The Director General/Chief Executive, National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos, Prof. Linus Asuquo has called on Engineers in Research and Development Agencies to embrace the fourth (4th) revolution, which serves as a panacea to economic emancipation.
Prof. Asuquo made this call recently during his paper presentation with the theme, ‘”The Akwa Ibom Engineer and The Fourth(4th) Industrial Revolution”, at the 2021 Engineering Week/Conference, organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Akwa Ibom State Branch at Emerald Event Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The DG/CE in his submission unequivocally stated that there are interdependence between Engineering Innovation and Research and Development.
According to him, symbiotic relationships in materials production and engineering innovation will usher in boundless development.
Prof. Asuquo stated that since change is the only constant phenomenon, man has no option than to contend with it, especially in the sphere of technology, adding that from 1750s, Man’s moral, cultural and social life has been affected, as a result of involving power-driven machines that took over the work hundreds of people ought to have done by hand.
The DG/CE said that since the 1750s to 1800 that the world experienced the first Industrial Revolution until 2016 when Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum (WEF) coined the term Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)which is Artificial Intelligence, with this, the World has experienced four stages of Industrial Revolution all aimed at improving man’s standard of living and alleviating his work load through involvement of technology.
Asuquo outlined the various uses and effect of different stages of Industrial Revolution to include: 1st Industrial Revolution which used water and Steam Power to mechanize Production, the 2nd which used Electric Power to create Mass Production, the 3rd which used Electronics and Information Technology to automate Production while the 4th (Artificial Intelligence) is building on the third, and characterized by the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical digital and biological sphere.
According to the Paper Presenter, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and its advantages to the Engineering Profession cannot be overemphasized.
He also pointed out that in recent times AI / Robotics has been the bane of breakthroughs recorded in the field of 3-D painting, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Material Science, Energy Storage, Quantum Computing, Manufacturing of Flying Cars, Security Gadgets and so on.
Prof Asuquo challenged members of the Engineering Profession to key into this global trend and harness its potentials, especially due to its level of speed, scale and unprecedented complexity in discharging assignments.
The Director General/Chief Executive, NMDC urged Engineers especially those working in Research and Development agencies to drop antiquated methods of engineering and accept novel technologies like (Artificial Intelligence) that are capable of repositioning the profession as one that is indispensable in every aspect of man’s life.
The DG/CE, while appreciating the Federation Government for a slight increase in budgetary allocation to Research & Development from 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent, appealed for more funding for Engineering and R&D for the country to develop industrially.
The Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Effiong Akwa in his response, applauded Prof. Asuquo for his scholarly paper presentation, but decried the insufficient funding to Research and Development which according to him, is the pillar for any meaningful development.
The NDDC helmsman challenged the NSE to abide by its professional ethics in order to be the first among equals, while promising that NDDC will extend its tentacle to R&D.
In his appreciation and presentation of award to Prof. Asuquo as the best Paper presenter of the year, the Chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Akwa lbom State Branch, described Prof Linus Asuquo as a Quintessential Engineer and Professor who has distinguished himself in the Engineering Profession.
According to him, NSE, Akwa Ibom choosing him as the Paper Presenter 2021 was in consideration of his immeasurable mentorship and contributions to the growth of NSE in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large.
Highlight of the event was the induction of Seven (7) Engineers as Corporate Members of NSE and Twelve (12) Engineers as Graduate Members of NSE.
NMDC Boss Urges Engineers in Research and Development to Embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution