Eng. Julius Mimano
Julius Mimano was the first Kenyan mechanical engineer. As a young boy, he always dreamt of becoming a mechanical engineer. This was one step made possible by his study at the Alliance High School where he graduate in 1955 and went on to study mechanical Engineering at the Nairobi Technical College, the only place in EA offering the course. It took him five years and in June 1961, he graduated becoming the first mechanical engineer in East Africa. He immediately joined the railways.
During those times, he was much of an oddity since all the other engineers and foremen in that field were European. After spells in the workshops and training in the UK with British Railways, he took up a position as assistant mechanical engineer in Kampala in 1964.
An opportunity in Tanga (the Tanzanian port) and then Dar es Salaam where he was placed in charge of the whole Tanzania region, gave him a thorough understanding of the whole network and of how, with co-operation from all member states, East African network could operate to the benefit of all countries.
He returned to Nairobi in 1967 to become a senior mechanical engineer in charge of design of equipment and specifications. Shortly after this he was promoted to chief mechanical engineer of the whole network. In 1980, he was appointed Chief Mechanical and Transport Engineer with the Ministry of Transport. This helped build up more his experience and insight into the ministry which was ultimately responsible for the Kenya Railways. InMay 1983 he was appointed as the managing director-a position that was normally taken by the Deputy Governor of Kenya during those times. In the same year, he succeeded Simon Mbugua as Chairman of the Engineers Registration Board.
Mimano joined the Kenya Railway when it was undergoing developments and he emphasised on improvement of passenger services as well as having them updated. He also wanted to use the excellent permanent way network as a viable commercial alternative to road transport thus fulfilling a service to the country of relieving road congestion and making a profit on the railways.