Award-winning Nigerian Students Visit the College of Engineering

The Davidson College of Engineering was recently visited by the award-winning Save-A-Soul team, a group of 14 and 15-year old students from Nigeria whose app won a Gold Medal in the 2018 World Technovation Challenge in Silicon Valley. The students, from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, represented Nigeria and Africa and won the Junior Division competition. Thanks to Molly Uzoh of Rightvarsity Technologies, and Nneka Okoye for organizing their visit to San Jose State University.

Students in Technology Lab  Caption: The students file into the Tech Lab to listen to Dr. Obi
Students in Technology Lab Caption: The students file into the Tech Lab to listen to Dr. Obi

The app that these young girls created, FD-Detector, can save lives by helping consumers to identify and avoid the intake of fake drugs when they are encountered in the Nigerian marketplace. The app leverages a drug's barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date.

"Leveraging technology to save lives is our utmost priority, that is why we have decided to maximize this opportunity to solve the incessant rate of death caused by fake drugs," said Team Save-A-Soul. The students plan to partner with the Nigeria National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control to make the app more widely available.

Group around student in vehicle  Caption: During the lab tour, Vivan Okoye sits in the driver’s seat
During one of the lab tours, students took turns sitting in the driver’s seat.

The visitors were joined by several members of the SJSU community, including the Nigerian Students’ Association, as well as Communities of African Descent in the Bay Area for a congratulatory reception.

At first, when the Nigerian students arrived, they were exhausted from jet lag and an already long day. However, powered by pizza and a delicious Nigerian dish made by Molly Uzoh, Jollof rice, as well as the warm enthusiasm of Dr.’s Fred Barez and Sam Obi, the girls grew more animated and engaged. The student team pictured above includes Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoye, and Miracle Igboke.

Dr. Obi, Barez, and Davoudi with the Principal of Regina Pacies Secondary School, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ezeaka
Dr. Barez, Dr. Obi, and Dr. Davoudi with the Principal of Regina Pacies Secondary School, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ezeaka

Dr. Barez showed the students and visitors just about everything in several labs he oversees and taught them how to drive his electric vehicles. Dr. Obi gave a brief presentation about the University, the College of Engineering, and the Aviation and Technology department, after which members of the community offered inspiring stories of perseverance and success. New faculty member Dr. Fatemeh Davoudi accompanied the visitors on all the tours during the evening, helping to show the students and their leaders potential roles for female engineering and technology majors.

Dean Sheryl Ehrman said, “It was wonderful to be able to welcome the girls to campus, and I hope they took home some great memories of their time in the Bay Area.”