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Centre For Artificial Intelligence To Begin In UNN As 2Oth Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture Ends
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Centre For Artificial Intelligence To Begin In UNN As 2Oth Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture Ends

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The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is to serve as the zonal centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) considering its roles in education in Nigeria.

This was part of the outcome of the 20th Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture (HMML) organized by the Faculty of Engineering, UNN with the theme Harnessing Practical Engineering Solutions for Sustainable Economic Development which took place 3rd & 4th May 2024 at the Princess Alexandria Unity Hall and Theatre.

The guest lecturer, Engr.(Mrs) Jane Nkechi Egerton-Idehen, MD-CEO of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, in her lecture titled ” Championing Innovation: A look at Digital Transformation and Economic Diversification in Nigeria” highlighted the opportunities ebbeded in emerging digital economy and the choice of UNN as the centre for the study of AI. Centre For Artificial Intelligence To Begin In UNN As 2Oth Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture Ends

“If we want the economy to be diversified by digital transmission, it means that digital services should be a kin and natural. People should find it easy to use their phones, people should know how to use their laptops. That is why education, digital literacy is so important because with the digital literacy, the population themselves, people shy away from things they don’t understand. Is not that they don’t want to use their laptops, having them in institutions, it means we are close to the source, to the talent and that is what we want to do”, she said.

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Another lecture, titled “Practical Implications of Hydrological Data: Applications in Agriculture and environmental Management” by Engr. Clement Onyeaso Nze, revealed that ignorance of Hydrological data has caused environmental degradation, avoidable disaster and food security in the country.

“Project we want to embark upon, to be sustainable, to stand the test of time, you can’t build your dam, whether is for hydro- power or for irrigation or water supply, if you don’t have adequate Hydrological data.

“You can’t envisage building a stadium, highways and bridges without Hydrological data or else, you are doing guess work”, he said.

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In their separate remarks, the Chief Host and Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Arizechukwu Igwe and Prof. Paul Eke, the Chairman of the event and a Prof. of digital Twin Technology and systems Engineering, Royal Academy of Engineering Practice Professor at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom respectively, noted that the theme is apt considering the country’s economic deflation.

Prof. Igwe also noted that the HMML was a biennial event which began in 1980 in honour of a visionary Engineer, Architect, Surveyor and a foremost nationaist, Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay, who was born on November 14, 1864 to Thomas Babbington Macaulay, the founder of CMS Grammar School, Lagos and Abigail Crawther, the daughter of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crawther. Centre For Artificial Intelligence To Begin In UNN As 2Oth Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture Ends

He further observed that Macaulay was one of the first Nigerian nationalists and his opposition to many colonial policies paved the way for the independence of Nigeria.

Prof. Eke further said “When this centre kicks off in UNN, we have an idea of how to escalate these things to other universities, as well as industrialisation of part of it because this is already going global, everywhere in the world.

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Ealier, in his address, the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Engr. Prof. Emenike Chinedozi Ejiogu, FNIEE, recalled that the Faculty of Engineering Board resolved on October 5, 1978 to establish a memorial lecture series to be known as “the Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture (HMML)”, to honour Herbert Heelas Macaulay, the Father of Nigerian nationalism, who trained and practiced as an engineer, architect and surveyor.

He said that the first lecture was held in 1980 and has since continued every two years, with many distinguished lecturers doing justice to the selected lecture theme that the Faculty board carefully selected according to the needs of the time.

The highlights of the Faculty event was the presentations of awards to guests and lecturers of the Faculty.

Engr. Egerton-Idehen “sets” the record of being the first female to deliver a lecture of HMML since the inception of the lecture in1980.

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