Concerted Efforts Crucial in Leveraging on Nuclear Science

A cross-section of the participants during the webinar

Today’s advancement in science emanating from the investment in nuclear physics research has necessitated the adoption of partnerships necessary in ensuring that developing countries explore and tap into industrial and entrepreneurial opportunities in Non – Destructive Technologies (NDT).

This was the discussion Wednesday, June 30, 2021, during a webinar convened by JKUAT’s Directorate of Research and Innovations for staff and students aimed to evaluate the importance of nuclear science in the industrial sector.

According to the East Africa Association for Radiation Protection (EAARP) Chairman, Mr. Wilson Kairu, nuclear science is still a contentious issue in developing countries yet it has tremendous benefits like NDT that could change and improve the industrial sector immensely.

Mr. Kairu who is also the Non-Destructive Society Secretary made this observation during his presentation titled Industrial Applications of Nuclear Science “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in NDT”.

“NDT is a wide group of analysis techniques that evaluate properties of material, component, structure or system for characteristic differences or welding defects and discontinuities without causing damage to the original part”, said Mr. Kairu.

With Kenya hoping to introduce nuclear energy in 2035, he observed, the importance of NDT in contributing to the economic and social pillars of a country will spur rapid industrialization, thus accelerate its growth from a middle to a higher income economy.

Given the use of NDT in aircraft, bridge and railways inspection among other areas, the EAARP Chairman underscored the importance of early detection of defects as a way of averting occurrence of disasters, further noting that NDT’s goal is to ensure that critical infrastructure is properly maintained in order to avoid catastrophic accidents.

“It is paramount to undertake early and round-the-clock inspection prior to doing an NDT test as it will reduce huge costs to repair or even replace the worn-out structure or materials,” affirmed Mr. Kairu.

With less than 200 NDT professionals in Kenya, the Non-Destructive Technologies Society Secretary called for concerted efforts with various stakeholders to set up a local certification body to provide affordable training for the youth. This, he noted, would bridge the huge unemployment gap that blights the youth in the country.

Association of Practicing and Professional Entrepreneurs of Kenya, Secretary-General, Dr. Allan Mugambi, called on the youth to view emerging sectors as opportunities they can tap into and flex their entrepreneurial minds.

He expressed his gratitude to the University fraternity for their invaluable expertise as well as churning out able and competent students like Mr. Kairu, a JKUAT alumnus, noting it would go a long way in ensuring the “Country benefits from such composed minds”.

Director, Research and Innovations, Dr. John Kinyuru appreciated the speakers’ invaluable input on the areas of nuclear energy noting that such avenues will spur interest in students to venture into nuclear science.

“We are looking for more spin of areas that we can tap and capacity build our students on. Such areas like this will be important in developing the future workforce for developing countries like Kenya,” asserted Dr. Kinyuru.

The Research Director reiterated the importance of fostering partnerships among institutions stating that collaborations increased knowledge, expertise, and resources available.

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