Author: Anna

Hackathon for Climate Action – Winners Announced

WTUN Hackathon for Climate Action 2021

In 2021 WTUN launched its first Student Hackathon for Climate Action. It was open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students across our member institutions.

WTUN Climate Action Hackathon provided students an opportunity to collaborate with peers across the world on a global issue and create new ideas and solutions to real life problems.

Students from different institutions and study disciplines worked together on a solution to address a problem connected to the UN SDG Climate Action. This took place online and over an intense 48 hour period crossing multiple time zones.

During this time we had a team of experts and mentors delivering focussed sessions, and providing guidance on how to develop an initial idea through to a final product, there were planned lectures and talks running alongside, with plenty of room for questions and feedback and advice.

Students shared knowledge, skills, created friendships, and developed and nurtured innovation and entrepreneurship skills and mindsets, that will help to solve the global challenges in the future.

Hacks/products/services were developed by 12 brilliant and dedicated teams addressing;

  • Climate Action
  • Food Waste
  • Air Quality
  • Carbon Capture
  • Methane Reduction
  • Marine Pollution
  • Circular Economy

Thank you to all of our participants! .

We hereby announce the winners of the WTUN Hackathon for Climate Action 2021

The winning teams produced innovative solutions to accessing clean air, reducing food waste and recycling clothing towards a circular economy.

First prize was awarded to;

Team 4 ‘Envi-Mates’

  • SH Muhammad Aadil, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Poojitha Tiruvaipati, Coventry University
  • Amanveer Gadiya, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Thuch Vatanakbandith, Suranaree University of Technology
  • Wong Yuin Yin, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Jette Roggow, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences
  • Aseela Alkawari, Ahlia University

Second Prize awarded to;

Team 9Ravenclaws’

  • Vinitha Sasi Desineni, Coventry University
  • Lindsay Shantha Rubia K, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Kawthar Naser, Ahlia University
  • Supaporn Klabklaydee, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thornburi
  • Daniil Sosnov, Coventry University

Third Prize awarded to;

Team 8Elite’

  • Tayyaba Tahir, Coventry University
  • Shyam Morris, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Sampreeth Reddy Sudugu, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Charuprabha V, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
  • Tay Zhi Xin, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia



WTUN makes commitment to Sustainable Development Goals

The WTUN has formally signed up to the SDG Accord, the collective commitment by the global higher education sector to help deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The decision to become a supporting partner to the Accord is part of the network’s ongoing work on the SDGs which began in 2018.

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University, Joanne Dobson, who chairs the WTUN Working Group on the SDGs, explains: “Our idea was that the Sustainable Development Goals could provide the network with a clear focus and direction for its activities, within the wider theme of technology. SDG4, which is ‘quality education’, was obviously important to all our members. But we wanted to find out which of the other goals would most resonate within the network.”

The Working Group surveyed WTUN members during 2018 and identified three more Sustainable Development Goals that were considered the most relevant to activities within the network: SDG3 – good health and wellbeing; SDG6 – clean water and sanitation; and SDG11 – sustainable cities and communities.

“We took these to the WTUN Congress in Chennai in November 2018 and ran a session during which members presented on the work they were already doing to further these goals,” says Joanne Dobson. “The idea of adopting the goals as our focus was widely endorsed by members and ratified by the Board at the Congress. The only change was that members asked that a fourth Sustainable Development Goal – number 5, gender equality – was also added to the list.”

Work is now beginning to embed these goals into the WTUN’s activities. The network’s exchange programme, which funds visits between member institutions to build research partnerships or share best practice, now stipulates that half of all exchanges must directly address one or more of the four SDGs. Participants from these exchanges will be reporting back to the network during the 2019 Congress hosted by the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in November.

A Gender Equality Working Group has also been established, to identify what the WTUN can do to support its members on this goal. And of course, members will be encouraged to sign up to the SDG Accord themselves as institutions.

Only institutional signatories to the SDG Accord have to submit a formal report on their activities, which is then compiled into a report to the UN. As an endorsing partner network, the WTUN is not expected to report, but Joanne Dobson is keen that the network does so.

“We’re just starting out with this initiative, but we have a strong base to build on and more ideas to put into practice,” she says. “Compiling an annual report on what we, as a partner network, have supported and enabled our members to achieve would be a valuable exercise and help to show progress. And as more members join the network, we’ll continue to review the SDGs we have chosen to make sure we’re focusing on those that are most relevant to our mission in both research and education.”

SDG poster

We particularly appreciate this network because of its emphasis on technology

Coventry University joined the World Technology Universities Network about two years ago. We particularly appreciate this network because of its emphasis on technology to solve real world challenges, the commitment to the UN SDGs and the tightly focussed, committed membership.  The latter making it very easy to reach out to other members and receive a prompt and engaging response (unlike many larger networks). The congress in Chennai last year and the programme of exchanges are two highlights of the network and have been very beneficial for Coventry in building relationships with a number of international universities.

Of course, any network membership is only as useful as the effort you put into it. Active engagement in the Operational Board is key as is that commitment to responding to other network members.

— Joanne Dobson, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University

WTUN’s goals seem to be aligned with our policy in many ways

Suranaree University of Technology is a university that puts an emphasis on science, technology and engineering with an aim of engaging with other universities around the globe.  World Technology Universities Network (WTUN) provides such opportunity for us to link with other institutions that share the same focus.  Furthermore, WTUN’s goals seem to be aligned with our policy in many ways, especially in improving the quality of education for the next generation of citizens in order to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills to survive through many challenges in the 21st Century.

In just about a year that we have been a part of WTUN, our university has been able to connect and have concrete collaborations with other members of the network, specifically in the area of incorporating entrepreneurship mindset into our education system.  In addition to that, collaborations in other areas such as information technology and data science have also been discussed.  WTUN will also provide a grant for its members for which we will definitely apply, so that we can continue the work on the mentioned areas.

I would really like to thank WTUN for providing such terrific support since we became a member.  I am sure that with us working together, we will be able to accomplish what we all hope for in the future.

— Sirichok Jungthawan, Director of Centre for International Affairs, Suranaree University of Technology

Joining the WTUN enables us to partner with over 20 like-minded universities

The University of Africa, Toru-Orua (UAT), Nigeria was also established in 2016. Its research focus includes biotechnology applications for food production nutrition security and health, engineering and operations, renewable and non-renewable energy systems, environmental remediation and conservation, oil and gas industry and digitised linguistics. Other areas include applied research leading to enterprise development and entrepreneurship.

The WTUN’s objectives are consistent with those of UAT which are to carry out needs driven research for innovation and development and tackle major challenges such as poverty, climate change and pollution. As a new institution, joining the WTUN enables us to partner with over 20 like-minded universities, drawing on their combined expertise to achieve our goals in a much shorter timeframe.

In specific terms, UAT intends to undertake joint research and collaboration in areas of mutual interest with other WTUN network members as well as exploring suitable opportunities for staff and student exchanges.

— Godwin Poi, Director of Advancement, Linkages and Entrepreneurship, University of Africa, Toru-Orua

New multidisciplinary Tampere University created from university merger in Finland

On 1 January 2019, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere merged to create the new multidisciplinary Tampere University. The university is Finland’s second largest.

Tampere University

The foundation-based university also became the majority shareholder of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. This new higher education community in Tampere will be made up of 30,000 students, 330 professors and 4,400 other staff members.

The underlying premise of the new university is the realisation that the problems faced by humanity have changed. A multidisciplinary approach will not only deliver more effective responses to global challenges but also open up new opportunities for science and its applications.

Technology, health and society are at the core of the university’s research and education and its strength lies in the combination of these areas. With the means of novel operating models, the university sets of to create scientific and societal value throughout the process of knowledge creation, from independent, multidisciplinary basic research to innovations and practical development. The university aims to develop inspirational and open learning and cooperation environments as well as new types of research, development and innovation platforms that support active life-long inclusion and diverse interaction with a wide variety of stakeholders.

The new university’s first President is Dr. Mari Walls. Before joining Tampere University she worked as President and CEO of LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland. She has also held Professorship in Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences at the University of Turku.

The university’s Provost is Professor Jarmo Takala. Previously he has held the position of Vice President responsible for the research and doctoral education at Tampere University of Technology (TUT). He has been a Professor on Computer engineering since 2000 at TUT and has also held positions of Dean and Vice Dean of Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering and Head of Department of Computer Systems.

Tampere University values its international collaborations and looks forward to developing our partnership. We believe that human potential is unlimited and that you and us together, we can make a difference.

WTUN grows from 18 to 22

Four universities from Canada, India, Nigeria and Thailand are set to join the World Technology Universities Network today (29 November 2018) at the WTUN Congress in Chennai, India.

The new members will increase the WTUN’s ranks to 22 technology-focused institutions from Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, North and South America. The new members are: University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Nigeria; King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand; Sandip University, India; and York University, Canada.

Launched at the University of Bradford in 2017, the WTUN is a network of global technology universities committed to undertaking challenge-led, cutting-edge research to benefit people and society, and providing education to enable the next generation to tackle global challenges.

WTUN members benefit from exchanges and collaborative research and facilitated links between institutions, industry, NGOs and SMEs. Over 100 delegates from 30 organisations are taking part in the third WTUN Congress from 28-30 November, hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science.

Brian CantorWTUN Chair and University of Bradford Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor said: “The speed at which the network is growing is testament to the value that comes from bringing global institutions together that share a common focus on technology education and research, and the benefits that this can bring to society. We hope to see the WTUN continue to go from strength to strength.”

The University of Africa, Toru-Orua (UAT), Nigeria was established in 2016. It carries out applied research, with a focus on enterprise development and entrepreneurship, in areas including biotechnology applications for food production, nutrition, security and health; alternative building and road construction materials; engineering and operations; renewable and non-renewable energy systems; environmental remediation and conservation; digitised linguistics; and the oil and gas industry.

Godwin PoiDr Godwin Poi, Acting Director of University Advancement and Linkages at UAT, said: “The WTUN’s objectives are consistent with our own – to carry out needs driven research for innovation and development and tackle major challenges such as poverty, climate change and pollution. As a new institution, joining the WTUN enables us to partner with over 20 like-minded universities, drawing on their combined expertise to achieve our goals in a much shorter timeframe.”

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand can trace its origins back to the Thonburi Technology College set up in 1960. KMUTT became one of the campuses of King Mongut’s Institute of Technology in 1974 and was granted autonomous university status in 1998. KMUTT has particular strengths in engineering, energy, bioresources, environment, science, technology, architecture, and linguistics and is one of Thailand’s nine designated national research universities.

Dr Pornapit Darasawang, Vice President for Internationalisation at KMUTT, said: “In becoming a member of WTUN, we’re looking forward to making new contacts with other technology universities, which share the same focus and face the same challenges as we do. WTUN will help us expand those contacts not just in South East Asia, but around the globe, providing new and exciting opportunities in research and industry for our staff, students and graduates.”

Sandip University in Nashik, India was established in 2016. It has a particular focus on agro-development, covering areas like mechanised farming, health care, transportation, communication, waste management, energy, water resource, environment, disaster mitigation, computing and allied technologies.

Nallan RamachandranProfessor Nallan Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Sandip University, said: “We’re keen to develop partnerships with international universities, industries and research organisations as this can open up a myriad of opportunities for our students and staff. Membership of the WTUN will enable us to cement these partnerships, and support our commitment to create the next generation of modern thinkers and global citizens who can set new trends and help enact positive change.”

York University is a research-intensive institution established in 1959 and based in Toronto, Canada. Its research, scholarship and teaching strengths span numerous disciplines, including education, engineering, science, health, environmental studies, liberal and creative arts, law and business. Among current initiatives, it has established an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Society Task Force, drawing on the University’s interdisciplinary strengths to provide a broader perspective, including impacts on humanity and society in addition to the core technology and questions around technology adoption.

Robert HachéDr Robert Haché, Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University, said: “As the third-largest university in Canada, York strives to be at the forefront of scientific discovery and to lead in technological innovation for the benefit of society. We hope to work with the members of the WTUN to foster technological innovation through international collaboration.”

© World Technology Universities Network 2024