Covenant, Cranfield University Open Talks on Research Collaborations
Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, and Cranfield University, United Kingdom, are putting modalities in place to collaborate on a number of research-based and teaching endeavours, which would be of mutual benefit to the two institutions.
This much was communicated as researchers from Covenant University and Cranfield University on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 began series of teleconference meetings bordering on different fields of research engagements, which included Wind Power Generation, Entrepreneurship, Petroleum Engineering, and General Energy/Solar.
Other areas of interest expected to be discussed in the series of meetings are Sustainable Rural Infrastructure, Mechatronics Engineering, Water and Environment, Material Science, Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City, and Agrifood.
The Dean, College of Engineering, Covenant University, Professor Christian Bolu, who acted as moderator from the Nigerian end during the teleconference, first introduced members of the Wind Power research cluster of Covenant University, led by Dr. Oluseyi Ajayi, with Dr. Maurizio Collu representing Cranfield University at the UK end.
Dr. Ajayi highlighted the different studies his research cluster had carried out on tidal and wind energy generation, particularly looking at the potential and magnitude of wind power to be generated offshore. He noted that since Cranfield has capacity in building wind turbines, there could be collaboration between the British institution and Covenant University.
He proposed to Dr. Collu the possibility of students transfer and Covenant University students coming to Cranfield to use its facilities to develop something good.
In his comments, Dr. Maurizio said that it would be dynamic to collaborate with Covenant University, as Cranfield could design its own turbine for some specific areas. Also, he expressed hope that both universities could arrange exchange of PhD students who can follow specialised modules on renewable energy.
The next meeting between the Entrepreneurship research cluster of Covenant University, led by the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies (CEDS), Dr. Stephen Oluwatobi, and Dr. Shailendran Vyakaram, representing Cranfield, focused on post-school entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship research and how to merge organisational knowledge into entrepreneurship.
Covenant University, said Dr. Oluwatobi, had in 2002 started the CEDS and made it available to all students, who were educated in entrepreneurship, adding that more features like vocational education was added in subsequent years. The CEDS, he revealed, had recently launched an entrepreneurship project aimed at developing the mindset of students.
The centre, he stated, was leveraging on alumni network and getting interesting feedbacks from the investment community in Nigeria. “We are doing things in research to further boost capacity,” Dr. Oluwatobi added.
In her comments, a former Director of the CEDS, Dr. Chinenye Moses, raised the issue of how to create a conducive environment for the students within the university campus to practice entrepreneurship, an idea echoed by another former Director of the centre, Dr. Omotayo Adegbuyi, who said that due to academic constraints, students with entrepreneurial ideas find it difficult to go into business.
In his response, Dr. Vyakaram, from the Cranfield end, bemoaned the problem of unemployment across the world and said that what Cranfield was doing was to make people job creators. Cranfield, he disclosed, has full and part-time programmes in the area of entrepreneurship, where Covenant University faculty could be eligible for doctoral studies.
Dr. Vyakaram urged Covenant University to encourage students to do business by connecting them with the industry, create forum for idea generation and rewards and find role models to encourage the students. “Cranfield is willing to provide support in the area of research practicality in entrepreneurship,” he said, adding that, “Covenant University and Cranfield can collaborate on conferences”.
The focus was on petroleum refinery, energy and the environment, oilfield scale and reservoir, and synthesis characterization and application of particles among others, when the Petroleum Engineering (oil and gas) cluster of Covenant University met with Professor. Gloria Falcone of Cranfield.
Professor Falcone, who described proposals from the Covenant University end as interesting, said that Cranfield and Covenant University would be looking at how to finance joint research projects and how to recruit good quality students.
In his remarks, the Dean, College of Engineering, Covenant University, Professor Christian Bolu, said that the University looks forward to firm up collaboration with Cranfield on areas identified.