Despite having a large pool of professionals both at home and in the Diaspora, Prof. Charles Igwe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, has expressed regret that Nigeria has not addressed issues of security, poverty, illiteracy, and the number of children who are not in school.
The Vice Chancellor asked academic leaders and business leaders to work together to find long-term solutions to the problems impeding the nation’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The call was made over the weekend during his speech at the UNN Faculty of Engineering’s third international conference on “Sustainable Engineering and Industrial Technology.”
According to him, the conference was designed to close the knowledge gap between Nigeria’s university and industry so that they might combine efforts to address societal issues.
“As everyone is aware, Nigeria has the third-highest concentration of qualified professionals living abroad, behind China and India. Unfortunately, this has not resulted in appreciable economic growth as our nation continues to receive very poor ratings on most sustainable development indices, including hunger, poverty, the percentage of children who are not in school or are illiterate, power production, unemployment, etc. Through this event, the organisers hope to begin addressing this anomaly, he added.
The international conference was organised in response to the constantly growing need to mobilise foreign scholars to discuss the concerns of human development and sustainability, according to Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, UNN.
Ejiogu, who is also the director of the ACE-SPED Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development, asserted that the undesired gap between the town and gown might be closed through the exchange of ideas between academics and business leaders.
He added that the creative and cutting-edge outcome-based education being suggested by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, required the sustained interaction between institutions and industries.
“The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are a set of objectives established by the United Nations to promote sustainable development. They speak to our capacity to use technology in a way that does not hurt the environment. There are people, animals, and plants in that habitat.
We started a series of conferences that we hold every two years and termed them the Sustainable Engineering and Industrial Technology Conference, or SEITC, as the first engineering faculty in Nigeria. The goal is to advance technology in all of its forms, including those related to agriculture, engineering, water, and the environment, to name a few.
The technology must be both economically and environmentally feasible in order to be considered sustainable.We have invited speakers from all over the world and Nigerians living abroad for this third in a series of international conferences, he said.
The Executive Director of Peprime Limited and a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom, Prof. Paul Eke, stated that Digital Twin, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence could be used to achieve sustainable engineering solutions in his paper presentation titled “Leveraging Twin Technology, System Engineering, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in Delivering Sustainable Energy Solutions.”
Professor of Digital Twin Technology and System Engineering Eke went on to say that using Digital Twins might be utilised to replicate goods, ideas, and services in order to address societal issues.
He added that a digital twin is a depiction of an entity that uses sensors built into a physical asset to deliver solutions in a virtual environment.
“Digital Twin is a tested technology that can be used in many forms of life, but the manner it is presented is new. Around the world, it is altering how engineering is taught and used.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway, and Digital Twin is applicable everywhere. Embedding this technology in how we educate and practise engineering can improve a lot of things in Nigeria because the nation struggles in every area of life.
“The technology is not expensive because it can be embedded into existing engineering technologies to make them compliant with the Internet of Things,” he said.
Hossein Rouhani, associate professor of neuromuscular control and biomechanics in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta in Canada, provided the keynote address. His talk was titled “Assessment and Characterisation of Standing and Sitting Stability of Human Body: Control System Modelling, Instrument and Clinical Applications.”
The participants were instructed on the best sitting and standing positions that would not harm the spinal cord by Rouhani, who also described seven models.
Dr. Bonaventure Okere, the event’s chairman, explained to jouen that the goal of sustainable engineering is to meet varied human demands with modernised systems.
The National Universities Commission, NUC, was asked by Okere, who is also the director of the Centre for Basic Space and Astronomy, to emphasise sustainable engineering by including the courses into engineering degrees at the university level.
The highlight of the conference was the UNN Faculty of Engineering’s project exhibitions, where researchers showed off the prototypes of their works, including the Refuse-derived Fuel gasification system, an automatic zobo drink processing machine, as well as cutting-edge electronics, power systems, and new energy systems.