Visitors being briefed about the exhibits on display at the Research and Technology Showcase 2022, which has been concluded at the Expo Centre.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Visitors being briefed about the exhibits on display at the Research and Technology Showcase 2022, which has been concluded at the Expo Centre.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Ideas for innovative solutions to day-to-day pressing issues drew large numbers of visitors over the two days of the Research and Technology Showcase 2022 exhibition jointly organised by NED University of Engineering and Technology and Sindh Higher Education Commission at Expo Centre that concluded on Friday.

Thirty-two universities from across the province participated in the show with 340 locally-developed technologies. A significant number of these projects were initiatives taken up with an aim to find solutions to the several pressing issues Pakistan currently face.

“Considering the fact that our country lacks low-cost efficient technologies for water purification and wastewater recycling, our team has developed ion exchange membranes, currently being imported at a high cost. These special membranes transport certain dissolved ions while blocking other ions or neutral molecules,” explained Dr Shazia Perveen of the NED university’s chemistry department.

Trials had been completed and funding assistance was needed to start commercial production of the membrane, she added.

At another stall, students of the NED university’s civil engineering department had put on display samples of limestone calcined clay cement which could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 per cent compared to the ordinary cement.

“This blended cement produced for the first time in Pakistan by using local raw material has demonstrated greater durability,” Mohammad Hasan Khan and Miqdam Sheikh told Dawn.

Mariam Sajid representing her group from Dawood University of Engineering and Technology had put on display a mobile phone application that could help monitor quantity and quality of water in household underground and overhead tanks.

Another group of her university had developed an air quality monitoring device and a smart system for hazardous gases’ detection.

“Leakage of hazardous gases in houses and commercial centres has become a serious matter that has claimed many lives in recent past. Our system would help detect harmful leakages for timely action,” shared project proponents Saqib Ali Zaidi and Farjad Raza.

It was exciting to see quite a few artificial intelligence-based robots at the show, one of which was RoboDoc. It was programmed to detect human body temperature, oxygen level, heartbeat and pulse rate.

“It was conceived during the Covid-19 pandemic days with the aim to reduce physical interaction between doctors and their patients,” explained Ali Syed of the NED university’s electronics department.

Mujahid Ali Sabir of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, who holds a diploma in aviation management, had something interesting to show, albeit without a model. “I have designed an aircraft that uses electric power to hover, take off and land vertically. It will cost around Rs7 million for which I will be needing assistance from the university as well as other donors,” he said, showing a model of the aircraft on his computer.

Among the exhibits was an electric car produced by Talha Khan and his team at Irsa University, Hyderabad, which they had been built at a cost of Rs200,000.

Farwa Hassan, a spokesperson of the NED university, termed the exhibition a great success, hoping that it would open new vistas for young researchers.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2022

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