Annual Engineering Day Expo

The Faculty of Industrial and Technology held its inaugural Engineering Expo Open Day at the Engineering building yesterday. The expo was held with the theme “Harnessing partnerships and stakeholder engagement for sustainable engineering education at the National University of Science and Technology.”

According to Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Dr William Msekiwa Goriwondo, the Expo was held to open up the Faculty to the Industry and to potential students. The Dean stated that invitations were sent to organisations that have relationships with the university through Memorandum of Understandings and student internships.

Dr W.M. Goriwondo added that the expo was held also to enhance engineering education through partnerships with these local and international organisations. The Dean expressed hope that attending investors would commercialise the student research and projects that were presented during the expo. This would give students confidence to mingle with investors and also allow cross pollination of ideas to improve the prototypes exhibited. Organisations and Associations present included Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Mind Power Consulting, Kwekwe and Bulawayo Polytechnic and many more.

The event was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, a United Kingdom based organisation which promotes engineering for the benefit of the society. The Expo will be held annually to coincide with National Engineering Competition for universities. Every year the Faculty chooses two representatives for this competition by holding Departmental engineering competitions for Final year students.

According to Dr Goriwondo, various High schools such as Gifford, Matopo, Girls College, Cyrene, King George, St Bernands, Pumula High and many more were invited for Career Guidance purposes. He observed that in 2018, figures revealed that the girl child population marked only 26% of the Faculty of Engineering. Therefore, there is a great need to expose students to the Faculty to help them understand the different departments of engineering and their different modules. Girls can then see projects from other girls and be inspired to also take up engineering programs.

President of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Matabeleland Chapter, Mr Joseph Gunda stated that for any nation to develop there is need for research and innovation. CZI has worked very well with NUST with some policies that were developed by NUST being taken up by the government through CZI. Examples of these policies are the Statutory Instruments and Special Economic Zone.

Mr Gunda applauded platforms similar to the engineering open day which will help the economy in the Industrial policy which is incurred on innovation. He stated that the expo reveals how the educational institution is heading in the right direction of achieving Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030.

Head of Publicity and Exhibitions of Kwekwe Polytechnic, Learnmore Nyoni stated that through presentations from organisations he understood that there’s a lack of skills to develop the country. Educational institutions should work together with Regional and International industries to develop new technologies which will drive the country forward.

He added that as Kwekwe Polytechnic they have been challenged to go outside their comfort zone in order to think towards these new innovative technologies.

Matopo High School teacher, Bhelinger Tshili, appreciated the invitation which was extended to High schools as it takes learners from theories to practical work. According to Mr Tshili students can learn the importance of science by seeing theories being applied to projects such as the automatic cooling system malfunction detection.

Enthusiastic high school students also received Career Guidance from the Communication and Marketing Department before entering the building to see exhibitions. They received guidance on their subject combinations and the programs that are available for them at NUST.

Tawanda Muchabaiwa from St Bernard’s High stated that the expo was beneficial as he managed to weigh out his chances on his subjects and the programs he could choose for his career. He was overwhelmed by the projects exhibited during the expo and hoped that someday he would be part of the Faculty of Engineering and presenting an award winning project.

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