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UNN VC: Nigeria has a long way to go to catch up on sustainable development

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Prof. Charles Igwe, Vice Chancellor of UNN, has expressed disappointment that Nigeria has failed to solve its security, poverty, illiteracy, and high rate of out-of-school children, despite its large domestic and international professional communities.

The Vice Chancellor emphasized the need for collaboration between academics and business leaders in order to address the obstacles to achieving the SDGs in the country.

This past weekend, he made the plea while speaking at the Third International Conference of the UNN Faculty of Engineering on “Sustainable Engineering and Industrial Technology.”

He explained that the idea behind the conference was to bring together Nigeria’s academic and business communities so that they could pool their resources to solve societal issues.

We are all aware that, behind China and India, Nigeria has the third-largest Diaspora population of highly educated professionals. Despite this, our country continues to do poorly on most sustainable development indicators, including food security, income equality, education, power generation, employment, and other key metrics. Through this event, the organizers hope to begin redressing this discrepancy,” he stated.

Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, Dean of UNN’s Faculty of Engineering, welcomed attendees and explained that the conference was called for because of the growing interest among academics around the world in discussing human progress and environmental preservation.

Ejiogu, who is also the Director of the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development (ACE-SPED), argued that bridging the gap between the town and gown was possible through the exchange of ideas between academics and business leaders.

In addition, he mentioned that the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) is proposing a new and creative outcome-based education model in which institutions and industries work together in a mutually beneficial way.

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“The United Nations has been seeking to promote environmentally friendly technological deployment by establishing a set of goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. People, animals, and vegetation are all part of that ecosystem.

We started the Sustainable Engineering and Industrial Technology Conference (SEITC) in 2008 as Nigeria’s first engineering faculty. It is held every two years. The goal is to spread technology of all kinds, be they related to agriculture, engineering, water, or the environment.

To be considered sustainable, a technology must be both environmentally beneficial and commercially successful.This is the third conference in the series, and we’ve invited speakers from all over the world, including Nigeria and the Nigerian diaspora.

Prof. Paul Eke, Executive Director of Peprime Limited and a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom, argued that Digital Twin, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence could be used to achieve sustainable engineering solutions in a paper presentation titled “Leveraging Twin Technology, System Engineering, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in Delivering Sustainable Energy Solutions.”

Professor Eke elaborated on how Digital Twin could be used to mimic products, concepts, and services in order to address societal issues.

In addition, he explained that the sensors already present in a physical asset form the basis of a Digital Twin’s ability to offer solutions.

Although the underlying technology of the “digital twin” is not new, the presentation of the concept is novel. It’s having a profound effect on engineering curricula and practice around the globe.

It’s the age of the digital twin, and its usefulness is limitless. Since Nigerians encounter difficulties in many spheres of life, incorporating this technology into engineering education and practice has the potential to bring about significant improvements.

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He explained that the low cost of the technology was due to the fact that it could be easily integrated into preexisting engineering methods to make them compatible with the Internet of Things.

Associate Professor of Neuromuscular Control and Biomechanics at the University of Alberta, Canada, Hossein Rouhani gave a keynote address titled “Assessment and Characterisation of Standing and Sitting Stability of the Human Body: Control System Modelling, Instrument and Clinical Applications,” in which he discussed the potential of engineering tools in the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries.

Rouhani also shared seven models designed to teach people how to sit and stand in ways that are gentler on their spines.

Dr. Bonaventure Okere, the event’s chairman, explained to jouen that sustainable engineering’s ultimate goal is to provide for a wide range of human needs through the application of advanced technological systems.

Okere, who is also the Director of the Centre for Basic Space and Astronomy, has encouraged the National Universities Commission, NUC, to prioritize sustainable engineering by integrating relevant coursework into existing engineering degree programs.

Research prototypes in fields as diverse as the Refuse-derived Fuel gasification system, the automatic zobo drink processing machine, cutting-edge electronics, power devices, and new energy systems, and more were showcased at the conference’s project exhibitions by the Faculty of Engineering, UNN.

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