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Alumna Khadijahtu ’20 wins Falling Walls science research competition and represents Ghana at virtual Berlin Science Summit

Alumna Khadijahtu ’20 wins Falling Walls science research competition and represents Ghana at virtual Berlin Science Summit

Ashesi Engineering alumna Khadijahtu Mohammed ’20 has been named the first-place finalist out of fifteen for the 2020 Falling Walls Lab competition in Ghana. Falling Walls Lab is an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, creators, and visionaries. It aims to promote exceptional ideas and connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields. The 2020 Ghana competition, which was organised by the German Academic Exchange Service and held at the University of Ghana in Accra, had some forty submissions in total. Joseph Nzeh, a research assistant from the University of Development Studies, was the first runner-up.

Khadijahtu’s project focuses on premature infant mortality and attempts to mitigate several of the challenges that mothers and doctors grapple with when it comes to premature infants. “Incucrib”, a prototype baby incubator and crib which she developed for her senior-year project at Ashesi, combines mothercare support, malaria prevention, and environmental conditions monitoring in a low-cost device. The solution could be a critical tool for premature infants, mothers from low-income families and healthcare providers that support them.

As the top finalist in Ghana, Khadijahtu represented Ghana at the Falling Walls Lab Finale during the Berlin Science Week. She will also get a chance to be part of an ‘Innovations Week’ training programme put together by Germany’s top 9 Technical Universities.

“Together with my faculty supervisor, Dr. Elena Rosca, we have developed a cost-effective means of regulating the body temperature of pre-term babies while reducing the impact of other potential health challenges like malaria,” says Khadijahtu, who also received support and guidance for her project from the Ashesi Design Lab. “If deployed, this will be a critical intervention for mothers in low-income parts of Ghana and Africa who cannot afford to keep their babies in clinical incubators.”

The Falling Walls Conference is an annual science event in Berlin, Germany, that coincides with the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall (9 November 1989). The scientific conference showcases the research work of international scientists from a wide range of fields. Learn more about the Falling Walls Science Summit here.

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