Egerton University students emerge top at global engineering competition
By Joshua Cheloti
Egerton University has been put on a global map after two of its students emerged among the top three in the just-concluded World Engineering Day Hackathon.
A project by two students from the Nakuru County-based university was ranked third globally during the awards.
The World Engineering Day Hackathon encourages engineering students to work in teams towards a global real-world problem.
The two final year students, Joseph Nguthiru and Charles Kinyua from the Egerton University’s Faculty of Engineering and Technology presented a project titled ‘Hyapak’. The project that made it to the finals was shortlisted for the global award alongside nine others from across the world.
They finished behind a project from the Philippines that emerged top, followed by another from Canada.
By finishing third, the two students received 1,000 Euros as prize money – which is an equivalent of about Ksh123,000.
“It has been a long journey. From being stuck in a lake to getting international recognition. It shows how big the gap is for youth innovations, especially in combating climate change,” said one of the students Joseph Nguthiru.
The HyaPak Project focuses on the transformation of water hyacinth into an economically beneficial resource for communities by converting the stubborn aquatic weed into biodegradable alternatives for single-use plastic products.
“This is a huge honor for us and we are really grateful for the milestone. We have had a lot of people who have supported us this far and we are grateful to them all,” added Charles Kinyua.
The two students makes it a double win for the project after they also won the East Africa Youth for Climate Action Award in 2021.
With the global win, they are now aiming at furthering their research and developing the Hyapak project into a business model.