Reverse Engineering is the process of reproducing a product by using a detailed examination of the process, the shape, the construction and the composition of the part. In its basic form had been practiced since the beginning of time humans wondered how different systems in nature worked and tried to develop products that mimicked their functions. The applications of reverse engineering range from academic learning to restoring historical artifacts and development of improved technological products. The science entails learning how a product of interest has been built. Depending on the area of application, the resulting knowledge can be used to reconstruct the same or improved product. History teaches us that today’s developed countries prospered in part by imitating and innovating various technologies. Although it may seem an act of committing fraud, if today’s developing nations won’t copy technology one may reasonably ask, will these poor nations ever catch up? 

The main reason for reverse engineering is to minimize product development times and accelerate growth in the manufacturing sector. One typical example of reverse engineering in Ethiopia is Automotive Spare Part Manufacturing. There are numerous vehicles in the country which are already out of production by the makers. Spare parts for these vehicles are not available. The manufacturers have already changed their designs and manufacturing facilities in accordance with technological advancement. Besides traditional reverse engineering activities undertaken by garages and mechanical workshops, a few institutions have started to carry out reverse engineering. The Metals and Engineering Corporation is one of the prominent examples of such institutions. The Corporation has dedicated research institutions to perform Reverse Engineering based Research and Development of different types of Machinery, Artillery and Vehicles.

Among other means, Reverse Engineering plays a paramount role in establishing a strong national technological capability in Ethiopia. This is because Reverse Engineering in its nature acquaints strong learning, adaptation and innovation.  It has contributed to the development of nations over the past several decades and is still a promising field for achieving strong national technological foundation and ensuring technological transfer.

Accomplishing a successful reverse engineering project requires broad knowledge in multiple disciplines including:

  • Applying knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and science in data analysis and interpretation.
  • Using techniques, instruments, and tools in reverse engineering applications.
  • Conducting appropriate experiments and tests to obtain the necessary data in reverse engineering.
  • Identifying, formulating, and solving issues related to reverse engineering.
  • Understanding legal and ethical responsibilities pertinent to reverse engineering.
  • Assessing and evaluating documents and fostering attainment of objectives of a reverse engineering project.

The Directorate focuses on products and services mainly on agricultural sector, environmental sector and manufacturing sector like mechanical devices and spare part redesign and development. Now we had a plan not only to work on those areas, but also to include electrical and electronics products. This will give the Directorate to work on automations and developing new electronics devices like which is already being under development, like the key finder, automation system for drip irrigation and vertical farming technology. Under this Directorate, there are plenty of product’s system under development and plenty of concepts, which might turn in to projects.  Like the sugarcane juicer, animal weigh scale, urban road sweeping device, IOT system as of smart lighting system and Agricultural technologies, which might transform the countries agricultural systems. Completing the products and services under development, making it available to the end users the main goal of this Directorate, besides coming proposing new problem-solving projects.


  • Agricultural technologies Research Team: focuses on agricultural mechanization products and systems to transform the countries agricultural practice in a way to increase productivity.  
  • Environmental technologies Research Team: conducts research on systems and products affecting the environment and redevelop the proven ones to support the countries effort creating a better environment this and net generation. 
  • Industrial and Manufacturing technologies Research Team :  focus on products and services which modernize and increase competitiveness in the manufacturing sector


The directorate is mandated to lead on product and technologies development applying a reverse engineering methodology and conducting research and development on proven and problem-solving technologies and products. It also coordinates and support projects emphases on reverse engineering methodologies throughout the country.

Research Themes

  • conduct research and development using RE methodology
  • Support researches which focus on RE methodology   
  • Establishing national and international collaborations
  • Developing, adapting and transferring technologies

Research Projects

Development of Feed Processing Technology for the Transformation of Agricultural Wastes to Animal Feed

PI: Zerihun Kedida
Project Description;

Livestock play multiple roles in the livelihoods of people in developing communities. However, in response to population growth, rising income and urbanization, the sector has not been able to produce adequate products to satisfy this demand, mainly due to low productivity of dairy animals. Smallholder dairy farmers face many feed constraints such as inadequate feed quality and quantity, poor storage facilities for feed conservation as well as insufficient materials. However, feeding of livestock continues to pose significant problems due to lack of information on composition and utilization of locally available feed resources. These problems are aggravated by lack of access to high cost of feed inputs. Development of Feed Processing Technology for the Transformation of agricultural wastes (crop residues, Fruits and Vegetable Wastes) to Animal Feed has been set as a main objective of the project to overcome the challenges within the feeding system of livestock. Disintegrating feed preparation and machine development activities as a key milestone. It has been commenced with the successive observation and identification of appropriate feed processing technologies.

Vertical Farming: HOMESTEAD Solution Project

PI: Yissehak Demissie
Project Description;

The project identified and designed five vertical farming technologies and constructed one technology and conducted successful demonstration by using lettuce/spinach crop. The technology was designed to grow more crops at a small area than traditional farming. The demonstration was conducted starting September 2018 to August 2022 at yards of BETIn and PICE in Addis Ababa. The first version of the technology namely VFHS-01 model was constructed after a number of trials by using Dixon profile as a structure and PVC pipe as soil holding to support crop roots. The VFHS-01 model has a base area of 4.5m2 and length of 3m with width of 1.5m having a height of 2.9m. The technology can grow 120-150 crops at a time which is 167%-208% greater than the traditional farm use practices. The final technology demonstration which was conducted at PICE yard during April to August 2022 finalized with a successful result. As a result, the project team members agreed to transfer the technology for potential users and to keep up improving the technology to meet to its maximum possible efficiency. It is noted that, the current world’s practices in this sector ranges 500%-1000% land use efficiency for farming practices. Vertical growing rather than horizontal expansion to ensure sustainability.

Design and Development of Agro-Waste Shredding Machine

PI: Zerihun Kedida
Project Description;

Composting is the controlled conversion of degradable organic products and wastes into stable products with the aid of microorganisms. Composting is a long-used technology, though it has some shortcomings that have reduced its extensive usage and efficiency. The shortcomings include pathogen detection, low nutrient status, long duration of composting, long mineralization duration, and odor production. The focus of this paper is to design and manufacture agricultural waste shredding machine which has significant impact in composting process through provision of appropriate size of compostable materials. Materials to be utilized in manufacturing of the machines are sheet metal, angle iron, RHS, solid bars, desil engine, shafts, pulleys and standard machine elements (bolts, nuts, belts, pillow block bearing and etc.). the shredding machine has the feeding parts, shredding units, power transmission unit, outlet and the main body. The performance of the machine will be evaluated with the stalk or straws of crops like maize, sorghums, beans, peas, vegetables and fruits wastes. The machine is allowed to run at speed of 800RPM to 1200RPM with the sieve size of 20mm, 30mm and 40mm sizes. The machine has the capacity to shred (300-500) kg per hour with the specified speed. It has been designed with the consideration of simplicity in running the machine and purchasing capacity of small and medium scale enterprises.

Design and Development of Compost Turner Machine

PI: Kinfegebriel Kebede
Project Description;

Composting is the natural breakdown process of organic residues. Composting transforms raw organic waste materials into biologically stable, humic substances that make excellent soil amendments. Compost is easier to handle than manure and other raw organic materials, stores well, and is odor-free. Compost "happens" either aerobically (with oxygen) or anaerobically (without oxygen) when organic materials are mixed and piled together. Aerobic composting is the most efficient form of decomposition, and produces finished compost in the shortest time. Windrow composting is the most common composting method. It requires minimal infrastructure and has low installation and operating costs relative to many other composting methods. At windrow composting sites, feedstocks and amendments are placed into long, low piles (windrows), which are regularly "turned" using mobile equipment (such as front-end loaders, skid steers, or farm tractors and manure spreaders) or a specially designed windrow "turner". The aim of this project is to design and develop windrow composting turning machines as a contributor to an organic fertilizer production initiative in Ethiopia. The design of the machine along with necessary material list complete and is under prototype manufacturing process. At the end of the project farmers, agricultural machinery manufacturers and SMEs and youth and women will be benefited from the product of the project, either as a manufacturer of the machine or as service provide.

Hydroponic technology to enhance food security: a nutrient solution for soilless media

PI: Berhane Desta
Project Description;

Naturally plants grow in soil. Modern technology aided hydroponic system to happen. A hydroponic system should be designed to satisfy specific requirements of plants with the most reliable and efficient methods of nutrient delivery. A nutrient is a substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life. For a plant to develop properly, it must have access to all the necessary elements, and all the necessary elements should be there. These specific elements and ions are supplied from different mineral salts such as nitrogen and calcium from (calcium nitrate), phosphorus and potassium from (potassium phosphate), nitrogen and potassium from (potassium nitrate), magnesium from (magnesium sulphate), iron from (Fe-EDTA or EDDHA or DPTA), manganese from (manganese sulphate), zinc from (zinc sulphate), boron from (boric acid or borax), copper from (copper sulphate) and molybdenum from (ammonium/ sodium molybdate). Important tests to be done in hydroponics are water quality, nutrient concentration, pH, EC and temperature. The project will bring a contribution for the development of urban agriculture, whereby people can grow their own food; which will in turn enhance food security of the society. It is easier way to grow plants since it is a soil less media. This can be applicable anywhere in the country with a controlled environment irrespective of temperature, humidity, light and etc. of that specific place. Hydroponic technology is not widely practiced system especially in developing countries; therefore, it will be a big opportunity to introduce and promote the technology. This will be a means to practice the application of technology in agricultural sector in our country.

Organic fertilizer production from concentrated vinasse through evaporation

PI; Hermela Birhanu
Project Description;

Ethanol production produces 10-20 folds of sludge or (co)product, called vinasse which is also known as stillage, molto, thin stillage, distillery wastewater, distillery spent wash, and distillery slope. In Ethiopia, around 32 million liters of ethanol is expected to be produced from molasses every year by two dominant sugar factories (Metehara and Fincha) which leads to the production of 10-20 folds of vinasse. The physico-chemical characteristics of this wastewater identify it as a pollutant when disposed to both water bodies and agricultural land without proper control and treatment. Among the pollutant characteristics of vinasse its high COD and BOD value causing oxygen depletion upon disposal to land and water, lower pH creating acidic environment, high Nitrogen and Potassium content causing eutrophication, and its bad smell can be listed. Not only its pollutant characteristics but also the huge amount production of vinasse is a problem for most ethanol producing factories as they face objections from both environmental regulation authorities and the local community. The aim of this project work therefore is to help ethanol producing factories manage their waste by converting it into a useful product i.e. organic fertilizer. The fertilizer production process involves evaporation of vinasse to reduce its water content which is around 90% and then composting it with other Nitrogen rich organic wastes. After composting the mixtures optimum operating conditions will be identified for large scale applications and the resulting compost will be further processed to produce granulated solid organic fertilizer that can fulfill organic fertilizer specifications

Multi-crop thresher development and fabrication

PI: Kinfegebriel Kebede
Project Description;

In Ethiopia, more than 90% of subsistence farmers have very limited or no access to mechanization technologies, making it difficult to produce at a scale that is comparable to African and international averages. The challenges faced during the widespread adoption of mechanized technologies are spread across the value chain, from research and development of new implements all the way through to after-sales service. To overcome these obstacles, Ethiopian farmers must have access to contemporary mechanization practices. Therefore, Bio and emerging technology institute in collaboration with the Soyabean Innovation Lab (SIL), feed the future value chain activity, and Welkite Polytechnique College developed a multi-crop thresher. During the process of fabrication, around 26 well-experienced welders, metal workshop owners, university and TVET trainers, and private engineering PLC professionals participated. The design of this thresher prepared in a way to be manufactured in small and medium workshops with a few tools and equipment like a welding arc, hammer and chisel or angle grinder, center punch, angled cutter and roller. Lathe work and drilling machine works on the shaft and sieve are usually outsourced by fabricators. Materials are collected from a fabrication hub with scrap metal and from shops selling new material. The design principles address production of simple, compact and low-cost threshers that are easy to manufacture with locally available technology levels. The machine threshes soybean 40 times faster than traditional stick beating and helps reduce drudgery and increase productivity for smallholder farmers. It shells maize in the husk and threshes soybean and rice with no grain loss. Interchangeable concave sieves make it usable for multiple crops. It can thresh maize, soybean, rice, sorghum, cowpea and common beans. The machine can thresh 20 -30 quintals of maize per hour, about 2-3 quintals of soyabean per hour and 5-10 quintals of wheat. Easy to transport bicycle, pulled by human power, a donkey, a horse or any other farm transport technologies. Near zero machine loss for grain (compared to 5-50% commercially available multi-crop threshers) and also generates zero or very low dust. The threshing machine was tested in different parts of the maize producing parts of the country. The feedback we got from the farmers who took advantage of the threshing service opportunity, was very good. In addition to the quality of the maize and it not split the seeds. The farmers explained to us during the test and promotion programs that the cob of the maize, which is shredded in small pieces by the machine, makes it very easy to use it as feed for cattle.


Name of ResearcherQualification/ fieldArea of research interest or specializationEmail address
Kingebebriel KebedeMSc. /Advanced Optical technologies / BSc. Electrical engineering andOptical technologies, Automation and IOT, agriculture mechanization related technologieskgebriel31[at]gmail.com , Kinfegebriel.kebede@betin.gov.et
Elias AssamnewBSc./Electrical and Computer EngineeringDigital technologyelias.assamnew[at]gmail.com
Teshibelay AshagreMSc./Environmental EngineeringEnvironmental issuesteshienvo[at]gmail.com
YIsehak demisseMSc/Environmental Science and M.A. in Project ManagementEnvironmental Management, Auditing, Protection and Energy as well as Project Development and Management.yissehak[at]gmail.com
Neggeso BekerMSc./mechanical engineering, Bsc, Mechanical (Thermal)Renewable energy,nboron24[at]gmail.com
Berhane DestaMSc/ Environmental EngineeringWater and waste water treatmentberishdt[at]gmail.com
Hermela BirhanuBSc./Degree in Chemical EngineeringEnvironmental and process engineeringhermelabrhanug[at]gmail.com
Abduletif HabibMSc./ Industrial EngineeringSystem and Performance Improvement, design, analysis, and control of technology, production and service operations and systems.abduinda[at]gmail.com
Amanuel TerefeMSc./Embedded system technologiesAutomation and IOTAmanuelterefe10[at]gmail.com
Michael GebregiorgiesBSc./ Degree in Mechanical EngineeringDigital technologymikimare21[at]gmail.com
Aychew ChemereMSc./Machine designDesign and manufacturingaychewchemere[at]gmail.com
Dawit YifaMSc./Manufacturing EngineeringProduct Design and Development (Agricultural, industrial and etc.)dawityifa[at]yahoo.com
Zerihun KedidaMSc./Manufacturing EngineeringProduct Design and Development (Agricultural, industrial and etc.)hundedhugaa[at]gmail.com
Addisu AlemuMSc./Embedded system technologiesDigital Technologyaddisualemuj[at]gmail.com
Azeb GebruBSc./Electrical engineering/ Masters in project managementElectrical systems, control systems and project managementazebgm8[at]gmail.com