The comprehensive training program was developed after a thorough needs assessment carried out by Prof. Bernard Ikua the Principal of the College of Engineering and Technology at JKUAT in consultation with Engineering Workshop’s Manager Dr. Peter Kihato and his team comprising of Mr. Daniel Omondi, Mr. Ben Maniafu and Mr. David Nderi on one hand, and Professors Takao Koide and Masashi Miura and a team of three technologists – Mr. Daiju Taketoshi, Mr. Ryuuji Kawabe, and Mr Kenichi Sakamoto – from Tottori University Japan. The training needs assessment identified gaps in specific skills required for effective maintenance and operation of existing and new equipment in the department in order to enhance student training, research, and innovation. Specific areas covered included Involute Gear cutting using the milling machine; fabrication, installation and testing of a deodorization box for the Laser cutting / printing machine; and training on Computer-aided Design (CAD) and Computer-aided-Manufacture (CAM). Participants were also able to operate for the first time the laser printing / cutting machine as part of their training experience.
Those trained included members from Engineering Workshops – Mr. Ben Maniafu and Mr. Robert Kinyua from the Innovation and Production section, and Mr. Jared Ombui and Mr. Ellie Ogutu from Machine shop – and Mr. Boniface Kariuki from Mechatronic Engineering department. Selected students from JKUAT included Mr. Derrick Omondi, a first year student from Mechatronic Engineering Department; Mr. Protus Odie, Ms. Linda Wangui, Mr. James Ludenyo, and Mr. George Ngure all fourth year Mechatronic Engineering Students; and Mr. Walton Twele, a fifty year Mechatronic Engineering Student; while two students – Ms. Ayumi Nanjou and Mr. Kento Nishimura – joined the training from Japan. The students benefited from the training I terms of project planning and implementation, interaction with foreign students in achieving set objectives, and experience in handling and operation of new equipment installed at the iPIC building.
Experiences gained will be shares with other technical staffs within the department, students taking engineering programs at the University, and other interested parties in order to improve on indigenous knowledge creation, transfer and product development. Gaps identified through this training will form the basis for future training and skills upgrading programs. Consequently, it is expected that a number of patented products will be registered from activities at the iPIC building by members of the JKUAT community.