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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Unizik: 7 students produce bus with local materials

The Young
 The Mechanical Engineering Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, (Unizik) Awka, recorded another milestone when seven graduating students from the department constructed a “made-in-Nigeria” mini bus. Similar feat was recorded last year when a group of five students from the same department produced a formula one car under the code name – AutoZIK.
The seven students include: Ezeigwe Chitoo Callistus, Obinani Victor Chimdike, Ezeanolue Ifeanyi Emmanuel, Okoro Chinaza, Ominigbo Fidelis Igho, Nwobodo Nnamdi Miracle and Ogbu Thaddeus Ikenna. The Head of the Department, Dr. C.H Achebe, supervised the project.
The group, which bears the name “AUTOZIK II,” spent over five months in constructing the mini-bus, referred to as “shuttle” within and around the university with locally sourced materials.
The popular saying, “what a man can do, a woman can do even better,” was very much in evidence, with a female engineering student, Okoro Chinaza being a member of the team. Her colleagues described her as a rare gem that contributed immensely to the success of the work.
On why she chose to study a course dominated by male students, Okoro said: “I have always been in their midst right from my first year in school so it wasn’t really a big deal.”
Narrating the success story, one of the graduating students, Chitoo, said the project was a dream come through.
“We made the design using CAD software, and all necessary simulation software for the analysis, putting the environment into critical consideration. The bus has good seating positioning, better fuel conservation with reduced consumption, good passenger view and very good aesthetics. It was built to suit the topography of our environment and the weather condition we have in this part of the world,” he said.
According to him, the bus was constructed from start to finish, inside the mechanical engineering workshop of Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He disclosed that the project was aimed at advancing the ergonomic standard of pre-existing shuttle bus. The bus is said to be compared to other foreign buses and has got what it takes to be out there and to be very outstanding.
Also speaking, another team member, Ifeanyi, said, “The AUTOZIK team indeed had gone through a whole lot before arriving at this platform. When we started, many thought we will not come this far, but today they have come to rejoice with us”.
Many lecturers applauded the project on the day the students defended the project. The bus was test driven in front of everybody in the university community at large, to prove to the world that it is movable, durable and above all fully made in Nigeria.
Some of the students of the department, in an interview, commended the efforts of Dr. Achebe and his team of lecturers, whom according to them, are doing a great job in the practical training of students. They also commended the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Ihueze Toochukwu, who has brought huge improvement to the Faculty of Engineering and has helped in rebranding the system.
The team further showered praises on the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku, who according to them has changed the face of the university and improved the standard of learning.
According to Chitoo, Prof. Ahaneku’s support for the Faculty of Engineering fuelled the zeal for invention and ingenuity in the faculty. It is believed that these seven young engineers (TEAM AUTOZIK), has a lot to offer if they could be encouraged or sponsored for further studies. Developing their talent further, perhaps could raise manufacturers of local automobiles and put Nigeria in the forefront of auto technology.

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