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Unilag Students Disrupting Tech Innovations

Engineering students of the University of Lagos (Unilag) have lit the path by trailblazing in tech innovations. These they achieved besides the rigid and rigorous routine of the school curriculum, in their recently held maiden edition of the Engineering Career Expo 2019. They exhibited their latest inventions after an intensive training session that lasted for seven months. In a bid to inquire about the details of some of their remarkable inventions, our correspondent at Engineer’s Forum had an interview with the Lead Facilitator of the Engineering Career Expo, John Adegbite, a final year Civil Engineering student. He is also a skilled programmer and seasoned teacher who tutored some of the teams that made presentations at ECX 2019.

We would like to know more about the project your team exhibited at the ECX

The name of the application is RMD (Reinforced Member Design) and it is an android application that helps civil engineers to reduce the problem of repetition in designs during structural designs. We find that even with the advent of software like Proctor and other building analysis software applications; we still encounter repetition and still perform some manual designs, so the RMD will help remove the problem of repetition such that when designs are made, there would be no need for such readjustments and strenuous repetitions.  The Reinforced Member Design has Structural members like Slab, Beams, Column, Staircase, Foundation. For now RMD is just limited to Slab but later on, it will be improved on to design other types of structural members. On the Engineering Career Expo Grand finale, we presented the one way and two way. The app can perform calculation and produce the reinforce members for one way and two way. How it works is that once design information is given as an input in the application, it will give your design specifications to provide T12 at MMCS center to center. The difference between our application and similar existing software applications is that it automatically modifies designs. For instance in using RCC (an excel sheet for software design), when there is an input of the design information, it will only tell you if that design information failed or pass hence if it fails you have to re-input design information and keep modifying your design information to get the required specifications. Contrarily the RMD helps modify automatically the specification by changing the thickness, diameter and other features in the specification to enable a stable structure. Another uniqueness of the application is its mobility and accessibility.  Excel which is a common application requires a laptop but RMD uses a mobile app, all that has to be done is to download the mobile app on online stores, input the design information and promptly it gives the design specification. It can be used in the office, on-site, as students, professors and other bodies. It is something accessible to everyone.

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At the moment has the application been uploaded online stores

Not yet, it has not been uploaded on play store. Hopefully, it will be uploaded in one week or two weeks and meanwhile before an application is uploaded the sum of 25 dollars has to be paid for a start. Although the RMD, for now, has just designed for one way and two way, we intend adding other features like Waffle, Reed, and other types of Slab and structural members.

Apart from uploading on online stores, what other plans do the team have to pitch the idea as a solution that is needed by the structural engineer, what platforms do you have to publicize the solution? 

 Yes, apart from being on play store where it is just limited to android application, we still have to move this and make it available for IOS users. To publicize the solution, we plan creating a website where it would be available on all kinds of medium be it laptop or phone; we want the application to be known and accessible to everyone.

Don’t you think the institutes and bodies for Structural Engineers would love to know about this?

We are working on this, it is a new app and further moves will be made in due time.

Is the RMD open to investors and partners?

Yes, it is, and RMD is not going to be for just structural members but can be developed to solve other Engineering problems by adding new features.

Apart from the RMD, what other project presented at ECX would you like us to know about?

Generally, at ECX 2019 we groomed students, I being the lead facilitator for the whole of the programming track taught students on web android and Python. The web is divided into the back end and front end and python give basic knowledge to go into anything related data science, machine learning etc.  ECX have given engineering students the fundamentals and the skills to be innovators and that is essentially what ECX is all about. Students had to sit for seven to eight months of intensive training on projects such as product data analysis and robotic projects. We taught them how to apply this learning with the studies in engineering. Many of the projects presented at ECX, we classify as trivial projects for beginners.

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Was the program handled single-handedly by an individual?

 It was done with other facilitators and organized under the leadership of the University of Lagos Engineering Students union (ULES), but I am the lead facilitator. I am a skilled programmer and this has made me a needed hand, hence I advise engineering students to learn some engineering language be it Java, Python, Javascript and decide whether they want to be web developers, android developers, data analysts or data scientist. They could decide to keep a language two or more depending on what it entails, like if you want to become a web developer you have to learn, markup languages Html, CSS, Javascript, for your Front end, Scripting end, maybe Php, all those languages but in all these paths must be given, learners need to decide what do I learn first? How do I grow from here? Till they become full-blown developers. There are paths available online, there are so many materials available online and platforms created for learning engineering. We have EDX, Udemy, we have Coursera. Luckily most of the courses taken to develop one’s self are made free online. I took courses on EDX, MS to be precise and these have built my Curriculum Vitae. And in certain cases, it is advisable to get the certificate so they can acquire real certificates if they want to become professional programmers.

Any advice to the engineering students

We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a world of tech, students should learn to build relevance in that respect. Acquire skills; learn programmes even as students, these would help them catch up with the rest of the world.

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4 thoughts on “Unilag Students Disrupting Tech Innovations

  1. We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a world of tech, students should learn to build relevance in that respect. Acquire skills; learn programmes even as students, these would help them catch up with the rest of the world

    Wow Wow Wow. This is great! We need people like this in our generation to open our eyes to what’s happening around us. This is insightful. God bless the brains behind this.

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