Baby Incubator Designed for Electrical Outages Wins University of Ibadan First Annual Design Competition

Written by: Carrie Noxon

Contributor: Padraic Casserly

Baby Incubator Designed for Electrical Outages Wins University of Ibadan First Annual Design Competition

The University of Ibadan (UI) Design Studio held its first annual Design Competition on December 7 and 8, 2021. The competition was open to final year students working on their capstone projects and graduate students working on theses. Innovative projects were submitted by 26 participating teams, representing more than eight different university departments across the UI Faculty of Technology.

Each contestant presented an engineering solution to a local problem. The participants presented their projects on the first day of the competition to a panel of five esteemed judges. They also were honored by the attendance of a representative of the former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and the Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology for Oyo State, Barrister Rahman Abiodun Abdu-Raheem. The UI Design Studio announced the winners on December 8.

First place was awarded to Anthony Chukwunweolun from the Department of Biomedical Engineering for his design of an incubator that can withstand intermittent power interruptions that are common in Nigeria. The project is entitled An Infant Incubator Design for Intermittent Access to Electricity.

First place winner, Anthony Chukwunweolun, with incubator design. Photo by Emily Bull

“This innovation [addresses the] intermittent power interruptions that occur Nigeria. I designed a DC (direct current) incubator that can continuously maintain the baby’s temperature and keep the infant safe from illness and diseases during short power outages. When the main power is interrupted, the incubator’s batteries serve as backup power for the neonatal incubator, maintaining the set temperature values and running the key components of the medical device.”

Second place was awarded to A Text Recognition System to Digitize COVID-19 Case Investigation Forms by Achugamonye Fidelis from the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Achugamonye explained, “This project minimizes the COVID-19 testing process delays and errors that occur from manually typing information from a COVID-19 patient case investigation and test results into a computer…

Second place winner, Achugamonye Fidelis, with COVID-19 case investigation forms processing system

This automated process allows for a faster response to COVID-19 cases. The process also improves the data quality by providing a quality check on the COVID-19 patient data.”

Third place went to David Vigbe from the Department of Food Technology for Edible Insects: A Panacea for Protein Deficiency and Food Insecurity. He worked on solving protein deficiency through alternative food sources.

To describe his project, David said, “Protein deficiency remains a major problem in developing nations and has been the major cause of illnesses, such malnutrition and stunted growth. 

Third place winner, David Vigbe, with insect protein food products

Traditional animal protein sources are currently under huge pressure due to global population growth. There is an urgent need to provide cheaper and more sustainable protein sources. The consumption of edible insects can provide rich content of high-quality protein and other essential nutrients without the impacts and limitations of traditional animal farming. For this reason, my research focused on breeding and processing of two edible insects, palm weevil larvae and palm beetle larvae, into a rich protein source for human food and animal feed.”

The remaining three finalists included designs for a cattle tracking device that helps farmers locate their livestock, a vertical farming rig that provides additional space for growing vegetables indoors, and a high-protein snack made with maize and groundnut flour that also addresses protein deficiencies.

UI congratulates this year’s winners and is looking forward to welcoming additional innovators next year when they plan to host the second annual UI Design Studio Design Competition in 2022.

Mission to revolutionize newborn care in sub-Saharan Africa

Mission to revolutionize newborn care in sub-Saharan Africa

The Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360) international alliance has launched Phase 2 of its groundbreaking mission to reduce newborn mortality in sub-Saharan Africa with $65 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), The ELMA Foundation, and generous individual contributions.