UW Alumnus nominated for the Innovation Prize for Africa

Posted on 16 June 2016
Dr Youssef Rashed

Dr Youssef Rashed

At the beginning of May, The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the top ten nominees for its landmark programme, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). Amongst them was University of Wales Alumni Dr Youseef Rashed.

Founded in 2009, the AIF helps mobilize innovation and support sustainable development in Africa, its purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit across the Country. Now celebrating its fifth year under the theme "Made in Africa", IPA is the premier innovation initiative on the African continent, offering a grand share prize of 150,000 US Dollars and incentives to spur growth and prosperity in Africa through home-grown solutions.

The IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest since its creation with the 2016 prize receiving 985 successful submissions from 46 African countries. African ingenuity this year showcases new breakthroughs in malaria and other public health burdens, smart solutions for farmers and dynamic energy initiatives.

Dr. Youssef Rashed has reached the top ten nominees for his innovation The Plate Package (PLPAK), a robust software solution that assesses the architecture of building plans or technical drawings, determining structural integrity of the end design. This enables engineers to represent building slabs over sophisticated foundation models easily, building information modelling techniques and eliminating human error.  

With the rapid growth of African cities, there is increased demand for infrastructural developments to support the growing population. The infrastructure system in Africa, especially building architecture, tends to go untested due to huge associated costs in verifying structure integrity, and can lead to the collapse of buildings with sometimes tragic consequences. PLPAK aims to address this by being a its low-cost, easy to use and world class tool.

Graduating with an MSc degree from Cairo University, Egypt Dr Rashed went on to receive his PhD from the University of Wales in 1997, studying at the Wessex Institute of Technology. He is currently a professor of structural engineering at Cairo University.

AIF will host the IPA 2016: Made in Africa awards ceremony on the 23rd of June in Gaborone, Botswana. This premier innovation event has been endorsed by H.E. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the President of Botswana, who will preside at the Awards Ceremony. Collaborating partners include the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST), and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).

Speaking about the initiative, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, IPA Director said: "In the past five years, I've seen innovation grow from a mere buzzword to a sturdy path for African growth in multi-disciplinary industries across the continent. As Africans, we have the talent, potential and clout to solve our own problems with ingenuity too, and IPA is testimony of this.”

For more information about the prize, and to see a full list of nominees, please visit - http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/ 

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