A former student of Bible Baptist JHS, located at Nsoatre in the Brong Ahafo region, and ST. James Seminary is now a 3rd year undergraduate student of KNUST, offering Bsc. Mechanical Engineering. Even as an undergraduate, his technological contribution to Ghana is being felt. He is driven by passion and a zeal to make a difference. His “can do spirit”, determination and perseverance is admirable. In spite of his numerous challenges, CHARLES OFORI has many landmark projects to his credit. He also has several awards to show off. Among these are the BRONG AHAFO ACHIEVERS AWARD FOR THE BEST INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE PERSONALITY and recently,the KNUST GESA maker fair award for technology for social impact as well as overall best project for the 3rd edition of the fair. He shares a bit of details on some of his projects below;
1. F.W.S.T is a computer keyboard I designed with the aim of solving the major problems associated with current keyboards. These problems include keys getting stuck, keyboards getting damaged by liquids, and portability. For this, I designed a keyboard that is Flexible (for portability), water resistant (to prevent damage by liquids), which is also soft touch (to prevent keys from getting stuck), and transparent hence the name F.W.S.T. In the design and construction process, it was made such that there will be no need to buy a whole new keyboard. With a kit I designed, anyone can convert their old desktop keyboards into an F.W.S.T.
2. Improved Smoke Detector (with laser mesh). Using the primordial idea of light reflection I was able to bounce a laser beam off a set of mirrors. This creates a mesh of intertwining laser pathways which finally ends on a light sensitive circuit. The laser reflecting mirrors are placed at specific points close to the ceiling of a room such that the laser mesh spans the entire area of the ceiling. Should any of the beams (in the mesh) be obscured by smoke rising from any point in the room, the final beam will not fall on the light sensitive circuit, causing it to set off an alarm. This is way effective compared to conventional smoke detectors; in that, these conventional detectors are confined to a corner of the room, limiting their detection of smoke emanating from a considerable distance away from them. More specifically, causing a delay in detection time; time within which much harm can be done.
3. Evaporative Cooling System for the Smarty Turtle1 As part of the Smarty Turtle 1 project. I designed a cooling system that makes use of traditional water cooling with clay pots combined with evaporative cooling in liquids. This was used to create a cooled air passage which finally opens into the cabin of the car. The intentions of this was to create a cooling system out of locally known processes such that the system could also be locally manufactured. Also, with the understanding of how Ghanaians are attached to culture, using a tradition-based system to create comfort was, I think, something exciting, and easy for people to relate to.
4. Technical Drawing Board for Mechanical Engineering Students. As a mechanical engineering student I have used technical drawing boards for two years – a period within which a realized some problems with the existing boards: Too many individual instruments making organization and accurate drawings a problem; Eye straining when drawing due to inadequate lighting in dorm rooms; Two clip method for keeping the paper on the board, making it difficult to draw when the fan is on. To address these, I designed, together with some of my colleagues, the NOKSINAAP. The NOKSINAAP has all straight edge instruments for lines and angles placed as a unite and affixed on the board. It also has a layer of LEDs underneath a transparent top to illuminate the board from the inside. The design includes four magnets placed in a way to hold a piece of metal tightly against the drawing paper holding it to the board at all four corners.
5. Plant Auxin manipulation. Plants grow in the direction of light by the use of auxins (chemicals that are reactive to light). With this basic high school knowledge, I started to work on ways to manipulate the shape of plant as they grow, controlling the distribution of auxins in them. I devised structures that allowed me to permit light to fall only on desired parts of the plants so I could make the plants grow into desired shapes Upon success with experiments I have began to develop complex structures by combination of individually manipulated plants. My aim is to actually grow functional buildings from trees to a point where instead of cutting down trees to build houses, we tell the trees to grow into a houses! Below is a concept house I am currently working on which could be used as a summer hut. I am currently also working on experiments and concepts for more complex and bigger structures.
Now check this out… Have you ever thought of learning energy in the most easiest way? Well, Charles has.
The Physics of fufu movement started after I presented a paper at the 2015 Ghana association of Science teacher’s conference. It was followed by a blog post @ niwafrica.blogspot.com which saw massive audience in invitation to schools to engage science teachers in this new way of teaching. A way of teaching where teaching and learning is purely focused and heavily based on our own environment and the things we are familiar with. I am currently working to visit a number of schools and also complete a manual (pamphlet) for both teachers and students alike to introduce this new way of learning.
And to me, this, by far, is the most fascinating technology: The SILO;
The SILO is one of my most recent projects, it is an incredibly simple to use sensor that enables farmers store grains for over a year. All a farmer needs to do is build a mud silo, and attach the device to it. The device then monitors the temperature and humidity of the grains inside the silo and uses an intelligent Red, Yellow, Green indicator to alert the farmer to open or seal the silo. It recently won the KNUST GESA maker fair award for technology for social impact as well as overall best project for the 3rd edition of the fair.
Someone should tell me this guy is not the future of science in Ghana. I pray Ghanaian politicians find him while he’s still green.
Ofori Charles Antipem. Sunyani Brong-Ahafo Ghana. firstname.lastname@example.org