There was a coconut water extractor, splitting open the coconut to reveal the lovely jelly inside. This was one of the exhibits at the Undercroft of the Kenneth S. Julien Building of the Engineering Faculty, the work of over 120 students.
Titled “The Final Year Exhibition of Engineering Students: Design and Build,” the two-day event was created within the Mechanical and Manufacturing Department to encourage students by recognising their innovative work.
It brought sectors that could benefit from research and development together with new ideas and idea generators. Projects at the exhibition fell into five categories: dynamics, automotive, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and alternative energy, and environmental and medical. Because food processing in particular is seen as an especially necessary and viable area for growth, several related projects were highlighted. These included, among others, an automated duck roaster, a pulveriser for oyster shells, a cassava harvester, and even one that demonstrated the thermal insulating properties of banana plant leaves.
“Every year students in the Faculty of Engineering undergraduate programme engage in 150 final year projects, maybe more. When one considers similar activities in the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Food and Agriculture this speaks to the potential of the University in driving an entrepreneurship based on technological innovation.
“Significantly, whereas in the past students would see their projects as just a requirement for completing the degree, I have seen an increasing number looking beyond graduation, exploring the possibility of making their ideas a commercial reality. This speaks volumes to a small but significant change in the culture required to fuel the wealth generation engine,” said Professor Brian Copeland, the new Principal of the St. Augustine Campus as he addressed the conference that accompanied the exhibition.
(Click here for more on the Exhibition)