UI Opens Design Studio to Foster Research, Innovation

April 27, 2024

The University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday officially opened its design studio innovation hub to foster research and innovation among its students and staff.

The UI design studio is one of the initiatives of the Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360), a multi-million dollar grant and international alliance from 20 leading institutions, governments, and organisations awarded in 2018 with funding from world-acclaimed organisations and foundations.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Kayode Adebowale, stressed that with the completion and opening of the design studio, the Faculty of Technology has made the university proud, adding that this kind of infrastructure and innovation was what made the university the first and the best in the country.

The vice-chancellor stated that he was aware that most of the equipment and tools in the studio were expensive and sensitive, and urged the managers of the studio and staff of the faculty to ensure that they were properly taken care of and protected.

The vice-chancellor also charged the students and staff to put the studio to good use by developing course content and curriculum that would fit the essence of the studio.

The Dean of the Faculty of Technology of the university, Professor A. I. Bamgboye, in his remarks, expressed happiness that the current face of the faculty was not what it used to be in the past.

Professor Bamgboye appreciated the efforts of those who ensured that the design studio innovation hub was a reality.

The principal investigator of NEST360, from the Department of Civil Engineering, Professor Akinwale Coker, stated that the studio was established in 2021 to promote invention education in Nigeria and to build collaborative avenues for innovators to design and commercialise locally-needed technologies.

Professor Coker noted that, through NEST360, a total of six design studios had been established in Africa ─ two in Nigeria at the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos, two in Malawi, one in Ethiopia, and one in Tanzania.

He said the studio would offer workshops, internship programmes, and hands-on training to the university and the public, adding “All these efforts are aimed at fulfilling the mission of the studio which is to encourage innovation and provide access to emerging technologies that can be leveraged to address local and global challenges.”

The design studio manager, Olusola Oke, explained how the studio was organised and the projects and programmes it offered.

Some of the projects include monthly workshops and training, project printing and fabrication, organising competitions, research and study space, event space rental, and research project assistance and guidance.

According to Oke, the training the studio offers includes Fusion 360 (CAD), Python, data science, embedded systems (Arduino & Raspberry Pi), 3D printing, laser cutting training, etc.

Oke said the studio boasted the following tools and equipment ─ 3D printers (9), laser cutter, CNC milling machine (3), drilling machine, tabletop lathe machine, PCB printer, CNC router, miter saw, grinder, etc.

The co-principal investigator of NEST360, Professor Ademola Dare, while giving the vote of thanks, briefly spoke on the essence of the design studio.

Also present at the event, in the entourage of the vice-chancellor, were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Wcademics) of the university, Professor Ronke Bayerogu; the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Professor Keye Abiona; the public relations officer, and Mrs Joke Akinpelu, among others.

Also present were some of the heads of departments from the Faculty of Technology, and staff and students of the faculty.