Concept utilising condensation technology recognised in international student competition

Team Concept Squad placed third in the international Autodesk Designathon for their idea, Air-O-Ponics, an innovative machine that transforms air into clean water.

The students representing Net-Info in Tunisia designed a machine which uses condensation technology to extract moisture from the air. Produced water is used for watering plants in a hydroponic system, a method of growing plants that does not require soil, the plants are grown in an aqueous nutrient solution. The Air-O-Ponics is powered by solar energy.

The students from Team Concept Squad: Emna Ksaier, Oussema Benaissa, and Azza Reguigui.

Valuable competition for career development

The students recognise how participating in the Designathon will benefit their career development:

Azza Reguigui said:

“Participating in an international competition proves to be a profound and enriching learning experience. The exposure to diverse challenges in such a global contest contributes significantly to my personal and professional growth, enhancing my adaptability and broadening my expertise.This experience serves as a catalyst for continuous improvement, laying a solid foundation for future success in my career endeavours.”

Oussema Benaissa said:

“Winning a third place in an international competition will open a lot of working opportunities especially when they will discover that you won, they will be sure of your skills in 3d modelling.”

Emna Ksaier said:

“Participating in an international competition can be a valuable learning experience, providing insights and skills that can be applied in different aspects of my career. It is more than just a competition. It is an opportunity to contribute, learn and grow. Every moment of this experience is a privilege, and I am honoured to be part of this collective pursuit of excellence.”

Expert view

The Designathon concepts were judged by an expert panel including representatives from Autodesk and KnowledgePoint. The judges were impressed by the quality of the student submissions.

Commenting on Team Concept Squad’s entry, the judges said:

“This project integrates different ideas in a brilliant way. The system utilizes solar energy to condense humidity in the air and allows for growing plants without the need for soil. Furthermore, the team has meticulously modelled their ideas, detailing the relationships between components, and using a circular design that enhances the aesthetic appeal of the product.”

Organised by KnowledgePoint, Designathon is part Autodesk’s commitment to education. The two-day online event saw students from 24 countries develop vital digital skills, and compete in the global Designathon challenge. 

For more information about the Designathon and Autodesk’s commitment to education here.

Design for hydroponic farming system draws plaudits in international student competition

Team Titan secured second place in the Autodesk Designathon for their idea, a compact, solar-powered, hydroponic farming system.

The students representing Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, designed a system comprising solar panel for energy supply, connected to a small hydroponic unit where crops are grown in a nutrient-rich, water-based solution, eliminating the need for soil. 

The mechanical engineering students from Team Titan, Alao Kolawole, Julia Daramola, and Oluwaseun Adeyera, took part in the two-day Designathon organised by Autodesk and KnowledgePoint.

When asked about the competition and their concept, the team said:

“Designing a product for growing crops using renewable energy in Fusion was a mixture of sustainability and innovation. It underscored the incredible potential of combining cutting-edge design technology with renewable energy to revolutionise agriculture. This experience was a vivid reminder that the future of eco-friendly farming is not just a concept, but a tangible reality within our grasp.”

Concept for a portable product for growing crops using renewable energy

The students were challenged to design a concept for a portable product for growing crops using renewable energy. Team Titan’s design is a compact, solar-powered, hydroponic farming system. Portability is achieved through a lightweight, collapsible frame with wheels, allowing easy movement and reconfiguration. The design integrates sensors and automated controls for nutrient and pH level management, ensuring optimal growing conditions while leveraging renewable energy.

Expert view

The Designathon concepts were judged by an expert panel including representatives from Autodesk and KnowledgePoint. The judges were impressed by the quality of the student submissions.

Commenting on Team Titan’s entry, the judges said:

“This project was one of our favourites aesthetically. The team applied high attention to details while modelling with Fusion and did a great job in generating photo-realistic renderings. It was also one of the best projects in terms of portability. Additionally, the team considered the manufacturability of the product in their design.”

Organised by KnowledgePoint, Designathon is part Autodesk’s commitment to education. The two-day online event saw students from 24 countries develop vital digital skills, and compete in the global Designathon challenge. 

For more information about the Designathon and Autodesk’s commitment to education here.

Engineering students from Gazi University win international design competition

Team Ying Yang won the international student design competition for their concept for a portable product for growing crops using renewable energy. The students representing Gazi University saw off competition from 70 students teams from 24 countries to win the inaugural Designathon.

Ahmet Kaya and Ömer Kağan Yılmaz, who are studying manufacturing engineering, took part in the two-day Designathon organised by Autodesk and KnowledgePoint.

Commenting on their win they said:

You can be creative as you can express yourself. Fusion gave us the opportunity to create everything we want, with just a few clicks. We worked hard (especially the flowerpots) and we had a wonderful time while pushing our limits when trying new things, and results came out better than we thought. Thanks to Autodesk and Gazi University, we achieved a great success, and a core memory to both of us. Can’t wait to be a part of more in the future!

The two-day online event saw students complete a day of training on Autodesk Fusion where they gained vital digital design and modelling skills. On day two of the Designathon, the student teams were asked to respond to a challenge facing communities around the globe, the need for sustainable crops.

The students value the digital skills they’ve gained:

We will use Fusion in many ways in the future. Sketching, modelling, measuring, analysing and simulating; so basically everything. Fusion is a well-developed, up-to-date software to catch up with the today’s technology, to get the best results from our most precious thing, time.” 

The winning design

The Ying Yang mobile machine uses powerful suspension systems and wheels to keep up with the changing rhythm of the world. It has strong tempered glass to withstand harsh weather conditions and, in addition to a small ecosystem housed in its three-story body, it only uses renewable energy sources, specifically the most mobile of them all, solar panels, to ensure sustainability.

It has features such as modifiable plant pots, instant health analysis of plants and soil with built-in artificial intelligence support, and panels opening in the most suitable position for high yield. It produces minimal waste by converting its own waste plant outputs into biomass energy through the method of biomass combustion.

Validation by experts

The student entries were judged by an expert panel including representatives from Autodesk and KnowledgePoint. The judges were impressed by the calibre of the student submissions.

Commenting on Ying Yang’s entry, the expert jury said:

This project had one of the most detailed models among the competition entries. It features a design that is tailored to ensure that multiple plants could be stored on shelves but with each plant positioned to maximize exposure to sunlight. The electronic components, the elements responsible for plant care, and additional components like solar panels have all been modelled in great detail, making full use of Fusion’s capabilities.”

Organised by KnowledgePoint, Designathon is part Autodesk’s commitment to education. The two-day online event saw students develop vital digital skills, and compete in the global Designathon challenge. 

Learn more about the Designathon and Autodesk’s commitment to education here.

Cultivating creativity and innovation for a better tomorrow

In the ever-evolving industrial landscape, fostering creativity and innovation among the next generation of engineers and makers is critical. As we mark the International Day of Education, I reflect on the transformative power of education in building a sustainable future.

We recently organised an online Designathon, where teams of students worked together to tackle a real-world problem using the latest digital design tools and methodologies. By combining elements of education, technology, and creativity, the competition offered a learning environment to prepare students for the challenges of the future.

One of the things I loved about the Designathon was its ability to transcend geographical boundaries.  Technology proved itself to be a great enabler. Over the course of two days, we were joined by students from 64 institutions from 24 countries. These students from diverse backgrounds came together to learn. They came together to think about a global challenge. They collaborated and they had fun.

For me, this interconnected approach epitomises the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

Top 3 winning designs in the Designathon

Essential skills for the 21st century

In a world evolving at an unprecedented pace, education needs to be a cornerstone for progress and transformation. It can be a catalyst for fostering skills essential for the 21st century, such as critical thinking, collaboration, and adaptability. These skills are crucial in preparing students to navigate the complexities of an increasingly interconnected world.

It is easy to talk about the importance of such skills in the abstract. It is better when their importance is recognised – particularly by our future workforce, such as those who took part in our competition. 

Azza Reguigui from Team Concept Squad, Tunisia said:

“Designathon 2023 enhanced my teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills, providing valuable experience in a dynamic design setting.”

Many of the students who took part in our Designathon said they did because they want to improve their chances of securing good jobs in the design and manufacturing sectors.  In a competitive job market, they recognise how participation can boost their employability. 

Ömer Kağan Yılmaz, from the winning team from Gazi University in Turkey told me:

“The Designathon is definitely going to affect my future plans. I was wanting to work in 3D modelling industry after my bachelor and master degree but after Designathon 2023, adding the 1st place award to my CV going to show my passion for the CAD and teamworking abilities.” 

Aligning learning to industry’s needs

Events like this also underscore the importance of collaboration between educational institutions and businesses, ensuring that curricula align with the evolving needs of the professional landscape. In my role I see the positive effects of such collaborations between education and industry.  If tutors and institutions know what employers expect, their students are more likely to be prepared for success in manufacturing settings deploying the latest digital technologies. 

There’s a need to invest in all levels of education, addressing inequalities and expanding access to skills and training. Some countries need a demand-driven education system which is in sync with employers’ needs, as well as building both STEM and ICT capacity. By organising the Designathon, we’re playing a part in addressing inequalities and increasing attainment levels.

We do this because we recognise that digital transformation holds the key to the future of manufacturing.  Those manufacturers already adopting digital technologies are realising improvements in efficiency, performance, productivity as well as reduced energy bills.

Those students investing in their futures, willing to challenge themselves against others, will reap the rewards. They will be the ones who will stand out from the crowd when employers have roles to fill.

Tomas Karlsson is the senior manager of channel services at KnowledgePoint. This means he oversees the management of outsourced extended enterprise learning programmes, recruiting and supporting global network of training providers on behalf of organisations, including Autodesk. 

Organised by KnowledgePoint, Designathon is part of Autodesk’s commitment to education. The two-day online event saw students develop vital digital skills, and compete in the global Designathon challenge.  For more information about the Designathon and Autodesk’s commitment to education:

Autodesk Designathon 2023

Designathon 2023 organised on 15 – 16 December was a fantastic experience. We saw students of industrial design and engineering from around the world come together for a two-day international online design competition.

Day 1 introduced the participants to Autodesk Fusion, showing them workflows they’ll use in factories and design practices. They gained insight and practical skills – and had fun in the process!

Day 2 was all about competition. This competition sees the students working together in teams putting day one’s learnings to the test. They responded to a task set by a team of experts to model a product for growing crops with renewable energy. 

The students’ entries in the competition are now with our expert judging panel. They’ll be reviewing and assessing against the judging criteria. Their decisions will be announced early in January 2024 to recognise three top teams.

– 180 students
– 70 teams
– 24 countries
– 64 of educational institutions represented

Designathon 2023 reflects Autodesk’s commitment to education. Autodesk Fusion is preferred by global industry leaders and design professionals around the world. By helping students to develop the skills they’ll use in the workplace, they’ll stand out from the crowd with future employers.

Learn more at our dedicated Designathon page and check back for winner announcements in early January. Designathon 2023 – KnowledgePoint x Autodesk

YABATECH wins Nigerian Genius 2023 Competition

A student team from Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) saw off competition from around 50 other teams to emerge as the winners of Nigerian Genius 2023. 

Now in its second year, the annual national engineering competition is organised by Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC) in Aba. The competition brings together Nigeria’s brightest minds in tertiary institutions to solve Nigeria’s most complex engineering and manufacturing challenges. Students get to showcase their skills, gain exposure to real-world engineering challenges and learn from industry experts.  

Identifying one winner from around 50 shortlisted institutions  

In this year’s edition of the Nigerian Genius, 49 tertiary institutions were shortlisted to participate in the competition. Four finalists emerged: University of Uyo (Team UNIUYO), Yaba College of Technology (Team YABATECH), Ahmadu Bello University (Team ABU) and Federal University of Technology Minna (Team FUTMINNA). 

These schools were ranked based on their performance in the competition. The evaluation considered various criteria including: engineering design and fabrication, teamwork, creativity, analytical thinking, engineering knowledge, problem solving and soft skills. 

  • Team YABATECH was ranked No. 1 in engineering education 2023. The team also earned a second award for incorporating the most innovative engineering design into their final solution.  
  • Team FUTMINNA was ranked No. 2. The team received the People’s Choice Award.  
  • Team UNIUYO was ranked No. 3. They received the Sustainability Award for using recycled materials in their final solution. 
  • Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (ABU) was ranked No. 4. The team received the Resilience Award for being the most resilient team.  

Members of Team YABATECH were really delighted with their success – see a testimonial here.

I had learnt so much within a very short period of time, I have gotten a better understanding of what Engineering in the industry looks like in contrast to what we learn from school. I have also gotten the very foundation I need to advance my career in hardware development and embedded systems. 

The aspects of Nigerian Genius 2023 I enjoyed the most are the brain teasers which helps to improve the need to work in teams, the design for manufacturing class, the laser class and the PCB design class.

Olayinka Oyewole

Nigerian Genius helped me by improving my 3D design mind and exposed me to 3D printing and laser cutting.  During the competition I learnt that any project is possible when there is teamwork and dedication. My weakness has always been no putting enough time to my work. 

Eromosele David Momoh

Responding to the challenge of food insecurity  

The four finalists were given the challenge of solving Nigeria’s food crisis. The Nigerian president recently declared a state of emergency on food insecurity. It is estimated that the average Nigerian spends more than 60% of their income on food, compared to less than 10% in developed nations.   

Within two weeks, they designed and built a farming robot to mechanise and automate farming, scale food production, and secure the lives of farmers. The robot can perform tasks such as clearing, planting, harvesting, irrigation, surveillance and weather updates.  It has the potential to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria.  

This innovation could address food insecurity and uplift the livelihood of farmers, thereby contributing to the overall economic development of the country. 

Through the competition we aim to highlight how engineering plays a critical part in manufacturing, industrial and national development. We also want to inspire tertiary institutions across the country to improve their engineering education, helping them to address industry needs.  

Engineering students are equipped with essential industry and manufacturing skills. They will be more employable as a result. The competition helps to boost local manufacturing, resulting in employment generation and economic development.

Blessing Eke, head of marketing and publicity at CIC

About Nigerian Genius and Engineering for Industry (E4I) 

The Nigerian Genius competition is designed to advance engineering education in Nigeria and contribute to the development of practical skills, problem-solving abilities, and leadership qualities among the participants.  

The competition saw the finalists of the Nigerian Genius 2023 being trained by industry experts on essential engineering and manufacturing skills such as: Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing, casting, engineering fabrication, embedded systems and problem solving. Using a project-based learning approach, students designed and produced several products during the training element of the competition. 

The Nigerian Genius is part of Engineering for Industry (E4I), a capacity building project for engineering innovation, product development and manufacturing. E4I aims to bridge the skills gap between engineering education and industry, thus enhancing the employability of graduates and facilitating the growth of indigenous industries.  

E4I prepares engineering graduates for success. Through the E4I project, more than 700 engineering students and lecturers from six tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been trained. In addition, five indigenous STEM kits have been developed and used to train 1,290 secondary school students and teachers in Nigeria. 

About Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC) 

The Nigerian Genius is designed and implemented by Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC). Clintonel is a solar powered STEM Centre, Nigeria’s first Makerspace (Engineering Tech Hub) and Hardware Startup Incubator. It provides training, mentoring and equipment for young people to create engineering innovations, build indigenous products and start up technology businesses.  

Clintonel is an authorised Autodesk Learning Partner (ALP). 

Bootcamp initiative helps Cameroon prepare for the future of manufacturing

The new technologies of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and robotics, are changing the future of manufacturing. 

In Cameroon there is significant potential for such new technologies. The government is committed to developing digital skills at all levels of its national education system. This focus on digital skills will enable people and businesses to capitalise on these new technologies and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Autodesk Learning Partner Consultation and Projects Africa (CPA) has been working with government ministries and educational institutions to support the development of digital skills. The Fusion 360 Bootcamp was designed to help representatives from ministries, educators and students to understand the opportunities afforded by the latest manufacturing digital technologies in Cameroon and across Africa more generally.

They were introduced to Autodesk® Fusion 360™, and learnt how to make the most of its functionality.  Fusion 360 is a cloud-based industrial design platform which is used by engineers, product designers, and industrial design professionals around the world.

Participants included national and regional supervisors for mechanical training of the Ministry of Secondary Education, mechanical engineering lecturers and students. Educational institutions represented included Polytechnique de Douala, IUT (Institut Universitaire des Technologies) and IUC (Institutaire Universitaire de la cote), ESTAD and the National Advanced School of Engineering Yaounde.

The government is committed to improving digital skills across Cameroon. It recognises that these skills will help transform manufacturing in the country.  We are delighted to work with the Ministry of Secondary Education and key academic institutions to support them in preparing for the future of manufacturing.  

The bootcamp held in Douala is the first stage in an ongoing programme. We were really encouraged by the feedback from all the participants. We heard from them that they’re planning to take their learnings into the development of their curriculum. This should mean that the next generation of Mechanical Engineers will be able to lead the way in the digital transformation of manufacturing in our country.

Cyril Moba, Autodesk instructor at CPA

CPA is an Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC) based in Yaounde offering specialised training and support services to organisations and students across Cameroon.

For further information about KnowledgePoint and its role as the Autodesk Learning Partner Distributor for the EMEAR territory, or to find out about training local to you, visit:

Train the trainer program helps Zimbabwean students prepare for digital transformation

The world is rapidly changing, and businesses in Zimbabwe need to keep up with the pace of technological advancements.  

Digital and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the way businesses operate. Generative design and additive manufacturing are emerging technologies across the manufacturing sector.  

All these technologies have the potential to enhance business operations, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.  

Zimbabwean businesses need to adopt the latest digital technologies to stay ahead of the competition.  Upskilling is key to this digital transformation.  

Autodesk Learning Partner Advanced Design Colleges (ADC) in Zimbabwe has been working closely with the Ministry of Education and a national network of secondary and tertiary academic institutions on promoting CAD across the country for a few years. This has now been extended to include Autodesk® Fusion 360™ workshops.  

The program, designed to equip high-school students with Autodesk Fusion 360 skills, kicked-off with a train-the-trainer initiative. Fusion 360 is a cloud-based industrial design platform which will enable students to develop 3D modeling skills with software used by world-class engineers, product designers, and industrial design professionals.  

ADC’s Technical Manager, Mr Terrence Msipa, delivered a “train-the-trainer” workshop to 14 educators representing high schools from regions across the country.  The workshop ran for a total of 7 days and provided the attendees with comprehensive insight on the Fusion 360 platform and associated workflows. 

The 14 trainers will cascade the Fusion 360 training in 14 schools across the country. With an average of 150 students per school, it means more than 2,000 high school students will benefit from these latest skills used in factories around the world. 

The initiative is designed to give students across the country the skills they’ll need in their future careers: 

  • enhance their software design skills by learning how to design, model, and fabricate their product ideas with the next-generation 3D platform for product development.  
  • experience industry workflows, and explore exciting and emerging areas of manufacturing, such as generative design. 

The program will be developed, and rolled-out to tertiary institution educators. 

David Ngandu from ADC says: “We have been honoured to work closely with the Ministry of Education and secondary and tertiary academic institutions across the country for a few years.  This initiative is an exciting progression.  

“Digital technologies have the potential to transform Zimbabwean businesses. Investing in skills is critical for the digital transformation of industries across Zimbabwe.  We believe it is important to prepare the next generation of workers with the digital skills they need.  Our program has been designed to support thousands of students to gain practical and emerging skills.” 

ADC is an authorized Autodesk Academic Partner (AAP) based in Harare offering services to educational institutions and students across Zimbabwe.  

For further information about KnowledgePoint and its role as the Autodesk Learning Partner Distributor for the EMEAR territory, or to find out about training local to you, visit:  

On-demand webinar: Prepare students for manufacturing transformed by technology

Transforming the future begins here. Are you and your students prepared?  

As the Autodesk Learning Distributor in the EMEA region, we have access to a broad suite of resources which could benefit your educational institution and your students – workshops, software and engagement with industry partners.

We can help your students develop practical knowledge and skills needed by manufacturers around the world. Join our upcoming webinar to learn more about the Autodesk resources and tools that are available to educational institutions, educators, and students.

Tune in to our on-demand webinar that was delivered on 26 September: YouTube recording

  • Autodesk in Education
    • Accessing software for educational institutions, educators, and students
    • Free Autodesk learning and curriculum resources
    • Autodesk Professional Certification for your students
  • Autodesk Fusion 360 Introduction
    • Data Panel – design and collaborate in the cloud
    • Parametric Modelling – the main environment used to create models
    • Freeform Modelling – lets you create creative surfaces and different shapes easily