The 2012 Edition of the Annual Engineering Conference themed: “Engineering and Technology as a key Driver for Sustainable Development” bringing together top engineers from thematic areas drawn from the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa got underway at the main campus, Wednesday, August 15, 2012,.
The annual event organized by the Kenya Society of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in collaboration with the Japan Society of Applied Electromagnetics and Mechanics, aims to document and disseminates research studies and information while encouraging budding engineers to actualize their potential.
Now in its 16th year, the two-day conference has attracted 34 presentations in various fields including Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications, Aeronautical Engineering, and Information Communications Technology among others.
Contrary to the past editions where established engineers dominated the presentations, the 2012 edition has attracted rare category of scholars. Five Mang’u High School students are presenting a paper on Aeronautical Engineering. The topic? Operation of non-motorized aircrafts as a stop-gap measure to eventual airborne engine failure. This is quite timely considering the recent spate of copter crashes that has been witnessed in Kenya.
While officiating the opening ceremony, Dr. H. Mutai, the Managing Director, Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) underscored the importance of research institutions in procuring patents for their innovations. This he said, was the only safe way through which new and usable knowledge would be manipulated to create wealth.
According to Dr. Mutai, in the 2011-2012 period, foreign companies, mostly pharmaceutical based, filed the bulk of the 231 patent applications out of which, only 70 patents were granted. While lauding JKUAT for having an Intellectual Property Policy in place, Dr. Mutai challenged local institutions to set up Intellectual Property management offices to accelerate the patenting of local inventions.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, in a speech read by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Production & Extension, Prof Esther Kahangi, encouraged the participants to share their experiences and showcase their research findings as way of developing new technologies towards improving living conditions of the Kenyan people.
In his address to the participants, Amb. Dr. Joseph Kiplagat, the Director of Industrial Information and Research, Ministry of Industrialization, reiterated the government’s commitment to realize the pillars of Kenya Vision 2030. “We have identified 21 priority areas with Iron and Steel exploitation sitting at the top of the priority list”, said Kiplagat, adding that the Ministry was currently drafting policies on business technology incubation and subcontracting, critical to the success of Kenya’s development blueprint.
The conference has attracted over 80 participants from various schools, faculties and department within JKUAT as well as other universities in the country. Participating countries include Japan, Italy, Nigeria and host Kenya.