In 2014, ImpactLabs Global organized a summer workshops in the University of Lagos, Nigeria

ImpactLabs is an community-driven initiative that inspires innovation from the Africa through a hands-on approach to learning and creativity.

The objective of this project is to provide hands on engineering design and energy education to Nigerian students through real-life technology implementation projects. These projects will address specific energy and water needs in Lagos. The program is scheduled for August 18th to 29th 2014 at the Computer Hardware Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos.

During the workshop, the students will learn the basics of low-cost energy and water purification techniques using locally available materials while challenging participants to develop their own solutions to problems that they identify during the program.

Through this program, we aimed to:
– Create awareness and show participants how to identify needs in rural communities that can be solved by relatively simple technologies
– Teach participants the fundamentals of basic energy conversion and the function of selected devices
– Guide participants through a hands-on program that will involve the design, prototyping and testing of specific devices, as well as the incorporation user feedback to design iteration
– Provide participants with resources that would aid accomplishing the above listed objectives
The long-term goal of ImpactLabs is to create a sustainable local innovation space to foster the creative and scientific talents of Nigerian youths in the hopes of replicating the success of initiatives such as the D-Lab at MIT.

Schedule

The Speakers

Our goal was to work with speakers who showed excellence in their fields and remained relatable to our target students

Waste or Wealth?

Bola Ayodeji Akeju | WeCyclers

Bola Akeju works as the health, safety and environment manager of WeCyclers, a social enterprise which incentivizes residents of poor areas of Lagos.

WeCyclers uses specially designed bicycles to navigate these neighbourhoods, picking up bags of recyclable goods from subscribers, who earn points based on the weight of their trash. The points can then be cashed in for rewards. The bicycles, which were designed at MIT’s D-lab, are ideal for easing urban waste collection because they can navigate narrow roads in urban neighborhoods, are economical, non-polluting, and provide opportunities for job creation. Bola holds a Master’s degree in energy and environmental management from Glasgow Caledonian University and is certified by the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) as a HSE supervisor.

Bola is passionate about sustainability and building the adaptive capabilities of the most environmentally vulnerable people in Nigeria and, by extension, Africa.

Storytelling for Change

Omowunmi Afolabi | National Primary Healthcare Development Agency

Omowunmi Afolabi is a passionate social change agent who believes that the greatest asset in the world is portable knowledge.

She has over six years of experience working in rural and underserved communities in Nigeria focusing on education and health. She currently works as a Technical Assistant on a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme under the governance of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency. This position enables her to engage with stakeholders, build the capacity of healthcare providers, orientate community members and mobilize women for maternal and child health services. Omowunmi has a brain child named T.E.A.C.H (Transforming Education and Championing Health), which is designed as an innovative, community-based and integrated school health, school feeding, and public pre-primary & primary education project that specifically addresses certain targets of the UN MDGs 1, 2, 3, & 4. She loves to teach, mentor young people, and volunteer. She possesses well-developed communication skills, excellent leadership and managerial skills, strong coordination and problem solving skills; developed through managing a multi-disciplinary team involved in implementing large and comprehensive MDG projects. She holds a Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering from Yaba College of Technology and a Proficiency Certificate in Management from Nigerian Institute of Management. Omowunmi is committed to continuous learning; she is in the 99th percentile of users who have completed courses at the USAID global health e-Learning center (over 117001 people from 251 countries). She has 51 certificates in child survival, neonatal health, early childhood development, health systems, gender and health.

The Challenge I Face as I Prepare Myself for the Next 10 Years of Africa's Development

Gbenga Ige | MIT

Gbenga is a second-year MBA candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. Upon admission to Sloan, he was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship in recognition of his academic and professional achievement.

As a first year student, he co-led the MIT Africa Innovate Conference, and in the weeks that followed, the conference organizing team was awarded the MIT Sloan Achievement Award for Leadership and Community Contribution.

Prior to business school, Gbenga worked as a Control Systems Engineer at Cummins Inc. He started in 2008 as a Diagnostics Engineer. In his last role at the company, he worked as a Technical Specialist where he led his team to configure the fuel control system for engines used in automobile, marine and hybrid applications across multiple model years. These engines were used in the North American, European, Asian and South American markets and represented ~ $1.8bn of Cummins’ business at the time. In addition, his team was responsible for delivering the diesel engines that met the California Air Review Board and United States Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards in order to limit the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

He also worked on several cross-functional teams that tackled the company’s strategic engineering goals of the company. He led Cummins’ African and African American Affinity Group internship mentoring program, where full-time staff members helped summer interns adjust to the rigors and intricacies of life in corporate America. At the time, he was also a part-time football coach for the U9/U10 teams at the Columbus Express Soccer Academy.

Gbenga has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Idaho. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2005 from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is blessed with an 18 month old daughter – Tomide.

My Journey So Far

Ifedapo Omiwole | Rancard Mobility Nigeria

Ifedapo is a young professional with strong interests in Engineering, Business, Energy and Economic Development. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Engineering Science from Harvard University in 2012.

Prior to Harvard, he completed his secondary education at Redeemer’s International Secondary School, Lagos and the United World College Costa Rica.

Over the years, Ifedapo has gained valuable international work experience spanning different industries. As a Platform Engineer at Rancard—a leading mobile software company in Nigeria—Ifedapo worked to optimize service delivery on the company’s world-class content discovery and delivery platform. Before joining Rancard, he worked as an Operations Analyst with Goldman Sachs in the United States and also interned at Google Inc. in California, USA where he experienced firsthand the interplay between technology development and business. Ifedapo also gathered some experience in the public sector through an internship with the Lagos State Government Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in 2011.

In the near future, Ifedapo hopes to contribute his engineering and management skills to the sustainable development of the electric power sector in undeserved economies like Nigeria. 

Engineering Design Works

Olajide Oshinkanlu | Independent innovator

Jide is an expert at designing and modeling new mechanical systems using computer-aided design packages. He is also proficient at fabrication.

He started his career in engineering at the age of 13, a privilege he acquired at a factory owned and managed by his father. This was one of the reasons he developed a flair for man-and-machines. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lagos in 2010. He has applied for four patents in the past two years and is a mentor to a number of JETS clubs in Lagos.

Curriculum Materials

Explore workshop materials from the 2014 workshop in UNILAG

For those who may be interested, we are providing all the relevant
content of the 2014 ImpactLabs Summer Workshop in PDF format.
Feel free to view in your browser or download

Student Recaps

Congratulations to the students who successfully completed the 2014 ImpactLabs Summer Camp.

Asides the predefined projects we used in teaching concepts on energy, water and biomass, the students formed four teams to carry out their own projects.

They identified several problems faced by people around them, came up with solutions and selected the one they thought was most feasible and impactful. They documented the progress of these projects on blogs. The teams and websites:

Participants photos

We are grateful to the sponsors/partners of ImpactLabs Nigeria 2014: