Marine Engineering Students Tipped by Industry Players

Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Ngumi interacts with marine engineering students during the Maritime Day celebrations

Marine Engineering students at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, under the auspices of the Society of Marine Engineering Students (SOMES) marked the 2023 Maritime Day on Thursday November 9, 2023. The event themed ‘Navigating Maritime Horizons Advancing Maritime Education, And Partnerships’ brought together seasoned maritime experts, alumni and industry players who tipped the students on what it takes to hack the job market upon graduation.

In a keynote address to the students, the President and CEO of Jooway Shipping Industry, Mr. Han-Dong Bang said that the maritime industry is currently facing shortage of 200,000 qualified personnel; which opens many opportunities for the marine engineering students.

He noted that the reputation of Kenyan marine engineers, most of which are produced by JKUAT, has been on the rise based on positive industry reports after on-board trainings.

Popularly known among the students as Elder Bang, the expert however added that for Kenya’s maritime sector to be globally competitive, the students must demonstrate highest levels of academic excellence, discipline and leadership.

“Kenya is making great strides in training marine engineers. Many shipping companies are now willing to take Kenyan graduates and it is a great time to be a marine engineer from Kenya,” Bang noted.

Mr. Han-Dong Bang delivers his keynote address to the students

The expert also urged the students to think beyond the mainstream jobs in the shipping industry to consider additional opportunities in allied sectors such as marine insurance, shipping agents and spare parts for maritime equipment.

Margaret Ngigi, a graduate of Marine Engineering from JKUAT class of 2018, challenged the students to prioritise academic excellence and show compassion to colleagues in the course of their studies.

Studying marine engineering at JKUAT, she said, gives students a good chance to gain practical skills and necessary networks that are important in navigating the job market.

SOMES Chairperson, Suzzane Oduor who is a final year marine engineering student lauded the experts and former students for their insightful comments to the students.

“The session has been very inspirational, listening to the leading experts and former students of marine engineering. The event is a good example of strategic partnerships and networking which are critical in aiding students to smoothly transition into the industry,” Suzzane said.

The Chairperson of the Marine Engineering and Maritime Operations Department, Dr. Gerald Odhiambo, noted that the Maritime Day was aimed at proving a platform for students to engage with industry players and learn about the opportunities and expectations of the industry.

The event also saw students, staff and invited guests participate in a tree planting exercise within the University. JKUAT is a leading regional training institution in maritime affairs, and host the IMO backed Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Africa.

Engineering students during tree planting exercise

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