JKUAT Expo 11.0 Winners Revealed as KENIA Pledges Support

From left; Prof. Kwanza, Prof. Abukutsa and Dr. Omwansa are taken through how the Automated Aquaponics Monitoring System works

As the eleventh edition of the JKUAT Tech Expo showcased 22 students’ innovations, Automated Aquaponics Monitoring System using IoT emerged winner of the Expo dubbed, JKUAT Tech Expo 11.0, November 19, 2021.

The innovation seeks to automate aquaponics practice ensuring that the pH and temperature parameters of the fish in an aquarium are controlled and can be monitored remotely through a mobile app using Internet of Things (IoT).

Over the years, the air pollution of the globe has continued to deteriorate forcing environmentalists to come up with innovative solutions to measure the extent of the pollution. To play their part, CanSat Planeteers innovators have just the solution for Juja.

Bagging the second place during the two-day expo, the innovators are using CanSat to determine pollution levels in the atmosphere surrounding Juja area by measuring temperature, pressure, ultraviolet radiation, humidity, and monitor the air quality using various electronic sensors.

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. It is then launched to the atmosphere, at an altitude of about 1km, using a drone or rocket. On descent, the CanSat carries out a scientific mission.

Prince Charles Oduk, who was the Keynote speaker of the Expo shows how his innovation, Beba-Beggie works

According to the innovators, the CanSat will transmit the data obtained to a ground station where analysis is done. The data can be used by environmentalists to respond to the extent of pollution in Juja, and evaluate the genotoxic effects of certain gasses and sunlight.

With Kenya approaching another election cycle, it was no shock to find an innovation on electronic voting. Although many will argue that electronic voting is not feasible in the country, let alone mobile voting, a group of students have thrown their hat in the ring with their mobile voting innovation.

Scooping the third place, the student innovators came up with a mobile voting innovation that allows voters to vote from the comfort of their homes using mobile phones and not specifically limited to smartphones.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA), Dr. Tony Omwansa lauded the students’ innovations showcased saying innovation was the way to go if the country was to transform.

He however said as a country we have to take the next step of commercialising innovations and guaranteeing the growth of start-ups for Kenya to achieve its technological and innovation agenda.

“I am keen on commercialisation of innovation and supporting start-ups. We need to take deliberate steps to empower these innovators to publish results of their research and ensure these innovations are developed into useful products and services for the benefit of the public,” said Dr. Omwansa during the opening ceremony of the Expo.

Acknowledging that Kenya needs to improve the innovation ecosystem and policies in order to enhance the smooth scaling up of innovations, Dr. Omwansa said, KENIA will work hand in hand with academia innovators from ideation stage to commercialisation.

“Borrowing from William Brody and his phenomenon of the calculus of innovation, it is important to note that Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth and that’s why I am keen to work with academia to build the innovation ecosystem of this country,” attested Dr. Omwansa.

In her remarks, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi lauded the innovators for their innovative knack and advised them to follow through on their innovations and ensure they are impactful to society.

“Even as we celebrate the great innovations and inventions being showcased here today, I would like to inform the innovators that their success will be pegged on coming up with solutions that focus on what works well for the end user,” advised Prof. Ngumi in a speech read by Principal Karen Campus, Prof. Jackson Kwanza.

She further highlighted some of the Expo’s alumni and the impact they have had in the country and beyond; “The JKUAT Tech Expo, has given birth to great ideas from brilliant minds committed to providing solutions to Kenya’s socio- economic challenges,” she said

Dr. Omwansa gives his insight of an innovation he interacted with

JKUAT Tech Expo 11.0 opening ceremony was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, JKUAT Tech Expo Chairman, Michael Waititu and JKUAT Tech Expo Event Organizer, June Hope.

JKUAT Tech Expo, is an annual student driven event incepted in 2009 that seeks to encourage and support students’ innovative ideas across the country in a bid to bolster innovation, collaboration and education.

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