Telescope donation to boost space science studies at JKUAT

Prof. Odhiambo holding one of the telescopes with Prof. Baki (2nd left) and Prof. Dadhich (4th right)

The Department of Physics recently received 20 telescopes from the Paris based International Astronomical Union to support research and teaching in the new frontiers of space science at JKUAT. Receiving the equipment, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs welcomed the gesture and urged JKUAT dons to be visionary and to ensure they exploited and benefitted from any single opportunity that they encountered to the advantage of the department.

Prof. Odhiambo told a group of the Department of Physics staffers the future of research was mainly hinged on the two sciences, Physics and chemistry saying that modern inventions from the subject matter of physics is what was now driving the ICT sector that had revolutionized the world. The DVC, a Professor of Statistics and former Dean, Faculty of Science reminded the staffers to initiate a programme that could lead to the transformation of the Faculty into a School capable of accommodating intended programmes in space sciences.

Donating the equipment on behalf of the International Astronomical Union, Prof. Paul Baki a Physicist at the Kenya Polytechnic University College explained the Union’s intention of making the telescopes available was to introduce astronomy and astrophysics in the country. He said that a number of Universities in Kenya that had a teaching department of physics had received the telescopes and added that Kenya was in the process of establishing a national space agency to promote a culture of space science in the country.

For JKUAT, the donation comes in handy, at a time when a new postgraduate programme in Geophysics has been rolled out at the Department of Physics. In addition curricula for three related programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels have been concluded and were being processed through the University committees.

The function was capped by a public lecture by renowned physicist and Emeritus Professor at India’s Inter-University centre for astronomy and astrophysics Naresh Dadhich. In the lecture titled Einstein for all, the don sought to explore and present Einstein’s great theory in a simple way.

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