The Mechanical Engineering Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, (Unizik) Awka, recorded another milestone when seven graduating students from the department constructed a “made-in-Nigeria” mini bus.
Similar feat was recorded last year when a group of five students from the same department produced a formula one car under the code name ”“ AutoZIK.
The seven students include: Ezeigwe Chitoo Callistus, Obinani Victor Chimdike, Ezeanolue Ifeanyi Emmanuel, Okoro Chinaza, Ominigbo Fidelis Igho, Nwobodo Nnamdi Miracle and Ogbu Thaddeus Ikenna.
The Head of the Department, Dr. C.H Achebe, supervised the project.
The group, which bears the name “AUTOZIK II,” spent over five months in constructing the mini-bus, referred to as “shuttle” within and around the university with locally sourced materials.
The only female engineering student among the team, Okoro Chinaza is described as a rare gem and is said to have contributed immensely to the success of the work.
Chitoo, one of the graduating students said the project was a dream come true.
He said that the bus was constructed from start to finish inside the mechanical engineering workshop of Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He disclosed that the project was aimed at advancing the ergonomic standard of pre-existing shuttle bus. The bus is said to compare favourably to other foreign buses. It has what it takes to be outstanding and to go commercial.
Another team member, Ifeanyi, said, “The AUTOZIK team indeed had gone through a whole lot before arriving at this platform. When we started, many thought we will not come this far, but today they have come to rejoice with us”.
“We made the design using CAD software, and all necessary simulation software for the analysis, putting the environment into critical consideration.
“The bus has good seating positioning, better fuel conservation with reduced consumption, good passenger view and very good aesthetics. It was built to suit the topography of our environment and the weather condition we have in this part of the world,” he said.
Many lecturers applauded the project on the day the students defended the project. The bus was test driven in the sight of the university community at large, to prove to the world that it is movable, durable and above all fully made in Nigeria.