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Nigeria team go through to finals of Airbus global Fly Your Ideas contest

Posted 24 April 2017 · Add Comment

Nigeria's “Team Nevada”, has been shortlisted by Airbus for the final round of its 2017 global Fly Your Ideas student challenge. The winners, who will be announced at a special event in Toulouse, France on 17 May, will walk away with the EUR30,000 prize.

The Lagos-based team, from Nigeria’s Obafemi Awolowo University and Bells University, is led by 18 year old Biochemistry student, Anyaegbuna Kosisochukwu.  His team-mates are 25 year old Mechanical Engineering student, George Okereka and Obianom Ekenedirichukwu who is 19 and studying Electrical Electronics Engineering. 

Their entry proposes a novel system using electronic sensors and mathematical algorithms to automatically control aircraft on the ground when they are maneuvering around airports.  This solution has the potential to significantly improve traffic flow at airports and reduce harmful emissions.

“We were motivated by the worst accident in aviation history (at Tenerife airport, March 1977), which occurred on the ground, and we were inspired by the precision of self driving cars in close-range driving. Together with my team-mates, we have developed an automated taxiing system which offers maximum efficiency without compromising safety,” explained Kosisochukwu.

“We looked at how the new driver-less technology works and thought ‘why can't we import something similar, but different for airplanes, that removes the human factor that causes about 90% of taxiing accidents?” added Okereka. 

Kosisochukwu first heard about the biennial Fly Your Ideas competition when he was at high school, but had to wait until this year, when he became a university student, to assemble a team with a competitive entry.

“Making it to the finals is such an achievement on its own, it means that all the hard work paid off. It also taught us not to underestimate ourselves and at the very least we made it till here” said Obianom.

 

 

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