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Makerere students win Gold, Silver at efficiency for access design challenge

Two teams of students from Makerere University’s College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) have won Gold and Silver at the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge for their projects entitled ‘Standalone solar load management system’ and ‘Solar energy efficient fish dryer’ respectively. The Grand Final event held on Monday 29th June 2020 saw UK teams from the University College London and University of Strathclyde win Gold and Silver respectively alongside the aforementioned CEDAT teams.

The team that won Gold was made up of Mr. Sibo Derrick, Mr. Weredwong Innocent, Mr. Obeti Silivio and Mr. Mukasa Peter, all Fourth Year students of the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. The Silver award-winning team was made up of Mr. Ivan Musingo, Mr. Fred Wanjala, Mr. Reagan Masembe, and Mr. Evarest Ampaire, all Fourth Year students of the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The Bronze award was jointly won by Strathmore University (Kenya) and the University of Bath (UK).

According to the press release published on the Efficiency for Access website, the Design Challenge is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access. It is funded by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation.

Mr. Wanjala, a member of the Silver award-winning team shared that challenge started in September 2019 with a total of 20 teams from nine universities competing. “Out of the 20, only 14 teams managed to reach the Grand Final where Makerere took both gold and silver. Funds to prototype these projects will be sent.”

It is worth noting that three other teams from Makerere University made it to the Grand Final. These presented projects on; ‘Design of a solar-powered evaporative cooler’, ‘Design of a solar-powered clay refrigerator’ and ‘Design and Implementation of a Solar Powered Smart Irrigation System’.

FULL STATEMENT 

Efficiency for Access Design Challenge celebrates university students promoting clean energy access in emerging economies.

University students from Kenya, Uganda, and the UK beat teams from around the world to win the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge at today’s Grand Final event. Delivered by Efficiency for Access, with the support of Engineers Without Borders UK, the Challenge is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access. It is funded by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation.

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge invited teams of university students to design affordable and energy-efficient appliances and technologies for low to middle-income countries. By bringing together and inspiring university students, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge’s goal was to foster innovation in the off-grid appliances sector. The competition also sought to address barriers limiting market expansion in this area.

The winning teams’ projects are:

  • Gold: University College London, ‘Off-grid electric pressure Cookers for Sub-Saharan African communities’, and Makerere University, Uganda, ‘Standalone solar load management system’
  • Silver: University of Strathclyde, ‘e-Cook for developing countries’, and Makerere University, ‘Solar energy efficient fish dryer’
  • Bronze: Strathmore University, ‘Kijiji, a solar-powered container with essential services for empowering rural communities’, and the University of Bath, ‘Off-grid refrigeration systems (ACE)’

International Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said:

“Climate change is one of the biggest global threats we face, so it’s fantastic to see students from around the world helping us to achieve a greener future by finding innovative solutions to improve access to clean energy. This not only protects the environment but also people’s health.

“UK aid has already given 26 million people in the world’s poorest countries improved access to clean energy and we will continue to drive through such global change, including as hosts of COP26 next year.”

The Challenge began in September 2019 with students submitting their projects in April 2020 and presenting their projects to a panel of expert judges on 17 and 19 June. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the pitching sessions were delivered online. Participating universities were Durham University, Independent University of Bangladesh, Loughborough University, Makerere University, Strathmore University, Swansea University, University College London, University of Bath and the University of Strathclyde.

Jeffrey Prins, Head of Portfolio – Renewable Energy, IKEA Foundation, said:

“The IKEA Foundation is thrilled to celebrate the outstanding work of the winning teams in the inaugural year of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. If we are serious about delivering renewable energy access for all by 2030, we need innovative

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