This year’s SOFE competition though being the first ever virtual heat in Nigeria was indeed competitive. Having similar presentations to deliver and the efforts by the various contestants to ensure clarity and distinctiveness has presented this competition as one worthy of commendation.
The theme for this year's "Speak Out for Engineering (SOFE) competition was "Engineering design solutions to COVID-19". The 6th Nigeria heat was organised by Ifeanyichukwu U. Onyenanu (IMechE, Middle East and Africa YM Vice Rep.), Emmanuel Ikpatt (IMechE, Nigeria YM Section Chair), Ikechukwu Okoli (IMechE Nigeria, Project and Research Director) and other Nigeria section executive members in collaboration with the Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE).
A three-man panel made up the judges for the event. They are; Engr. Dr. Robinson Ejilah (CEng, MIMechE) – Chief Judge, Mr. Basil Maduakor and Mrs. Mercy Okoli
A total of six entries was received from across the universities in Nigeria; six eager and excited presenters represented their respective universities.
- Onah Samuel Adekule (Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi),
- Chinaza Nwobu Bolatito and Vanessa Chisom Okeke (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra),
- Kenechukwu Kelvin Ogbuagu (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka),
- Samson Hekagemkosiem Ojum (Federal University Otuoke Bayelsa),
- Chukwudi Christian Chigozie (Imo State University), and
- Millicent Osoh and Goodness Esezobor (University of Port Harcourt).
As the event began, IMechE Nigeria, Young Members Section Chair, Ifeanyichukwu U. Onyenanu, gave an Opening remark followed by the IMechE Nigeria, Corresponding Member, (Emmanuel Ikpatt, who gave a welcome address encouraging the members of Nigeria IMechE, tasking them to do more to make mechanical engineering in the country greater. A short speech was then made by the Immediate Past National Chair of NIMechE, Dr. Robinson Ejilah, on behalf of the present National Chair, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Ndaliman.
The competition proper commenced with Mr. Onah Samuel Adekule, representing Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi) taking the floor. He gave a wonderful presentation titled “Design and Construction of a COVID-19 Automatic Decontaminating Chamber”.
Next in line was Mr. Chukwudi Christian Chigozie, representing Imo State University, with a presentation titled, “Disinfection by utraviolet irradiation”. He showed in-depth knowledge of the topic he presented.
Miss. Chinaza Nwobu Bolatito and Vanessa Chisom Okeke, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, followed with the topic ‘‘Design and incorporation of infrared thermometer and a nose mask on a goggle’, displaying a high level of skill and energy as they dissected their topic.
Mr. Ogbuagu Kenechukwu Kelvin (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka) took the stage with his topic ‘‘Open Source Covid-19 Prevention and Monitoring System’’. He thrilled the audience with the level of understanding of his topic throughout his presentation.
The next person presenting was Mr. Samson Hekagemkosiem Ojum, representing Federal University Otueke Bayelsa) speaking on “I.O.T Solution for COVID-19”.
The final presentation, "Useful waste: a COVID-19 design initiative” was done by Millicent Osoh and Goodness Esezobor from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. Follow up questions was asked to each of the presenters after their presentations and they did well to answer the questions accordingly.
With the presentations concluded, the judges were left with a challenging task of compiling marks and producing the highest scorers. After much deliberations and concessions, the panel reached a consensus. The Chief Judge Engr. Dr. Robinson Ejilah gave the detail of the contestants’ marks and the winners.
The 2nd place winner with a prize of 200GBP was awarded to Mr. Ogbuagu Kenechukwu Kelvin from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for his presentation while the 1st place winner with a prize of 300GBP was awarded to Miss. Chinaza Nwobu Bolatito from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University.
A short speech titled "Numbers and Financial Literacy" was delivered by Mr. Basil Maduakor; he drew the Young Members awareness to savings and investment. Also, there were words of encouragement cum Advice led by Lt. Col. Sikiru Muhammed (CEng MIMechE) and Engr. Mrs. Osazoduwa Agboneni. This was followed by the advice from Mr. Isaac Ugbogu who talked on how the student can be a part in improving Mechanical Engineering practice in Nigeria.
With the outcome of the competition, it is hoped that engineering students will not relent in their technical pursuit to generate more innovative methods to harness and advance the engineering profession and to achieve the goal of proffering solutions to current issues. The winner of the competition will now prepare to represent Nigeria at the Middle east and Africa Regional finals.
Our sincere regards go to the unbiased judges and special guests for your support and taking the time out to be a part of this event.
The event had several notable persons present, including Engr. Prof. Muhammad Ndaliman - National Chairman of the Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE), Dr. Nnaemeka Isaac Ugbogu (Project co-ordinator Malfour Beatty Worsley Greater Manchester, UK), Engr. Dr. Robinson Ejilah (CEng MIMechE) – current chairman NIMechE-FAFME Implementation Committee, Mr. Basil Nnamdi Maduakor – senior sales & Application Engineer (Gates Engineering & Service Bahrain WLL, Kingdom of Bahrain), Mrs. Mercy Okoli (Lead Editor at AccuWrites Consults) and Engr. Mrs Osazoduwa Agboneni (FAFME Project Cordinator for Royal Academy of Engineering, UK).
Our hearty congratulation goes to Chinaza and Kenechukwu for winning the 6th Nigeria heat.