Bridging Academia – Industry Gap through Innovation

Prof. Jackson Kwanza( right) cuts the ribbon to officially receive the equipment at the university’s physics lab

Three students pursuing Master of Science in Electronics and Instrumentation course at JKUAT have developed a programmable logic controller (PLC) board to aid the University’s teaching and research.

The student innovators, Norbert Nelson Wetungu, Peter Sande Juma and Peter Njuguna Nyambura, used their classroom knowledge to develop a unique PLC that mirrors equipments widely used in the industry to automate and control various industrial processes and machinery such as execution of sequences of operations, monitors and controls variables like temperature and pressure.

The equipment was received and commissioned on June 7, 2023 by the university as a way of promoting more innovations.

Officiating at the commissioning exercise, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Jackson Kwanza lauded the students for their innovation saying the trainer model will go a long way to bridge the gap between what the university produces and what the industry needs.

Prof. Kwanza urged undergraduate students to be ambitious and borrow a leaf from the senior students in order to address various gaps in academia.

Dr. Calvin Ominde from Physics Department showcases other ongoing research projects in the Department

To promote more research activity, Prof. Kwanza pledged to support collaborations that will enhance the University’s research capacity.

“We recently signed an MoU with KEFRI towards research and under my docket, I am willing to support more partnerships that will address various research gaps,” said Prof. Kwanza.

The Principal of the College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. George Thiong’o, appreciated the students for maintaining the high standards at the College.

He urged them to aim even higher and pursue PhD studies at JKUAT by taking advantage of various scholarships opportunities in the university.

Prof. Thiong’o also expressed his gratitude to his predecessors at the College saying they had laid down a strong foundation for success.

Chairman, Physics Department, Dr. Anthony Kiroe said, the PLC board will be beneficial for undergraduate students pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Control and Instrumentation.

Prof. George Thiong’o makes his remarks

He stated that  the equipment will enhance student’s learning experience by providing hands-on practical training in industrial control systems and could also be used during lab practicals, research projects, and training sessions, allowing students to gain valuable skills and familiarity with industry-standard equipment.

Norbert Wetungu, stated that the integration of the programmable logic controller board into the academic curriculum at JKUAT demonstrates a commitment to staying current with industry trends and technologies.

He further said, the PLC will also ensure students are well-prepared for careers in the field of control and instrumentation by providing them with practical experience using equipment commonly found in industrial settings.

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