Valotu adamant to design machine to extract fluid from organic waste

Final-year Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) student Ana Valotu. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI National University (FNU) final-year student at the College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST) Ana Valotu believes technology is in the forefront of assisting mankind to tackle major challenges and also offer solutions to a sustainable future.

Valotu is undertaking a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) and was part of the FNU team at the FBC’s Tech Trade Show in Suva.

While at the event, the youngster was able to interact with members of the public and discuss her project.

Valotu, 22, said the Tech Trade show provided her an opportunity to network, collaborate and learn new things.

“My project is to design a machine to extract fluid from organic waste. Currently, in Fiji, we do not have any extracting machine as such,” Valotu said.

“The reason why I chose to do this is, if you go to the Suva market you will notice that vendors dump the organic waste carelessly which brings foul smell. After some research, I have found out that in a month, they dispose-off at least 200,000 tonnes of waste out of which 70 per cent is organic,” she said.

Valotu said from that 70 per cent organic waste, only 9 per cent was taken for decomposing and the rest was taken to the Naboro landfill.

“It costs the vendors $100 per load to transport the organic waste so once I have designed the extraction machine, we will install it at the Suva market. It will help in extracting the fluid out of the waste which will reduce the weight of the organic waste. This means the vendors will pay less for transportation,” she said.

The delighted future mechanical engineer said designing of the extraction machine would take place from next semester.

“I urge other students, especially females, to take mechanical engineering since we have more demand for mechanical engineers in our country. I will be happy to talk to them and share my experiences as a student,” said Valotu.

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