amusu thanked everyone. She expressed her gratitude to everyone present and thanked Chair, Ikeja Branch Engr Akingbagbohun and her team, for the honour. She praised the Branch for being a pacesetter and for its many efforts at forging a strong family of engineers through love and devotion and caring.
Engr Amusu used the opportunity to counsel the students on the importance and roles of engineers to the society and enjoined them to work hard and join in making our country a better place.
She enjoined senior engineers to spark the spirit and interest of young ones in the field through guiding them. She expressed her appreciation to the organising committee lead by Engr Margaret Oguntala. She thanked NSE for nurturing her and said she is very proud to be an engineer.
Present at the event also was the first president and founder of APWEN, former President NSE Engr. Joanna Maduka, incoming Deputy Governor of Ogun state Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, first chairman of Apapa Branch Engr. High Chief Akintunde Zedomi Bobajaiye of Lagos, Engr. Margaret Aina, Engr Bola Akinribido, past chairman NSE Ikeja, Engr. Laolu Adedapo, chair Lagos State chapter of APWEN. Others are from Lagos State Ministry of Education. Yaba College of Technology, friends and family.
Reporting by Mariam Haruna @myegineers, additional reports by Isqil Najim