A University Don, Prof. Lawrence Kehinde in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering, College of Engineering, Prof. Lawrence Olakunle Kehinde has demonstrated his believe in the ingenuity of Nigerian students by financing the development of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
Prof. Kehinde, who retired from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University in 2018 decided to join the services of the University in 2019 because he was convinced that he had what it takes to make an impact in the educational sector and university system in particular.
According to him, “I decided that since I am not tired I would love to contribute to the University system. I started teaching in Mechatronics and I have really enjoyed myself. All the lecturers I met here are good”.
Speaking on why he financed the project, Prof. Kehinde disclosed that on getting to the Mechatronics Department, he observed that the Department lacked some essential equipment and so he decided to assist in his own little way by financing the development of a PLC based teaching equipment. This according to him is not the case again in the Department as the University Management had been magnanimous enough to the Department by purchasing state-of-the-art equipment.
He disclosed that, “Before the University bought the equipment I decided to get some students to develop something out of what we needed because we were doing PLC in almost four courses. I decided to buy some of these things and get some students to build it. I have done that before in 1990 when I was on sabbatical in University of Ibadan, I built an equipment for them using students. Therefore, anywhere I go I want to see what I can contribute. I do not have any child in school so I can afford to see these students as my own”.
He further revealed that, “By building it ourselves we got it for less than 20 percent of the actual cost. It’s quite different from what the University recently got for the Department because students can touch and change things in the one we assembled compared to the one the Management bought. That one too is very good but there are times when people who design things don’t put students into consideration, they are not doing it with the mind of a teacher so that’s why I said let’s do this one”.
Commending the quality of students the University is producing, Prof. Kehinde stated that, “Our students are very good, in the last JAMB the person with the highest score came to Mechatronics. One of the students that built this is already wanted in Lagos in one of the big companies because they heard of what he has done. I think we should encourage them”.
The University Don stated that with this innovation, it is possible for the University to generate revenue through it by collaborating with some companies because most universities do not have PLCs.
“PLCs are useful in many ways even in agriculture. What they do is that they have sensors to sense whatever they are programmed to do and they can control outputs that can do a lot of things as configured, it could be used to open a gate, count animal or bottles, pour feeds, close gates and so on.
It is simply detection, sensing and controlling it to do something. That is what they use in many industries now but there is hardly any company that is using made in Nigeria product so what we have is good because we are making them ourselves. The university can make a lot of money if they collaborate with a particular industry. It can be sold to all universities that are doing PLCs. It can also be built in such a way that it will be need-specific” he said.
In furtherance to what has already been done, Prof. Kehinde said he plans to visit the University farm to see their needs and design a PLC to meet their needs.
Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by FUNAAB