JKUAT Unveils Advanced Manufacturing Lab Equipment

Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi interacts with a 3D-printed pen holder. Looking on (from right) are Prof. Bernard Ikua, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Dr. Kabini Karanja and Ms. Maureen Andanje.

JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi unveiled Advanced Manufacturing lab equipment at the College of Engineering and Technology’s (COETEC), May 15, 2023.

The acquisition of this state-of-the-art machinery, worth Kshs. 13.5 million, was made possible through fruitful collaborations with various partners, including the Sustainable Additive Manufacturing (SustainAM) project, JICA, NACOSTI, International Development Research Centre and the Center for International Migration and Development.

“I am confident that the acquisition of such state-of-the-art equipment would greatly support the faculty’s research efforts and contribute to the University’s overall vision of becoming an institution of global excellence in training, research, innovation and entrepreneurship for development,” said Prof. Ngumi.

The Vice Chancellor encouraged other schools within the university to follow the example set by the School of Mechanical, Manufacturing, and Materials Engineering (SOMMME) and the School of Bio-Systems and Environmental Engineering (SOBEE).

The two schools are in collaboration with Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF), Germany to implement the SustainAM project, focused on advancing sustainable additive manufacturing in the country.

Inter-University collaboration. Arno Hoffman (left) from Tubaf and Maureen Andanje from JKUAT operate the 3D printing machine in the Advanced Manufacturing lab

Acknowledging the significance of the project, Prof. Ngumi said by investing in advanced equipment and forging international partnerships, JKUAT can establish itself as a hub for research and innovation, attracting top-tier talent and further enhancing its global reputation.

The Sustain AM project aims to revolutionize additive manufacturing by incorporating bio-based materials that are currently either wasted, underutilized, or considered unwanted. By integrating these materials into the manufacturing process, the project seeks to not only reduce waste but also promote sustainability and innovation in the field.

Dr. Eng. Samuel Kabini Karanja, Chairman of the Department of Mechatronics Engineering and custodian of the Advanced Manufacturing Lab, expressed confidence that JKUAT’s renewed focus on research and innovation, alongside initiatives such as the SustainAM project, will enable the university to make significant contributions to the field of additive manufacturing in Kenya and beyond.

The commissioning was graced by the Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Bernard Ikua, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, Principal, COETEC, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, and Dean, SOMMME, Dr. Onesmus Muvengei among other staff.

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