Nottingham Trent University (NTU) had the pleasure of hosting a delegation from Nigeria as part of the Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa project, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. This week-long workshop, held from November 27th to 30th, 2023, brought together representatives from Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, and Fedironic Limited. The event aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between educational and industrial sectors in the UK and Africa.
The delegates engaged in a variety of activities, showcasing the depth of this partnership. Tours of NTU’s City, Clifton and Brackenurst campuses provided insights into the University’s cutting-edge facilities. Additionally, the delegates immersed themselves in Nottingham’s cultural heritage through the Robin Hood tour and extended their visit to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre in Derby, highlighting the region’s blend of history, culture, and industrial progress.
Central to the workshop were sessions led by Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh and his colleagues at NTU at School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, including the activities of the Product Innovation Centre. Also, the sessions and tours included seminars across the university in order to share key insights on sustainable practices such as renewable energy grid integration, vertical farming, precision agriculture, and business transformation. Vishak Dudhee, representing V-LAB, the leading UK industrial partner, delivered an insightful session on the residential load simulator resLoadSIM, developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, focusing on sustainable energy consumption in residential areas.
This collaborative effort extended beyond the workshop. Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh of NTU, Vishak Dudhee of V-LAB, and the Nigerian partners visited the Royal Academy of Engineering at Prince Philip House in London. Discussions with Shane McHugh, the Interim Associate Director International, and Kirsty Chishti, Programme Officer, underscored the project’s impact and the ongoing commitment to advancing energy engineering education and entrepreneurship.
The project, with a budget of £100,000, is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa Programme (HEP SSA), backed by the Anglo-American Group Foundation and the UK Government through the Global Challenges Research Fund. Spanning two years (2022-2024), it stands as a testament to the power of international cooperation in education. Its goal is to enhance employability and entrepreneurial skills among engineers in Nigeria’s electricity and renewable energy sectors.
Through this initiative, NTU, V-LAB, UNIZIK Business School, and an array of Nigerian universities and companies are collaborating to address the engineering skills gap in Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme is tailored to produce engineers capable of meeting industry demands and tackling local challenges, thus transforming the region’s infrastructure and improving electricity access.
Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh expressed his excitement about the project: “This international collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for NTU’s Product Innovation Centre to support the future of sustainability and innovation. We are proud to see our research and teaching making a significant international impact in Africa.“
Vishak Dudhee added, “The impact of an unreliable power grid is far-reaching. Our session on residential energy simulation aimed to sharpen students’ understanding and spur the creation of sustainable solutions. We are equipping future engineers with the skills to transform challenges into opportunities for sustainable energy advancements.“
Notes to Editors:
- For press enquiries about V-LAB, please contact Vishak Dudhee, Technical Manager, at email@example.com.