The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) conference concluded with an Industrial trip to Athi River and KenGen. At the end of the conference, engineers came up with some discussions and resolutions on topics touching on transport, water and sanitation, energy, innovation, environment and manufacturing. According to the secretariat, the discussions and resolutions will be uploaded on the IEK website for purposes of perusal.
Making his closing remarks, Eng. Nicholas Gumbo said “There is no problem in creating something good but doing it the right wrong way now becomes the problem. Engineers need to be involved in policy implementation, software development and maintenance in various fields of engineering, and they can become transactional advisors in engineering projects.”
“Quality education and training is a powerful indicator of how the country will run in terms of development, without an educated engineer, exploitation of natural resources would be a mirage,” added Gumbo.
He also confirmed that there is need to have strong internship programs to help engineers claim their positions in the society.
Engineers contribute largely to the built environment and recognizing them is of great essence. The second day of IEK conference was graced by Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng. James Njoroge. He gave an update of the projects that have been carried out and upcoming projects.
After the launch, several presentations were made by different attendees. The presentations comprised of topics such as;
• Onshore oil and gas exploration in Kenya
• Engineering opportunity in Renewable energy
• The role of nuclear energy in Kenya
• Importanceof concrete mix designs in reducing construction costs
• Benefits of standardization among engineers -Kenya Bureau of Standards(KEBS)
• Role of National Construction Authority in registration of engineers
• Occupational Health and Safety
Speaking at the event, KEBS Electrotechnical Standards and Development, Mr. Zacheus Mwatha insisted that engineers have a problem in observing professionalism. He urged all engineers to take standardization seriously and do things the right way. He also made it clear that KEBS intends to expand the area of radiochemistry and generate reference materials for use by other laboratories.
“Engineers play a crucial role when it comes to oil and gas exploration in Kenya and I wish to challenge young engineers to take up professional courses as in oil and gas exploration, said Edward Ondicha.
Annual General Meeting
IEK Annual General Meeting was held during the three day conference and committee members selected new members to sit in the IEK Council. Members present went through previous minutes of the meeting held in May 2014 in Diani, Mombasa during the 21stIEK conference. From the meeting, members proposed for the formation of benevolent funds for IEK members.
In the elections, Reuben Kosgei, Richard Chepkwony, Michael Okonji and Rosemary Kungu retained their seats as Chairperson, Treasurer, 1st Vice Chairperson and 2nd Chairperson respectively. The incoming new Honorary Secretary of the committee is Eng. Nathaniel Matalanga; Eng. Wambua will be head of Western Branch, Eng. Odumbe Coast branch and Eng. Kioni- Central branch.
The three incoming new IEK members Eng. John Tonai, Eng Kahoro Wachira and Eng. Samuel Njagi and outgoing IEK members include Eng. Grace Onyango, Eng. Henry Ndugah, Eng. Elijah Mwangi and Eng. Okubo.
The Chairperson also announced that they have acquired a building for IEK offices at Top Plaza, Kindaruma Road at KES20m. In addition, Eng. Kosgei announced that they are deliberating on IEK partnership with ICT Authority to offer internship opportunities to engineers. Moreover, Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) is set to roll out internship programs in the next fiscal year.
IEK led a delegation to attend the Federation of African Engineering Organization meeting in Abuja which coincided with the World’s Federation of Engineering Organization on sustainable infrastructure. There was also an annual general meeting of Federation of African Engineering Organization where Eng. Julius Riungu (Immediate past IEK chairperson), was elected as Resident Elect of the Federation African Engineering Organization.
IEK sits in various public boards such as Kenya Water Institute, Kenya Industrial and Property Board, EBK, KURA, KENHA, KERRA among others.
At KenGen, engineers were taken through a presentation on what KenGen does and its functional plants. Later on, engineers went for an official visit to the recent commissioned Olkaria IV geothermal plant. From the look of things there, engineers have really done a good job. The company is supposed to generate about 800MW of power as State eyes for 5,000MW.