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USP students showcase innovative projects at YES launch

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Honourable Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama shows interest in the “Autonomous Motion Tracking Turret with Laser Illuminator”.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) showcased six innovative and exciting projects during the launch of the Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) by Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel on 11 January 2018.

Final year Engineering students, Aneesh Chand and Kushal Prasad displayed their project “Design and Evaluation of EMI Sensor for Corrosion Measurements in Concrete”, where an EMI-based censor was innovated considering state-of-the-art non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods to identify concrete corrosion. Few different approaches were utilised such as Single-loop Coil (SLC), Multiple-loop Coil (MLC) design using copper wires and placement of the two coils while measuring corrosion was also important. The co-planer placement of the MLC shows promising outcomes. As the corrosion level increases in concrete, the conductivity of the concrete also increases due to changes in the chemical content, which causes changes to the electric field passed through the concrete and thus enabling corrosion to be measured in concrete using EMI based sensors.

Also on display was the “Autonomous Motion Tracking Turret with Laser Illuminator”, which gives more accuracy for locating the target within the webcam range, putting a boundary box around the moving target and initialising that there is motion. As the moving target moves around within the cameras range, the laser points at the moving target with the help of the turret. It runs on motion detection and interactive mode. A new feature with exclusive functionality with low cost equipment makes the device a unique motion detection system and it can be easily interfaced with Mobile devices and connected wirelessly.  Final year Engineering student Mohammed Khan was on hand to explain the project on behalf of his team.

The patented “Braille Eye-Slate” was on display, developed to teach basic Braille characters such as numerals and alphabets to visually impaired children. The slate contains a smart audible voice output upon button press and smart battery status monitor for charging and battery voltage through auditory means.  Nikhil Singh’s project won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Innovation Award in the All IEEE Young Engineers’ Humanitarian Challenge. The All IEEE Young Engineers’ Humanitarian Challenge is a project competition where contestants identify and develop technological solutions to the benefit of resource constrained and vulnerable communities.

Software Engineering students, Salman Raza and Haroon Khan showcased the Morris Hedstrom (MH) APP on behalf of their group. The MH APP - a sales and promotion application built for Carpenters Fiji Group’s MH customers with the goal of empowering future innovations in providing quality services for better shopping experiences at MH stores throughout Fiji. The App will provide useful and user-friendly features in ensuring a convenient and time saving shopping experience. Core features such as Store Information, Customer Feedback, Price Checker and Sales and Promotions is the building blocks of the entire MH application.  The project demonstrates USP’s collaboration efforts with industry in the capstone course CS400: Industry Experience Programme (IEP).

Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP VC&P, with Honourable Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney General with staff of USP and FSTE students.


Dr Anjeela Jokhan, Dean of USP’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) explained that the projects demonstrated real innovations that were among several others that undergraduate students came up with.

“The projects demonstrate the quality of our students including that of our teaching and they have been encouraged to apply for YES in order to take their ideas forward,” she said.

“FSTE already has an Entrepreneurship Cell that supports the development of ideas so these graduates can use YES to support the incubation of their innovative ideas. USP has already taken an initiative in line with Government’s YES for young entrepreneurs,” Dr Jokhan added.

The FSTE Entrepreneurship Cell (FEC) was created to support young innovative graduates in realising their dreams of starting up initial business if they intend to do this after graduation.

FEC supports necessary resources such as point of contact, working space, access to lab facilities, seed funding, mentoring and networking. A long term goal from this cell is to give direction through the stages of entrepreneurial ventures so that USP graduates become job creators, not just job seekers.

The first company was supported and launched under this cell in May 2017. The company is registered under Suva City Council with name Robiney Industries. The graduates continue to get guidance and are mentored in this new area of their experience. 

“The FEC is dedicated to nurture new companies each year and establish an array of innovators that will solve existing problems in novel and exciting ways”, said Dr Jokhan. 

She added that, “USP through its FEC is paving a platform for graduates to invest their skills in and revolutionise the problem solving approaches in Fiji and the region”.

The inaugural winners of the 2017 ANZ PACIFIC Innovation Challenge – Team Chai-Yo also showcased their Freedom, Resilience, Exciting and Novel (FREN) solution.  The team made up of Engineering and Software Engineering students – Felicia Sa’e, Geeta Singh, Kartik Maharaj, Sumeet Kumar and Ram Singh proposed a solution that will assist tourists reach any destination in the country.

Hon. Bainimarama took time to visit and ask questions on each project on display, which greatly encouraged and motivated the students.

This news item was published on 15 Jan 2018 12:54:32 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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