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NUST Graduand pilots fatigue recognition software using AI

NUST Graduand pilots fatigue recognition software using AI

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) is poised to celebrate a significant milestone this April as it marks the culmination of its first cohort from the Master of Data Science Programme. Initiated back in 2022, the programme has now come full circle with a total of 4 graduates.

Beneath the glittering veneer of boasting a new master’s programme lies truly exceptional scientific work. One such example is the work led by Samuel Nghidengwa Nakale, a diligent graduand who delved into the pressing issue of workplace fatigue.

Under the guidance of Prof Fungai Bhunu Shava, Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Nakale embarked on a mission to develop a robust fatigue detection and monitoring system, leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Drawing inspiration from real-world challenges, Nakale identified Namdeb, a key player in the mining industry, as the focal point for his research.

NUST Graduand pilots fatigue recognition software using AI
NUST Graduand pilots fatigue recognition software using AI

By analysing facial behavioural data linked to fatigue such as eye closure and yawning, Nakale's system was able to accurately detect and classify fatigue states among employees. The efficacy of the proposed system was demonstrated through rigorous validation and evaluation, achieving impressive accuracy rates, and outperforming individual ML classifiers.

What sets this research apart is its practical application and real-world impact. By collaborating with Namdeb and utilising their data, Nakale not only addressed a critical need within the mining industry but also contributed to the broader goal of promoting safe working environments, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring occupational health and safety. "Working on a research project with the potential to find solutions for real-world problems was incredibly rewarding. Overall, it was a great learning opportunity." Nakale said.

The success of Nakale's project underscores the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative solutions in tackling complex challenges. It serves as a testament to the calibre of research emerging from NUST’s Master of Data Science Programme and highlights the university’s commitment to fostering excellence in data-driven research and education.

As NUST prepares to confer degrees upon its pioneering cohort of data scientists, it celebrates not only their academic achievements but also their contributions to advancing knowledge and driving positive change in society. With this groundbreaking research, NUST reaffirms its position as a leader in higher education and a catalyst for innovation in Namibia and beyond.