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Engineers seek new curriculum in varsities

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The President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng), Alex Ogedegbe has called for the modernisation of the nation’s engineering academic curriculum.

He said the academy was passionate about it and already reaching out to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

Ogedegbe made the call at a forum organised by NAEng themed, “The strategic role of engineering in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He explained that examining the roles of engineering in a pandemic was appropriate because any solution to the challenge would continue to reduce fiscal burdens experienced by people everywhere.

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Ogedegbe said the academy was poised to develop leadership papers for the development of engineering in Nigeria, promote innovation in industries and tertiary institutions through research, design, and fabrication competitions across all areas of engineering needs in Nigeria and linking such innovations with industry.

He also said the academy selected the speaker based on his wealth of experience in the field of engineering.

In his submission, a professor of chemical engineering from Delaware University, United States of America, Babatunde Ogunnaike, said effective engineering in the 21st century must include tripartite components of technical feasibility, financial viability and societal desirability for the profession to have significant impact on the society.

Ogunnaike, who was the guest lecturer, emphasised that engineering profession was dedicated to translating scientific knowledge into useful solution to practice problems, adding that engineering must keep the society functioning at steady state as well as rise to the occasion to tackle novel problems when necessary.

He explained that engineering contribution to COVID-19 global response include, understanding the pandemic through data acquisition, modeling, analysis and clarification.

According to him, the profession played a prominent role in slowing the spread of the virus, enhanced testing and diagnostics and was unprecedented in rapid vaccine development, manufacture and distribution.

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“The engineers try to understand the spread mechanism of COVID-19 pandemic with and without the mask. Engineering contributions also include, developing assistant robots in hospital, arresting and neutralising viruses through ventilator designs,” he said.

He said science and engineering are necessary and indispensable component in any society but hasn’t been sufficiently explored. Ogunnaike therefore called for effective engagement with policy formakers and government at all levels for effective public information campaigns, clearer communication and better education about risk and uncertainty that could spring up in society.

He stated that engineers have played a prominent role in vaccine development through RNA technologies to fight COVID-19.

He added, “Contrary to belief about the repercussion of COVID-19 on engineering, it has increased enrollment in infectious disease specialisation, medicine and focused training programmes.

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