February 4, 2021

UNN VC challenges engineers on sustainable development

UNN VC challenges engineers on sustainable development

By Ikechukwu Odu

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, Prof. Arizechukwu Igwe, on Wednesday, challenged engineers across the globe to innovate ideas and find solutions to myriad of problems threatening human existence.
The VC who spoke when delegates of Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom-ESUT HEPSSA in collaboration with the departments of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, UNN paid him a courtesy visit as part of the activities marking a three-day conference in the university, said engineers and experts must develop a leeway to address health, environmental and economic problems threatening human existence globally.
While delving on the topic of the conference, tagged ‘Engineering for Sustainable Development’, the VC who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Pat Okpoko, also said the engineers must identify and start producing machines and materials which would help to check COVID-19 pandemic from wreaking more havocs on the world.
The International Development Manager at the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, managing both the Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa programme, Catriona MacArhur, who spoke through the zoom network during the conference emphasised the need to harness multi-disciplinary talents to collaborate with engineers in finding answers to global challenges.

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MacArthur, who is also the GCRF Africa Catalyst programme manager, equally discussed engineering skills which can be acquired by talents in Sub-Saharan Africa for environmental sustainability and societal resilience, adding that the conference is anchored on promoting innovations to address local challenges.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Boniface Okorie, while saying that Africa must be part of the solutions to the challenges of the world, urged political leaders to create an environment which would sufficiently provoke the ingenuities of Africans in addressing local challenges.
He said that Africa must begin to control the amount of carbon emissions in order to guarantee friendly environmental sustainability and promote robust agricultural outputs in the continent.
He equally challenged African engineers to embark on homegrown researches geared at tackling indigenous problems and challenges.
Earlier in his welcome address, the coordinator of Royal Academy of Engineering, ESUT-Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa, HEPSSA, Prof. Paul Nnamchi, said humanity will face unprecedented challenges from a projected population growth of 10 billion by 2050 and accelerated degegradation of the planet and its resources if universal goals that meet urgent environmental, political and economic challenges are not produced.
Prof. Nnamchi, who is also the chairman of the Local  Organising Committee for the conference equally said “the conference is a golden opportunity for local entrepreneurs, farmers, SMEs, lecturers, staff, students and communities to meet experts and develop new continental collaborations from universities and industries on the fundamentals, applications, and products from  various fieds such as: sustainable energy, sustainable cities, engineering innovations, clean technology/production, sustainable materials and engineering, mechatronics, renewal energy systems and others for the betterment of the communities.”