Three JKUAT Students Benefit from ELbM Scholarships

Three postgraduate students from the College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC) have benefitted from the Education for Laser-based Manufacturing (ELbM) scholarship, which will see them undertake their research work at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) in Botswana.

The trio of Elphas Kibet, Amos Nyakundi, and Geoffrey Okoth, all undertaking MSc. Mechatronic Engineering, set off for Botswana on August 31, 2022, where they will be based for the next 10 months, bringing their research projects to reality and expanding their knowledge base.

Mr. Geoffrey’s research focuses on ‘Topology optimization of Alloy Vehicle Door Hinge fabricated via Laser Engineered Net Shaping’, which will be geared towards enhancing less carbon emissions through lighter vehicles.

Nyakundi’s research is titled ‘Optimization of fatigue performance of additively manufactured cobalt chromium alloy for medical applications’, while Kibet is researching the ‘Modelling of residual stresses in miraging steel produced by Laser Engineered Net Shipping’.

At the same time, JKUAT also received an ELbM scholar from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), who will be undertaking a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Design and Production. Ms. Amandle Tracy Sello is the second student from Botswana to join the JKUAT College of Engineering, and the first female ELbM scholar.

She plans to train her focus on Energy engineering, and devise a way of utilizing laser manufacturing to solve energy problems, an issue she considers dire for her home country of Botswana.

Ms. Amandle

“I am happy and grateful for this opportunity, as I will be acting as a connector between the two countries. No man is an island, and I believe that a collaboration between African universities is a sure way of elevating our education to the next level,” opines Ms. Sello.

The European Union-funded Education for Laser-Based Manufacturing (ELbM) project is a consortium of academic and industrial institutions formed in response to the shortage of qualified teaching and research faculty in manufacturing in Africa. JKUAT, through the College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC) was competitively awarded the European Union funding for the ELbM project in 2019, with the project officially commencing in 2020.

The four students are among other students who successfully qualified for the second batch of the scholarship across the continent, under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility scheme. Other participating universities include the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) in Nigeria, and the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The third call for the scholarship application is currently on, with the deadline set for 30th September, 2022.

Speaking while receiving the Motswana to the College of Engineering and seeing off the three Kenyan students, Ag. Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu urged the students to live up to the objectives of the Education for Laser-based Manufacturing, of providing viable solutions to Africa’s infrastructural challenges.

“The need to develop home-grown viable low cost and environmentally sustainable manufacturing solutions to African infrastructural challenges cannot be overemphasized, and it begins with you. That is why a lot of industrial and academic resources have been availed to you. We urge you to make it come true,” he said.

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