No fewer than 12 budding Nigerian researchers, innovators and scientists have won regional awards in a competition sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.
The awards were based on innovations in four thematic areas, namely, Green Materials, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, and Waste to Energy.
The Vice Chancellor, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, Prof. Charles Eze, presented certificates of the awards to the awardees on Saturday at the arm of the British academy in the institution.
Mr Eze said that it was gratifying that the arm of the academy was domiciled in the institution’s Innovation and Sustainable Development Centre.
The vice chancellor said that the position of ESUT as the foremost university of science and technology in Nigeria, necessitated the location of the centre in the school.
He said that ESUT had, over the years, pioneered innovations in the areas of science and technology.
“It is a courtesy of the Royal Academy of Engineering that we have in ESUT an arm of the academy,” he said.
The vice chancellor congratulated the winners of the awards which, he said, was designed to produce technologies for sustainable rural development and community service.
“We are happy that ESUT is used as a hub by the academy and we are here to witness the awards to those who distinguished themselves as researchers in those four thematic areas.
“The competition was carried out in such a transparent manner that it cannot be faulted. The whole process of assessment were done online by the Royal Academy of Engineering,” he said.
Mr Eze congratulated the awardees and urged them to do more, while charging the unsuccessful competitors to learn from the process.
Earlier, the Director, Innovation and Sustainable Development Centre, Prof. Paul Nnamchi, said that the competition was aimed at promoting renewable energy technologies, green materials, waste-to-energy solutions, and sustainable agriculture in rural communities.
Mr Nnamchi said that these could be achieved through research, training, and entrepreneurship.
He cited some of the benefits of the project to include economic growth, sustainable communities, and healthy living, for the local population.
“At various levels, this project will have an impact on a variety of stakeholders. For individuals, it will contribute to a cleaner environment, high quality education, and wellbeing.
“For organisations, it will initiate new research and development projects and investments in renewable energy, waste utilisation, and sustainable agriculture.
“For local economies, it will help to contribute to the government’s policy of creating high-standard living conditions in remote populated areas,” Mr Nnamchi said.
NAN further reports that the winners of the competition in the four categories received N650, 000 each, the first runners up got N400, 000, while the second runners-up got N200, 000.
Meanwhile, some lecturers and corporate entities have also won prizes in the four thematic areas of Green Material Category, Renewal energy, sustainable agriculture and waste to energy.
In the Green material category, they included Simon Ikechukwu, third position, Prof Samuel Wara and team from Afe Babalola University second position, Victor Ojiugo, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, first position.
Renewable Energy: Advanced Engineering Innovation Research Group (corporate entity) from Federal University of Technology, Minna, took the third position, Chiagoziem Ugwu (Government Technical College, Enugu), second position.
Chinecherem Ozoude, UNN, and Chinwe Udeze (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka), jointly won the first position.
In sustainable Agriculture: Dolapo Oladeji (University of Ibadan,) came third, Kingsley Obasi, second position, while Advanced Engineering Innovation Research Group, Minna, placed first.
Chukwuka Israel placed third in the Waste to Energy category, I. A. Ayoade (University of Ibadan), took the second position and Ifeanyi Aghaulo (Obafemi Awolowo University) emerged the winner.