Industry Recognizes and Rewards UZ Students’ Innovation

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Held under the theme, ‘Embracing Technology’, the Faculty of Science, Computer Science Department in the University of Zimbabwe yesterday  hosted the Projects Showcase and Prize Giving . Corporate players converged  to recognize the innovation and technological achievements  spearheaded by Students through their projects.

By Phinias Shonayi

 The students worked on the event for six full months, with the mentorship of Faculty Lecturers they had assigned over them. The showcase of talent proved that technology indeed has the capacity to take over all systems and fields in Zimbabwe, and that the students and young adults should be set at the forefront of development in any radical, forward-going economy.

The projects were collected from various cases the industry previously brought to various departments within the University. The students picked their individual projects based on:

–          industrial needs to develop systems, and

–          students’ desire for exposure to the real world

uz students collage

For the first time ever, the Faculty of Science is sending out students for a full year of attachment in industry from August 2014 to the same season of 2015. The goal for this pioneering move is to create and build a complete graduate competent both in the classroom and ready for the world, the Deputy Dean of the Science Department, Professor Kativu said.

A Technology Park is also in the finishing stages on University’s drawing board whose purpose for establishment is to:

–          Test systems and technological developments in the industry.

–          Exhibit the students’ projects

The motto of the University of Zimbabwe is Diligence; Excellence; Knowledge.

The Founder and CEO of Compulink (Pvt) Limited, Mr. Edward Nyamuda graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. He launched his introductory speech by saying, “No problem can withstand the continued bombardment on focused thinking.”

Mr. Nyamuda reiterated that countries that have embraced ICT are at a better stand in:

  • Alleviating poverty and creating wealth
  • Harnessing development and productivity
  • Health research and development
  • E-learning and advancement in the education sector among other developments.

“The government has launched the e-learning program whereby 10 Computer Labs in 10 Schools would be established in each of the 10 provinces in Zimbabwe to promote the system. Also, Zimpost has turned 105 Post Offices into Data Centres to bring technology to rural areas” he said.

TSIME, and acronym for ‘Towards a Student-centred Interactive Multimedia Education’ is the University’s web-based initiative towards allowing for greater and more flexible interaction between learners and lecturers.  Registered University learners and lecturers log in to the site and access courses and information.

 

Out of over 60 innovative projects that were done by the students, only 18 were able to make the cut and get showcased yesterday. The prize-giving ceremony started soon after the exhibition and the said lenient judgment system was based on:

i.            Innovation and creativity

ii.            Practicality of the product

iii.            Student’s presentation skills

iv.            Technical skills

v.            System Management and continuity

vi.            Value and functionality of the product

Mr. Zanamwe was the Projects Co-ordinator and also the Event organizer. Working with him was Tanaka Mupfurutsa, who won the prize for Most Enterprising Student for co-organizing the event and getting sponsors from the market.

The top prizes, based on corporate judges’ deliberations were as follows:

PROJECT TITLE

SOLUTION TO USER

1ST YEAR Online-based advertising app Gives users instant notifications on events, updates, etc using push messaging
2ND YEAR Vehicle Theft Intimation to owner through GSM Counters vehicle theft, car won’t start without ignition code
3RD YEAR Mine Management Information System Automates operations of mines- improves production, health and safety. Assets management.

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More students received assorted prizes that were donated by various sponsors. Captains of industry and company directors also had the opportunity to identify talent and also draw potential solutions that could be brought to their institutions as well.

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