A group of final year students from Colorado University in the USA under the Engineering Without Borders (EWB) group were hosted by CREEC from 16th-18th January to evaluate the Multi-Function Platform (MFP) machine for a final year student project.
The machine is designed for multi-purposes that include a grinding mill, oil press, rice roller, generator and a cassava chopper all meant to ease work of the user.
EWB in partnership with Makerere University is installing this machine in addition to four similar ones that were installed in local communities of Soroti district. CREEC is offering technical assistance and other advisory services in the testing process of engines to be used on this machine.
According to Steve Forbes a lecturer at the University and a volunteer mentor to the students on this particular project, four students are working on this project with a target of having the machine function by the end of the year. These students are comprised of one computer scientist, two environmental engineers and one math student. He is grateful to CREEC and Karsten Bechtel, the head of bioenergy department in particular for all the technical support he has offered the team.
Steve says that the first machine was installed in 2006. He hopes that more of such projects will be spread to other parts of the country and across Africa.
Gabrielle Wong, a math student on the project is privileged to have worked on the project. She says that even if the project is sometimes frustrating, the experience has been very insightful and educative to her. She hopes for the best from it.