The Nigerian Society of Engineers has partnered the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom to train and provide capacity building for 500 mechanical engineering students through the Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers’ Innovation Challenge 2.0.
According to the Project Manager, Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Mrs. Osazoduwa Agboneni, the NiMechE Innovation Challenge is fully sponsored by the RAE UK, a delivery partner for the Global Challenges Research Fund.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Agboneni stated that the aim of the GCRF Africa Catalyst was to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa so that they could effectively promote the profession, share best practices and increase local engineering capacity, to help drive development.
She said the innovation would be supported by high quality research and would focus on expanding the evidence base for the importance of robust engineering institutions and their role in delivering sustainable growth, mapping engineering capacity and diversity in the countries where grant funding had been administered.
“Our students and young engineers are greatly disadvantaged because our present system of education leaves them grossly disadvantaged in their various industries. The NIMechE Innovation Challenge 2.0 is poised to completely eradicate or reduce such scenarios by bridging the gap between engineering education and practice,” Agboneni stated.
Speaking further, Agboneni said the aim was to use the NIC 2.0 to promote and sustain the engineering profession by identifying, training, developing and empowering young engineers to take charge of their economic destinies and their careers, while meaningfully contributing to Africa’s development.
She noted that in the course of monitoring and evaluating the NIC 1.0, many pitfalls were identified and would be adequately treated in the NIC 2.0.
According to her, the NIC 2.0 is a three-prong engineering development programme dedicated to deepening and building the capacity of mechanical engineering students in providing home-grown innovative solutions in agriculture, health care and sanitation, education and sustainable energy.
She added that the programme would facilitate the development of an effective system of knowledge sharing, collaboration and internship among mechanical engineers in Nigeria.
She said, “The NIC 2.0 is set to implement some of the solutions during the second phase of this project by introducing entrepreneurship development, technical and vocational training, and life skills.
“The task of nation building requires the selflessness of all and the NIMechE Innovation Challenge is a call to nation building. I share the optimism of the NIMechE, the Royal Academy of Engineering and other stakeholders that this challenge will be pivotal in the development of viable technology for our local consumption.”