By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Chinhoyi University of Technology (C.U.T) recently held its second public convention aptly dubbed “Open Day 2013!”
This one day event attracted relevant technology stake holders, government officials, trading experts, departmental heads and students from various towns and cities. This event also came at the time when the University was celebrating its 10th year anniversary
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Vice Chancellor Professor D J Simbi said “so many strides are being made to drive technologies in Zimbabwe and he was so grateful for the commitment shown by both the public and private sector.”
The Pro Vice Chancellor DR P.K. Kuipa also affirmed the position citing that Zimbabwe recently hosted a separate technology convention with international delegates from various countries where they discussed the future of technologies worldwide and the emergence of nano technologies and how best they can benefit from these as a nation.
Getting down to the business of the day, there were many technology exhibition stands being mannered by deans of departments, professors and the students themselves. I had a courtesy tour under the hospitable guide of their Public Relations Officer Jacqueline Tanhara
Speaking to Professor Jonathan Enock, he demystified the nanotechnology concept with much suaveness, confirming the advent of the world of supercharged technological advancements.
In his simplest terms he described nanotechnology as “very small materials which are scientifically ten to the power minus nine (10-9), while micro is ten o the power minus six (10-6). When you look at gold particles and how they react at nano level (in their smallest component), lots of technologies can be driven from that.
“ you can even develop a non washable shirt via utilizing nano technology, your clothes wont get dirty you jus wipe them off, or imagine a flexible solar panel on your roof or wearable sensors on your body, even gold nano particles are being used to cure cancer this opens up a new world of possibilities!”
He said although nano technology is still in its infancy, we know what our country has in terms of resources and our universities are already involved into the fundamental researches and in the next 24 months or so we anticipate locally made tangible solutions.
The ministry of technology via SIRDC has instituted a department specifically to oversee and drive nano technologies and it is being headed by Dr Maponga of University of Zimbabwe
The university was literally turned into a tech hub as various departments took their most priced projects right outside the conventional lecture rooms and ready for the showcase as invited guests and students stampeded to take part in the highly interactive exhibition.
What caught my eye first was the board of balancing pins. Students jostled as they took turns to test the laws of physics with their own bodies- completely lying on their backs on very sharp leveled pins without being hurt at all.
Dr Sumanya explained the science behind the successful balance that “as long as weight is equally spread on the board of pins which are all leveled, it is not possible for the body to get hurt by the sharp pins.”
Another crowd puller under the department was the “money burning” experiment, which was showcased by Dr Tavengwa Bhunu. He soaked some US dollar notes into a liquid and then set them on fire, apparently only the liquid (Hydroge) burn, prompting the creative team to try and invent a chemical which can actually be used to apply on very important documents and safeguard them from fire damages.
The dean of the School of Engineering Science & Technology, Eng. Edson Manyumbu said: “We need engineers as a developing nation and we will need much more support from the stakeholders to stir the development of technology. Our engineers need much more support since engineering is a much more practical course with more job opportunities.”
Students securing industrial attachments a bit late was another major challenge that Manyumbu highlighted and pointed out that much support from the industrial players will be needed
we also have an engineering complex sponsored by the government which is already being roofed and much more facilities will be under the complex highlighted Manyumbu
Another captivating innovation was a cellphone charging system for bicycles, this would be much more relavant to locals with current erratic power cuts.
Tapiwanashe Sanyanga, a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Information Technology student showed other prospective students the road map and potential job positions as she also showed off another latest invention of solar powered laptop.
The Biological Sciences group had another male student who passionately spoke on the technology behind genes and paternity tests. He said the increase of such efforts on these technologies will even make paternity tests and sciences available and affordable to the masses
This is the same department that created fruit juices, food powder and fruit sauces using our natural traditional ingredients.
Chinhoyi University of Technology is seriously molding the future players of technology in Zimbabwe, nurturing talent and laying the bedrock of technologies