JKUAT Student-Innovators Crowned at Inaugural HatchHack

Eng. Mwandia awards the winners with a trophy

Three undergraduate students Bronson Eran’ogwa, Thomas Masibo and Duncan Odhiambo, all fourth year students pursuing Actuarial Science, Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science, respectively, together with Nicholas Musau, a third year student pursuing Information Technology, have been crowned winners of the inaugural HatchHack Hackathon competition, held at JKUAT Main Campus.

The competition, held, November 21, 2019 pitching 17 groups against each other for the top prize saw the innovation titled; Productivity Innovation through Early Identification, Surveillance, Disease and Pest Reporting, emerge tops in a contest that run under the theme: “Inventing the future today.”

Ecotopia and Computer Aided Drugs innovations came second and third respectively, during the hotly competition organized by JKUAT and Kenya Airports Parking Services (KAPS).

The winning innovation – Productivity innovation through Early Identification, Surveillance, Disease and Pest Reporting innovation – is built on innovative research on automatic crop disease detection using modern technologies such as big data and data analytics to deliver an innovative, scalable, non-invasive diagnostic system for crop disease detection using large multi-modality images from smartphones.

For the top spot, the winning team was awarded a full year academic scholarship, a cash prize of Kshs. 175,000 and trophies.

Laurah Ondari(4th from left) takes the judges through their Computer Aided Drugs innovations

The second spot was claimed by Winny Okoth and Sharon Onyango, pursuing Master of Science in Construction Project Management and Landscape Planning and Conservation, respectively.

Ecotopia innovation was designed to reduce heat in urban areas by replacing impermeable pavements which inhibit air-soil-heat exchange with concrete slabs with more air voids; large surface area for air circulation to increase heat exchange between the soil and air, reducing near-surface temperature. The team was awarded a half year tuition fee, and a cash prize of Kshs. 50,000.

Geofrey Owino, Laureen Wambui and Laurah Ondari, all forth year students pursuing Bachelor Degrees in Biostatistics, Mathematics and Computer Science and Medical Biochemistry, came third. Their molecular compound innovation has therapeutic effect on the Ebola disease. They were awarded 30% of annual tuition fee and a cash prize of Kshs. 25,000.

During the awards presentation ceremony, the Chief Guest, Chairman, KAPS, Eng. Eric Mwandia lauded the quality of innovations from all the competitors saying, the JKUAT-KAPS partnership was inspired by JKUAT’s reputation for innovations.

He urged the students to continue innovating pointing out that globally renowned companies such as Alibaba tech companies, were borne from innovations.

In a message delivered by the Principal, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,  Prof. David Mburu, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi thanked KAPS for their unwavering support in encouraging students innovations.

She said equipment received from the collaboration will go a long way in fostering research and innovation amongst JKUAT staff and students.

The participants shortly after the opening ceremony

Intellectual Property Management and University Industry Liaison Director, Eng. Benson Kariuki urged the students to closely work with his office in order to understand more about Intellectual Property, especially the logistics involved in acquisition of patents, copyrights and trademarks for their innovations.

He further urged them to always think about the commercial value of their products and refrain from casual attitude.

The three top innovation will be incubated in a bid to support the innovators develop their innovations into viable business ventures.

The sub-themes of the competition were Data Analytics, Automation, Green energy and Conservation and Internet of Things.


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