Research, Technology and Innovation Day 2019

Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, Chairman and CEO, Continental Baking Company and Coconut Bay Management Ltd. delivers the keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of the University of Technology of Jamaica’s Research, Technology and Innovation Day held on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus.

The University of Technology, Jamaica through the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship (SGSRE) on Thursday, March 14, 2019 led the staging of the University’s annual Research, Technology and Innovation Day held at the Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus.

Under the theme, “Research and Innovation…Fuelling a Bright Future,” the one-day showcase comprised exhibits of research and innovation being undertaken by members of faculty, staff and students across the University’s five colleges and three faculties. 

A speakers’ forum with concurrent sessions featuring presentations by members of faculty, staff and student researchers who elaborated on their work, was held throughout the day.

Keynote Address

Innovative industry leader, Mr Gary “Butch” Hendrickson, Chairman and CEO, Continental Baking Company and Coconut Bay Management in his well-received presentation, highlighted the need for better use of technology and data to drive research and innovation in Jamaica.

Decrying mediocrity in policy making and governance systems, he encouraged students and researchers present, to use available data to create solutions for both big and small problems facing the country. “We have to be a data-driven people [because] we no longer have the luxury of saying, ‘I think it is so,” he emphasized, adding that “we have to say, ‘without a shadow of a doubt, ‘I know it is this because I have the data’.   He further urged that “we must take the guesswork out, because mediocrity is not an option for us anymore as a people, as an individual, or as a nation,” adding that  “if anything is true in life, it is that numbers are real, they are unchangeable.”

In underscoring the benefits of data-driven innovation and problem solving, Mr Hendrickson cited examples such as preventing frequent reoccurrence of potholes by simply establishing suitable road drainage and use of data to enhance traffic flow through effectively prorammed traffic lights.

University President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President in his welcome noted that “over its 60-year history, the institution has contributed to society through teaching, research and outreach into communities, and in providing solutions to societal problems.”


Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica

The President cited some recent examples.  Among them, members of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing working in partnership with JPS provided their expertise to make electricity “Ready Boards” to service households that are not able to afford access to conventional power supply.  In the area of entrepreneurship, he noted that UTech, Jamaica collaborated with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Union to provide training for residents in the sugar divestment areas to establish at least 80 business ventures.

Pointing out that the research culture at the University is improving, Professor Vasciannie highlighted several research incentives which have been established.  These include an increase in the Research Development Fund (RDF) from the University’s budget which now stands at $20M and the establishment of the University of Technology, Jamaica Press in February 2017 to promote especially in-house research and writing.

Miss Tashoya Streete, SGSRE Officer and Mr. Martin Henry, Manager, Operations and Projects, SGSRE and Chairman, RTID Planning Committee.

The Opening Ceremony was chaired by Mr Martin Henry, Manager, Operations and Projects, SGSRE and Chairman, RTID Planning Committee.  Mr Henry and Miss Tashoya Streete, Graduate Studies Research and Entrepreneurship Officer provided a detailed overview of the research publications produced by the University including the latest issue of JAST and publications produced for each RTID over the past three years.

The 2019 RTID publication highlighting graduate students’ research, titled Preparing the Next Generation of Researchers to Advance Knowledge and Solve Problems  is available on the University’s website at

The latest issue of JAST is also available online at

Professor Colin Gyles, Deputy President, UTech, Jamaica speaking at the RTID 2019 Opening Ceremony.

Professor Colin Gyles, Deputy President with responsibility for the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship in his remarks, encouraged both staff and student researchers to continue to pursue innovative research to impact Jamaica. He commended the SGSRE and the Planning Committee comprising members of faculty and support departments for organising Research, Technology and Innovation Day 2019.

Exhibition Highlights

Mr. Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson (3rd left), Chairman and CEO, Continental Baking Company and Coconut Bay Management Ltd engages André Graig (left), UTech, Jamaica Mechanical Engineering student as he  explains  the use of his 3D printer on display at the Faculty of Engineering and Computing Booth during his tour of the exhibits at Research, Technology and Innovation Day 2019. Looking on (from 2nd left) are, Ms. Tifanny Wong, Special Projects Officer, Continental Baking Company and Professor Felix Akinladejo, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, FENC.

Derrica Grant, Faculty of Science and Sport (FOSS) student explains the functions of the eye to curious students who visited the FOSS booth.

Miss Marcellas James, student, Faculty of Law talks with students from Dupont Primary and Infant School during a visit to the Faculty’s booth at Research, Technology and Innovation Day 2019.

Holy Childhood high school students interact with exhibits at the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies booth at Research, Technology and Innovation Day 2019.

Speakers Forum Highlights

A research Speakers Forum ran concurrently from 12 noon to 4:00 pm during which UTech, Jamaica faculty, staff and student presenters engaged audiences on the value of their work.

Storage Patterns of Household Chemicals and Childhood Poisoning:  Mrs. Sherika Whitelock-Ballingsingh, Coordinator, Caribbean Poison Information Network (CARPIN), College of Health Sciences gave a presentation on “Storage Patterns of Household Chemicals:  A Determinant to Childhood Poisoning.” She shared data on the main determinants of unintentional childhood poisoning by household chemicals resulting from parents’ behaviour and level of knowledge of storage.   Mrs. Ballingsingh suggested recommendations to prevent poisoning of children from household chemicals.

ICT Integration Among Pre-Service Teachers:  Dr. Junior Martin, Head, School of Technical and Vocational Education, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies shared his presentation titled, “An Investigation into Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of their Readiness to Integrate ICT in the Curriculum.”  His presentation was on the new ICT-CFT Curriculum developed from the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) which is being currently piloted in FELS among a group of 30 pre-service teachers to determine their perceptions of the new course of study to integrate ICT in the classroom.

Promoting STEM Education: Dr. Shermaine Barrett, (left) Senior Lecturer and Dr. Hope Mayne, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies made a presentation on “Promoting STEM Education:  A Case Study on the Challenges and Opportunities in Integrating Desktop CNC Technology in Grades 7 – 9.:Preliminary Results,” which  explored how Grades 7 – 9 teachers can use a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine to support teaching and learning in the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) and STEM classroom and the factors that influence the integration of CNC technology among those grades.

Developing Foreign Language Education in Jamaica:  Dr. Rohan Lewis, Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies in his presentation on “Foreign Language Education and Development in Jamaica:  Assessing the Landscape,” explained that the research is intended to provide information that can be used to boost the evidentiary platform for guiding policy decisions on interventions aimed at improving language teaching and learning.  He explained that the research results will assist with qualifying and quantifying the foreign language education needs of students in higher education and the Jamaican job market, develop mechanisms and serve to improve language outputs throughout the education system. The research team comprises Ms. Stephanie Anderson-Chung, Mrs. María Sánchez Alcolea, Mrs. Carmen Rodríguez-Schade and Ms. María Nela Cabrales.

Does Sex Really Affect Alcohol Sales?: Graduate students,  Chanique James (left) and Avana Wallen, College of Business and Management delivering their presentation on “ The Impact of Sexual vs. Non-Sexual Appeals on Consumer Evaluations of Alcohol Television Ads.”  The researchers examined and compared the impact of sexual and non-sexual appeals in how consumers evaluate TV advertisements for alcohol consumption and brand loyalty. 

Issues in Environmental Health:  Dr. Kayon Barrett, Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Sport giving her presentation on “Emerging Issues in Environmental Health.” She highlighted the UNESCO 2017 report, ‘Frontiers 2017 – Emerging Issues of Concern,’ which identified six (6) major environmental conditions that were either emerging or re-emerging.

College women’s attitudes towards gender-based violence:  Dr. Nicole Cameron, Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies delivering her research study titled, “Is it a sisterhood?  Exploring College Women’s attitudes towards gender-based violence and bystander intervention.”  The purpose of the study is to understnad Jamaican college women's attitudes towards gender-based violence and barriers to helping.  The results show that women have ambivalent attitudes and perceive many barriers to helping. 

Surviving Childhood Exploitation in Jamaica:  Mrs. Karyl Powell Booth, Lecturer, College of Health Sciences delivering her presentation titled, “Women Survivors Accounts of Childhood Exploitation in Jamaica.” The research is being done through the NONE in 3 Research Centre at UTech, Jamaica.   The team  comprises Dr. Christine Fray-Aiken, Mr. Graham Gibbs, Ms. Kenisha Nelson, Ms. Roxanne Harvey, Professor Adele Jones and Mr. Daniel Boduszek. The research focuses on  child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Jamaica.  Mrs Powell-Booth explained that the NONE in 3 Research Centre, Jamaica has been conducting an examination of women survivors’ experiences of CSE including their own accounts of CSE and its impact and the journey to recovery.  She noted that preliminary results show multiple psychological effects among survivors of CSE.

Data Protection and Privacy -  Social Media and the Law - 'Daddy Not Available':  Speakers from the Faculty of Law (l – r), Dr. Prathiba Mahanamehewa, Dean, Mrs. Shuana-Kaye Smith, Lecturer and Mr. Ricardo Sandcroft, Lecturer share their research presentation titled respectively, “Data Protection and Privacy; Comparative study of Laws in UK, USA and Jamaica”; “Swipe, Type, Share and Like Responsibly:  Social Media and the Law;” “D(addy) N(ot) A(vailable) test and its social and legal impact on Jamaican, Trinidadian and Barbados Society.” 

 Dr. Prathiba provided a critical analysis of the proposed provisions contained in the impending Jamaica Data Protection Bill.  He proposed the establishment of a privacy policy for Jamaica’s private and public sectors until the bill is passed in Parliament.  Mrs. Smith in her presentation provided practical tips which consumers should observe in the responsible use of social media to prevent significant legal implications such as unjustifiable injury to one’s reputation or infringements of intellectual property law rights. Mr. Sandcroft presented data that demonstrated a trend in which the majority of boys in the penal system charged for various crimes are struggling with the absence of fathers from their lives.

Land Regularization and Community Development:  Mrs. Anetheo Jackson (left), Senior Lecturer and Dr. Carol Archer, Associate Professor, Faculty of The Built Environment making their presentation on “A Social Enterprise Model for Land Regularization and Community Development.”  The researchers called for the establishment of community-based development which focuses on assets to build enterprises that  increase the social, economic and political capital of residents in marginalized communities. 

Improving Housing in the Kingston and St. Andrew Metropolitan Areas:  Mr. L. Mark Taylor, Lecturer, Faculty of The Built Environment in his presentation “Housing Studies, Best Case for Kingston and St. Andrew,” gave an analysis of how the housing situation has evolved over the years to its current untenable state.  He made recommendations on some feasible approaches to expand and improve housing based on international cases and best practices.

Math Status Kit to Reduce Mathematics Anxiety:  Dr. Glenroy Pinnock, Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Sport, presented his research titled, “Four Cycle Math Status Kit:  Measuring Stage; Knowing Stage; Audio Treatment Stage; Performance Stage.”  Dr. Pinnock shared that research has shown that many university students consciously avoid modules that comprise mathematical related topics or component.  He explained that his research was scientifically designed to alleviate the psychological issues displayed by students who are mathematically challenged.

Below is the full list of speakers at RTID 2019.



Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299