Pricncipals' speech

SPEECH BY THE PRINCIPAL, COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP ORGANIZED UNDER THE PROJECT: QUALITY ENGINEERING EDUCATION THROUGH UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA AT THE UTALII HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA

 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a great honour for me to preside over the official opening of this Professional Development Workshop. This Workshop is organised under the project: Quality Engineering Education in Eastern and Southern Africa through University-Industry Partnerships (RAE-UNIP). I note that the said project is funded by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) and that it brings together university and industry participants from Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya. May I take this opportunity to congratulate this diverse group for coming together and making the project a reality. More specifically, I wish to express my profound gratitude to RAE for providing the financial support for the project and for this workshop. For those of you from outside Kenya, I take this chance to welcome you to Kenya and urge you to use any free time you might have to explore and enjoy what Kenya has to offer.

 

The theme of the Workshop is “Linking Engineering Academics with Industry”. As the Principal of the College of Architecture and Engineering (CAE) at the University of Nairobi, I find this theme most appropriate. This is because it is the Mission of CAE to train top notch professionals while one of its core values is professionalism. I note that your project involves seconding engineering lecturers to work, gain practical experience and also gain a first-hand “feel” of the requirements of industry. Collaboration between engineering lecturers and industry will no doubt inculcate a professional approach to knowledge delivery and transfer in the classroom. One result of such collaboration is that engineering graduates from our universities will be more “industry ready”.

 

Also included in your Project is involvement of industry in universities. This is effected by inviting key engineers from industry to universities to give motivational talks to Staff and Students. You also involve the same engineers in curriculum development and review activities. With such close collaboration, we will ensure that both sides (universities and industry) are reading from the same script when it comes to preparing future engineers in the form of graduates from the universities.

 

Moreover, engineering education and industry in Africa do not exist in isolation. I am glad that your Project addresses this issue too by involving players from the UK as partners. The involvement of external partners will ensure that our curricula are not only responsive to the needs of industry, but are also bench marked with best practices Worldwide.

 

For those lecturers who have had a chance to work in industry under this Project, I urge you to take one more step: use the practical experience you have gained to apply for professional registration with the relevant professional bodies. Obtaining such registration will open the door to many future opportunities in consultancy and general engineering practice. This can only work to enhance both your academic as well as your professional careers.

 

For the gains of this Project to be sustainable going forward, it is important that it is mutually beneficial. Both sides must feel that they are gaining from the activities being undertaken. So how may industry gain from the Project? I am aware that industry from time to time faces challenges that are outside their core business. The way to tackle such challenges is to seek for consultants external to the industry or firm. The universities in this Project must use the opportunities offered by the Project to illustrate to industry that they are indeed capable of providing such consultancy services. Industries would them offer such consultancy work to local universities instead of looking overseas for the same.

 

Finally ladies and gentlemen, I really look forward to a time when this collaboration between universities and industry advances to a level where industries endow Professorial Chairs at various universities. It is my hope that this will happen sooner rather than later.

 

With those few remarks ladies and gentlemen, it is now my great pleasure and privilege to declare the RAE-UNIP Professional Development Workshop officially open. I wish you all very fruitful deliberations in the next two days.

 

Thank you.

Contact Us

 

The Principal,CAE

P. O. Box 30197 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

Telephone:   +254(020)3318262
Email : principal-cae@uonbi.ac.ke

Fax:  254 (020) 338688

        OR

Registrar,CAE

P. O. Box 30197 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

Mobile:   +254 721 257746

Telephone: +254(020) 3318262 Ext.28250

Fax:  254 (020) 338688

 

Email: registrarcae@uonbi.ac.ke

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