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Mayibongwe Scoops First Prize In HIT Pre- NESAC Finals 2018

Mayibongwe Scoops First Prize In HIT Pre- NESAC Finals 2018Mayibongwe Sibanda, a Chemical and Process Systems Engineering student won the first prize in the HIT 2018 Pre-National Engineering Students Awards Competitions (NESAC) held on June 6 at the University campus. She will proceed to represent HIT at the Nationals to be held in August this year.

Mayibongwe's Capstone Design Project entitled "Production of 15 TPD Cement from Water Treatment Sludge and limestone for Construction of Roads and Pavements" beat seven other contestants in the oral presentations. Her project involves the production of road construction cement from municipal water treatment sludge to fill potholes which have plagued the roads in our country due to the lack of maintenance and inadequate funding. This road construction cement is an alternative to the conventional asphalt currently being used to surface roads. The project is focused on solving two major problems which are management of municipal water treatment sludge that is currently dumped at treatment plants, and secondly, the formation of potholes that have become the characteristic feature of Zimbabwean roads due to excessive traffic and lack of road maintenance works.

The seven other contestants who participated at the pre-finals were drawn from Chemical Process Systems Engineering, Electronic and the Industrial Manufacturing Engineering and the Polymer Technology and Engineering departments.

In his opening remarks at the event, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, Eng. Perkins Muredzi reminded the contestants and delegates that HIT has previously won two national competitions,  and the Institute was highly regarded by the Zimbabwean community as the cradle for engineering excellence. "It is a norm at HIT, for our students to present top notch engineering Capstone design projects that are deemed as the best output of the academic year. We are striving to teach the ability to conceptualize concrete solutions to abstract problems amongst our engineering students. We are empowering engineers as technopreneurs through hands-on learning, teaching them to design, develop, and to test their prototypes" he said.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. Maxwell Chanakira said the HIT is a young and dynamic University that is focusing on Africa and is on a growth trajectory, with ambitions to increase infrastructural development.

Engineer F. Zowa ,Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (Z.I.E)Guest of Honour, Engineer F. Zowa, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (Z.I.E) said the main thrust of this competition is to promote innovation among final year engineering students at universities. "All the projects presented by the contestants today are lucrative and need the support of industry towards their realisation," he said.

The competition is a showcase of the university's students' best engineering research and development projects and was graced  by Engineer F. Zowa from the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, HIT Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. Maxwell Chanakira, Dean of the School of School of Engineering and Technology Eng. Perkins  Muredzi, and spouse of the renowned Engineer Paul Mavhunga Kodzwa, Dr Gloria Kodzwa. In a moving tribute to the life and work of her late husband, Dr Kodzwa urged engineering students to work to the best of their abilities and to focus their energies on developing the nation.