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UNN engineering career fair addresses skills gap, industry collaboration

The fair aimed to equip engineering students and graduates with relevant industry skills, promote innovation, introduce participants to modern and emerging technologies, and prepare them for successful job applications and careers in the engineering field.
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The University of Nigeria Nsukka’s (UNN) Faculty of Engineering has recently hosted the second edition of the Engineering Career Fair in partnership with Clintonel Innovation Center Aba, Abia State. The primary objective of the event was to bridge the engineering skills gap in Nigeria and align engineering education with the needs of the industry.

Compared to the first edition in September 2021, the second edition saw a significant increase in interest, with over five hundred student registrations. The fair aimed to equip engineering students and graduates with relevant industry skills, promote innovation, introduce participants to modern and emerging technologies, and prepare them for successful job applications and careers in the engineering field.

The event featured distinguished engineering experts from various industries who provided valuable insights and conducted training sessions to familiarise attendees with industry expectations. Practical industry-led workshops covered a diverse range of topics, including Health Safety and Environment, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Solar Panel Installation, Inverter Design, Computer-Aided Design, Computer-Aided Manufacturing, Laser Cutting and Engraving, and Web3 foundations.

Professor Emenike Ejiogu, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, expressed his satisfaction with the strong collaboration between academia and industry demonstrated at the fair. He commended the active participation of students and alumni, who contributed as speakers and facilitators in the industry-led training sessions.

Professor Ugo Nwoji, a notable speaker and former Vice-President of COREN, emphasised the importance of networking and nurturing university friendships as they can lead to collaborative teamwork and provide valuable learning and professional development opportunities.

During the event, Ugochukwu Aronu, Co-Founder of Xend Finance and an alumnus of the faculty, announced an innovation challenge aimed at identifying local and global problems, brainstorming solutions, and building engineering models to address these issues. This challenge offers a total prize of $5,000 and technical mentoring to two winning teams from the Faculty of Engineering. The goal of the challenge is to promote sustainable development and make a positive impact on Nigerian society.

Various companies, including Genesys Techhub Enugu, Clintonel Innovation Centre Aba, Minnostech Enugu, Manamuz, Onshore and Offshore Institute of Nigeria, UgarSoft/Xend Finance, and Kitovu Technologies, also participated in the event.

Additionally, the newly established Engineering Education Research Group, led by the Career Fair convener, Dr Ijeoma J.F Ezika, awarded five Health, Safety, and Environment training and certification scholarships to top participants in the HSE technical session.

In his closing remarks, Tochukwu Chukwueke, CEO of Clintonel Innovation Centre Aba, expressed satisfaction with the event’s organisation and the student turnout, despite its proximity to the exam period. He stressed the importance of locally manufactured engineering products and encouraged students to see them as a source of hope for the country.

The students were delighted with the event and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate. They highlighted the valuable skills acquired and the networks formed during the fair. One student wished they could attend all sessions concurrently and expressed interest in attending again if another fair is organized. Another student emphasised the importance of embracing an innovative mindset and feeling challenged to explore new opportunities in the field of technology as an engineering student.

The UNN Engineering Career Fair was part of the Engineering Programme for Safety and Industry (EPSI), a project supported by Engineering X, an international collaboration founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering UK and Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

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