The Department of Mechanical Engineering recently concluded their eleventh annual seminar attended by over 50 participants drawn from the university and industry in which over 25 papers in a wide range of topics like Use of landfills for solid waste management, Geology Mining and Innovation, and Recycling of Cast Aluminum Alloys were presented.
Organized by the Department of Mechanical Engineering under the theme sustainable research and innovation, the seminar presented a forum for engineers in the academics to interact with industry to assess how their activities fit in the Kenya’s industrialization process and in the flagship project in particular stipulated in vision 2030.
According to Dr. Karanja Kibicho, Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering, research institutions including universities were faced with myriad challenges in terms of capacity building that he says was critical in ensuring local industries remained competitive in the global market. He adds that JKUAT engineering scholars were well aware of their calling to offer innovative solutions to the country’s increased socio economic problems through the development of efficient methods of using the depleting natural resources.
In her official seminar opening statement, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga appealed to the engineering fraternity to urgently embark in seeking practical solutions that have plagued Kenya’s industrialization dream for almost five decades of its independence. She wondered why the country that was endowed with numerous resources still employed primitive production methods a practice that she said could be central to Kenya’s continued poverty dilemma. It is this type of production that she said that has endlessly made the country a firm supply of cheap raw materials to the industrialized countries.
As engineers she added “it is your duty to rectify the situation by initially coming up with simple innovations in terms of machinery that could be used for instance to process our raw agricultural produce into more valuable products. As engineers, I urge you to be at the forefront in the process of transforming Kenya’s raw agricultural economy to a vibrant industrial market, based on value addition and manufacturing of goods and services”
The vice chancellor praised the Faculty of Engineering to remain focused in their teaching and research activities that had so far made JKUAT engineering the most preferred in the job market in East Africa as revealed by recent studies. “This has put JKUAT in a very unique advantage over other universities in the region. I urge you to maintain the standards especially now that management was in the process of devolving a number of management functions to cost centers” she commented.