The standing of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology as a regional centre of excellence in engineering training has been affirmed following the approval and accreditation of two additional programmes by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) at the institution.
The nod by the regulatory authority for JKUAT to mount the BSc. Marine Engineering; and the BSc. Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering degree programmes was predicated on the University’s pioneering and proven capacity to roll out the unique engineering disciplines. This makes JKUAT the only university in Kenya accredited to offer the two programmes.
In a communique to JKUAT Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, Friday March 8, 2019, EBK Registrar, Eng. Nicholas Musuni noted that the Board had verified the programmes met stipulated requirements touching on curriculum, staff and critical laboratory equipment.
The accreditation repositions JKUAT, that also host IMO-led Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa, as a key source of experts through training and research, in mining and maritime sectors. The graduates are expected to help accelerate exploitation of both marine and mineral resources within the country; a move that could substantially contribute to the realization of the government’s Big 4 Agenda.
The news of accreditation has been well received by students pursuing the two programmes; who noted that the move opened endless opportunities to practice in the country and beyond.
Bosco Mwendwa, a final year BSc. Marine Engineering student said the student fraternity was filled with joy and pride following the announcement.
“Some of us have dreams to become consultants. The accreditation will allow us to register as engineers and make useful contributions to the government’s efforts to harness the potential of the vast and rich blue economy,” Bosco said.
Brian Rono, a fifth year Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering student, could not hide his joy upon receiving the news.
“With the accreditation, I hope to register as a professional engineer and go into the area of geothermal exploration,” Rono said.
It was not just the students. The mark of achievement and satisfaction equally resonated with two eminent dons namely Prof. Stephen Maranga and Prof. Bernard Rop, credited with drawing up of the curriculum for the two programmes.
The acting Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Eng. Hiram Ndiritu said JKUAT had engaged a highly trained and competent faculty with each of the accredited programmes having three internationally sourced thematic leaders.
Dr. Ndiritu added that JKUAT had in place fully equipped laboratories that made it possible for JKUAT students to engage in hands-on training and research.
“The programmes are also mounted in close collaboration with leading industry players such as Kenya Ports Authority, Ministry of Mining, and Kenya Maritime Authority among others,” Dr. Ndiritu said.
Welcoming the accreditation, Dr. Mutuku Muvengei, the Acting Dean, School of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering confirmed that, JKUAT has continued to collaborate with international universities to train highly qualified academic staff in these highly specialized engineering fields.
“The school is proud that all the four programs it offers are now approved and accredited by the Engineers Board of Kenya” said the Dean.
Dr. Muvengei added that the school will continue engaging the Engineers Board of Kenya and other stakeholders to ensure the programmes are continuously revised to capture the emerging trends
The Chairman of the Department of Marine Engineering and Maritime Operations at JKUAT, Dr. Christiaan Adenya reported that the University had put in place adequate equipment for Maritime Education and Training (MET); enabling the graduates to display a solid knowledge and understanding of their Marine Engineering craft.
Dr. Adenya added that the University has so far graduated 77 students in the marine engineering programme, since 2015. The graduates, he added, were important agents to assist Africa tap into the blue economy and realize the Agenda 2063 development aspirations.
Henry Muli who heads the Department of Mining, Materials and Petroleum Engineering at JKUAT noted that the accreditation had effectively positioned the University as a credible source of quality and competent engineers for the mining sector.
“Mining is an emerging economic pillar; having contributed up to 2% of the GDP in 2018 from barely 0.8% in 2007,” Muli said.