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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in partnership with Ericsson Uganda recently conducted the first ever Annual Ericsson challenge.  The Final round of this inaugural event was held on 28th August 2015 at Ericsson Uganda offices Plot 24B, Akii-Bua Road Nakasero. This was preceded by the first round of presentations before a select panel of staff members from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, from which the best ideas were forwarded to the second and final round. The Ericsson challenge is designed as a yearly event where students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Makerere University show case their innovative ideas. It is anticipated that this initiative will bridge the academia-industry gap, as well as deliver more projects to the Department.

The Makerere group was welcomed at Ericsson Uganda by coordinator Gloria Nkomero. The students were in the company of staff members from the Department including The acting Chair of the Department, Dr. Roselyn Akol, Mr. Peterson Mwesiga, Dr. Jonathan Serugunda and Dr Ronald Kizito. Once seated in the conference room, the Human Resource manager of Ericsson Uganda highlighted the importance of the Ericsson challenge to all participants and introduced the Acting Country Manager, Ericsson Uganda. The students were encouraged to note that it was competition and were required to do their best. The Acting Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Roselyn Akol thanked Ericsson Uganda for the opportunity given to the students and called for more collaboration between Ericsson Uganda and the department.

After the four wonderful presentations, there was a tea break where students and staff interacted with Ericsson staff and a tour around Ericsson Uganda offices was conducted. A panel of judges after deliberations presented the results to the country manager Ericsson who read out the winners and presented cash prizes. The Ericsson Country Manager stated that Ericsson was keen on continued collaboration with the Department and promised to support some of the projects to their full potential. The panel loved all projects presented and commended the ingenuity of the students.

The wining group of Olivia Koburongo and Brian Turyabagye, made a presentation on the “Pneumonia kit – Mama Ope”. The runners up, Angeline Muga Awiti and Bessofekad Shifferaw, presented a “Digital Android Based Fetoscope”. The two groups were awarded cash prizes of One million shillings and Five hundred thousand shillings respectively. Discussions are ongoing to ensure that these brilliant projects are supported to their full potential, and that the Annual Ericsson challenge is maintained as a yearly event.