To aid the fight against the menace of insurgency in Nigeria and the rest of West African sub-region, two undergraduate researchers of the Kwara State University, Malete are set to develop an Unmanned Military Aerial Vehicle that can execute surveillance and ground surface attacks without the risk of losing the military personnel.
The duo, Onafowope Olaoluwa and Abdul-Majeed Adnan Sambo, who are students of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, presented a model UMAV at the 8th Undergraduate Research Day, held at the University Auditorium on Thursday.
They were among other undergraduate researchers who participated in the programme.
The two researchers explained that the proposed project when actualized, will increase Nigeria’s knowledge and defence capabilities as a nation.
According to them: “This is a research into the application of Unmanned Military Aerial Vehicles (UMAV) in national defence. A UMAV will be of immense contribution to forces in combating high-security threats within the national borders. The UMAV will be an aircraft with some payload as firearm and surveillance equipment.
“It will house a microcontroller that will control its essential parts. This research will delve into the intersection of aeronautical engineering, computer science, electronics and geographical information systems.”
Earlier in her address of welcome, the Deputy Director, Centre for Undergraduate Research, Dr. Olubukola Dada, declared that grants worth over N3 million would be awarded to the selected undergraduate researchers whose proposals were found worthy of funding by the CUR.
Dada also highlighted some of the achievements of the Institution’s undergraduate researchers to include a Surveillance Drone, an ongoing project by Habeebullah AbdulKadir of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
She noted that the drone, among other inventions, won accolades during this year’s exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in Abuja.
The Deputy Director explained that most of the undergraduate research innovations are awaiting stakeholders’ partnership, with a view to empowering the youth and helping to solve some of the developmental challenges in Nigeria.
Declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, noted that from its inception, KWASU had chosen to be a research-intensive University.
Na’Allah stated that research at an advanced level is not the only way to go, stressing that undergraduate research is as important as other research endeavours at the Institution.
He observed that without the support of undergraduate researchers, most of the prestigious awards, especially the Nobel Prizes, would not have been won by their recipients globally.
While assuring that a lot of products will be coming out of the Institution’s undergraduate research programme, he urged the CUR to reach out to potential sponsors and industries for partnership.
The Guest Speaker, Prof. Olatunde Oni, advised the young researchers to change the narrative of having most research works in the nation’s tertiary institutions ended up in shelves by making their findings impactful on the community.
Oni, who is the Dean, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, said he was motivated by the KWASU undergraduate research initiative and would propose its adoption at LAUTECH.
Started in 2013, the Undergraduate Research Day comes up every semester at KWASU.
The programme is aimed at helping the students to develop life-long knowledge and skills in problem-solving to become engaged, innovative, and impactful citizens of the world.
The 8th edition of the programme featured, among other things, presentation of research findings and proposals by shortlisted students from different colleges of the Institution.