UTech, Ja Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Lab Transformed into Industry 4.0 Laboratory with Computer Donation from Black Butterfly Foundation

UTech, Ja. Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Lab Transformed into Industry 4.0 Laboratory with Computer Donation from Black Butterfly Foundation

Dr. Damian Graham (left), Programme Director and Lecturer, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FENC) UTech, Jamaica, explains the capabilities of the 30 new computers donated to the faculty’s Mechanical and Industrial Engineering laboratory which were donated by founder of Black Butterfly Org. Inc. Foundation, Mr. Arthur Phidd (2nd right).  Sharing in the discussion, (from left) are Professor Colin Gyles, CD, Acting President, UTech, Jamaica, Mr. Salvador Martinez, Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering (FENC), Professor Sean Thorpe, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing and Mr. David White, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology, FENC.  Seated is Jelani Garvey, a first year Mechanical Engineering student.

The gift of a donation of thirty (30) new reconditioned computers from the Black Butterfly Org. Inc. Foundation out of New York, USA to the University of Technology Jamaica, Faculty of Engineering and Computing’s (FENC) Mechanical and Industrial Engineering laboratory, has significantly boosted prospects for teaching, learning and research.  The donation was formally handed over at a special ceremony on Friday, April 21, 2023, at the Faculty’s Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Laboratory, School of Engineering building, UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus.

The transformed state-of-the-art lab will enable increased processing capabilities for Augmented Reality simulations, Digital Additive Manufacture, Structural Engineering modelling, and large-scale mathematical modelling simulations. Additionally, capabilities at the industry 4.0 lab have also been boosted with the sponsorship of 30 software licenses sponsored through Prokon, a South African company.

The computer donation, which is valued at approximately US$38,888.00, is an initiative of Black Butterfly Org Inc. and its board through lobby efforts spearheaded by Dean, FENC, Professor Sean Thorpe. The handing over was made by CEO and founder, Mr. Arthur Phidd who was making his second donation to the faculty, having previously donated computers to the FENC Laboratories located at the University’s Montego Bay, Dome Street campus in 2018.

Mr. Phidd who has led information technology & corporate-wide business transformation programmes across multiple industries including, retail, banking, consumer products, eCommerce, gaming, telecommunications, and government, told the gathering of members of faculty, staff and engineering students, that to offer the donation “for me it is a dream come true,” adding that “I made a promise to myself years ago that I was going to make sure that I pay it forward, so you are actually helping me to make a dream come true and we are not done yet,”  he stated, adding that additional donations to the Faculty are in the pipeline. 

Phidd who is Chief Information Officer of REEDS.com, in giving examples of his company’s use of augmented reality and spatial rendering technology to create immersive online retail experiences, encouraged the budding engineers to always consider how they can apply knowledge gained in the classroom to bring actual products to market, emphasizing,   “We are teaching you to take the technology and enhance the lives of people around you.”

Welcoming the donation, Professor Colin Gyles, CD, Acting President, University of Technology, Jamaica expressed sincere gratitude to the benefactors, thanking the Foundation for   the gift of computers which he noted will go a far way in support of teaching and learning outcomes and in furthering UTech, Jamaica’s reputation as the country’s largest producer of “work-ready graduates.”  He invited other partners locally and from the diaspora to similarly lend support to the University towards carrying out its mission for national development.

Prof. Gyles specially acknowledged Dean, Professor Sean Thorpe, members of the FENC academic, technical, and administrative staff including Dr. Damian Graham, Progranne Director and Lecturer, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Mr. Salvador Martinez, Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering, and others who contributed to making the donation a reality.   Encouraging the students who were present at the ceremony to make the best use of the resources provided to enhance the quality of their training and development, Prof. Gyles also urged them to “protect the assets of the university,” to ensure that they are preserved for future students.

Professor Sean Thorpe in reiterating appreciation to the Black Butterfly Org. Inc. Foundation, noted that the donation fills a major gap and will “further leverage our capacity to build out the University’s Metaverse project, for which we have already engaged Play-Jamaica, a FENC alumni company located at UTech, Jamaica’s Technology Innovation Centre (TIC).”  He noted that this Metaverse project will support the University’s mandate to launch new commercialization opportunities while at the same time preparing “work ready engineers and computer scientists who have the applied skills to create new opportunities for themselves in business and for the development of organizations. ”

Dr. Damian Graham, Programme Director and Lecturer, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, in his remarks, noted that in the context that technology drives students’ learning experience, the boost of the industrial and mechanical engineering lab has come at an opportune time, sharing that “this lab is one of 16 labs that we will be using to drive innovation and collaboration with industry.”  He told students present that they can look forward to not only improving their skills set in AutoCAD, but they can also look forward to the prospects of becoming more “work ready by giving you the opportunity to work on projects for industry,” adding that is the kind of innovation that will drive patents, research and solutions that will improve quality of life.

Fourth year Civil Engineering student, Kadeisha Cooper, in expressing gratitude to the donor, noted that many students were set back during the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore grateful to have access to the new computers to complete their studies.

Mrs. Denise Currie-Charles, Administrative Assistant, School of Engineering presents a token of appreciation to Mr. Arthur Phidd at the ceremony for the handing over of a donation of 30 computers to the Faculty of Engineering and Computing on Friday, April 21, 2023, at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering laboratory, School of Engineering Building, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus.


Michelle Beckford 
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm