Engineer- The forgotten professional
By Eng. Weche R. Okubo OGW


An idea is not important when it has not been actualized; and its impact cannot be appreciated unless it is shared. Engineers largely are involved in actualizing ideas or thoughts of other people. Like artisans and technicians who translate the thoughts of a designer (or engineer) into physical prototypes, societies have engineers to solve their social problems. The value of Engineer in society by and large is no longer useful once their ideas are seen or translated into prototypes. The usefulness of the engineer diminishes with the progress and actualization of their design or ideas, be it tangible or otherwise.

Engineers invented the wheel of progress /development but they were responding to the existing needs or thoughts of others and may not have been the authors of the need. As soon as the wheel was invented the engineer was forgotten. He had served the need and the society did not require his presence any more. In the vision 2030, engineers and other technical professionals are mainly facilitators and yet to achieve the Vision all the pillars are founded partly on engineering science.
The fastest growing sector of Kenya economy is infrastructure and yet when decisions are made about the economy, few if any, engineers are consulted or even invited to the forum. Engineers are comfortably locked out and can only wait for directions on the way forward from others whose knowledge in engineering may be lacking. Engineer has been relegated to a ‘handy-man’ in the same category as artisans.

Towards a better understanding of the engineers Act 2011
Eng. Nicholas Musuni, Registrar, Engineers Board of Kenya

Engineering is one of the regulated profession in Kenya. The essence of this regulation is to protect the public, maintain public confidence in the practitioners and set and uphold standards in the practice. Self-governing professions generally will exhibit three essential characteristics: a unique combination of knowledge and skills, a commitment to duty above self-interests or personal gain and self- governance free from external interference.

These characteristics of a regulated profession have been incorporated in legal frameworks regulating the engineering practice through the following common features.  These are the existence of standards of practice and assessment for purpose of practice of the profession. In addition, there are also the licensing mechanism and disciplinary procedures for practitioners of the profession and the existence of a code of conduct for the profession and professional development requirements.

The engineer as an entrepreneur
Eng. James Mwangi
Kurrent Technologies

Having engineering qualifications provides many different career opportunities. One of those career possibilities includes becoming an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurial ventures are launched to move ideas to the market or fill in a gap in the market. To start these ventures or businesses can be quite challenging and engineers need to poses some entrepreneurial behavior that will help make their venture a success. Some of the skills for a successful entrepreneur include good time management, resilience, negotiation, relationship building, good health etc. there are different  entrepreneurship opportunities for an engineer that include provision of engineering consulting services, project management, equipment hire, maintenance of equipment and infrastructure, manufacturing, testing and calibration services and construction, etc.

The prerequisite of a successful entrepreneur is a good business mind whose  attributes to mention include; the ability to identify / recognize  opportunities, taking action( overcoming fear of the unknown), being a calculated risk taker, being able to assess  your clients and also  gauging the performance  of your product/services, knowledge of your market and competitors, costing and pricing, good financial  and management skills, gauging political/ business  climate in the country  and region, being independent minded, willing to be mentored by the right people, being focused and having clarity of mind  and having tons of determination.

In Kenya, consulting and construction industry has been invaded by businessmen/women and other professionals who have identified gaps. Foreign firms  have also invaded the construction  and consultancy space often without  due regarded to the existing laws the NCA Act and Engineers Act help protect local engineers  but they still need to be enforced to ensure compliance. The public procurement and asset disposal act is also geared towards helping nationals in local and international projects. Lack of adequate enforcement and corruption continue to be a make threat to the legislative gains by the subject acts.
Through professional associations including IEK, ACEK and KEPSA, the engineer can reclaim his/her space. This can be achieved through aggressive lobbying, capacity building and flagging out non-compliance cases etc.

Powering the vision; Kenya’s nuclear power programme
Eng. Edwin K. Chesire, Eng. Collins G. Juma
Kenya Nuclear  Electricity Board

Kenya’s energy demand has risen steadily in recent years. The outcome of this justifies the need to diversify the country’s energy sources to satisfy the growing demand. Kenya’s Vision 2030 has identified energy as an enabler of this long-term development strategy. The Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) has factored nuclear power as a future component in Kenya’s energy mix. This is what informed the creation of the Nuclear Electricity Project Committee (NEPC) in November 2010 with a core mandate of developing nuclear electricity generation in Kenya. NEPC was transformed into the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) in November 2012. This work analyses Kenya’s nuclear infrastructure status before a decision to launch a nuclear power programme is reached to. This would result in the achievement of Milestone I in which the Government of Kenya will be in a position to make a technical and knowledgeable commitment to the nuclear Power Program. The need for innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering cannot be overemphasized in this endeavor as the country  quest for nuclear power is at the take off stage.

Keywords: Nuclear energy, electricity, Industrialization

CGN”S experience in nuclear power development
Eng. Yang Mao Chun
China General Nuclear Power Corporation

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is the largest nuclear power company in China and top 5 nuclear power operator in the world. In the past more than 30 years , CGN  has been consecutively building 28 nuclear power units with a total installed capacity of 31.74GW, 16 among which are in operation now. Through this process, CGN has accumulated plentiful experience of nuclear power  development which shows nuclear power is not only a clean energy solution, but also plays an important role in driving economy, promoting industry capability ,creating jobs, protecting environment, and conserving natural resource.

Nuclear power plant construction
Eng.Gao Xu Dong
China General Nuclear Power Generation

Section 1
As the largest professional nuclear power company in China and the biggest constructor of nuclear power in the world, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has plentiful experience in nuclear power development, construction and operation. This presentation mainly introduces  the core capacity and excellence performance  that was formed though  uninterrupted 30 year’s NPP construction  by China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. Ltd(CNPEC), which is one of the main subsidiaries of CGN. CNPEC has accumulated abundant experience of NPP project construction and management, formed standardized NPP construction process, complete management system and rich content database.

Section 2

This section will show the standard construction process of NPP in China, the work requires to carry out the key steps, the documents and licenses required to submit for approval in China. The construction process includes pre-project and principal project. The pre-project refers to the various works prior to project approval and is divided into pre-project engineering and consultation stage and preparation work stage. Taking cold functional tests as dividing line, the principal project can be classified as civil and erection work stage and commissioning stage. The data in this section is cited from CNPEC standard database.

Water harvesting using water pans as a means id self-reliance in water supply in Marigat division, Kenya
Eng. E.C. Kipkorir and Eng. R.J. Magut
Moi University

Water is essential for human survival, food security, environment and sustainable development. Marigat Division located in arid and semi-arid area experiences water shortage during dry seasons despite receiving torrential rain during rainy season that go to waste as surface runoff that occasionally cause flood disasters. Using storage facilities, it is possible to harness the surface runoff for domestic, agricultural, livestock and environmental uses. Harvesting of surface runoff into water pans provides a direct solution especially in rural and drought prone areas and is a rapid way of improving water shortage in rural areas. The study used surveys to assess potential of the local community to participate in tasks that aims to improve their water supply. Stratified random sampling size of 383 household heads and 10 key informants were considered. Results indicated that the community is willing to mobilize themselves in harnessing water runoff.

The association between water scarcity and willingness of the community to harvest surface water was statistically significant (p<0.0246). Geographical Information System (GIS) was used in zoning suitable sites for constructing water pans. Weights were assigned to each criterion depending upon their relative significance. Several criteria of creating buffers around agricultural areas, roads, rivers and settlements were used.  Weighted overlay suitability analysis within GIS was used to zone potential sites of water pans.   GIS zones out and classifies that study area from least to most suitable sites for construction of water pans.  Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system model was used to determine whether the water to be harvested in proposed water pans was able to meet the Marigat community’s water demand. This was achieved by creation of water pans scenarios different from the reference scenario. The results showed that with creation of new water pans for harvesting surface runoff, the unmet domestic and livestock water demand can be met up to 2020.

Keywords: surface runoff, willingness, weighted overlay suitability model, zoning, scenario

Evaluating water characterization using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
Eng. Daniel O. Siringi, Patrick G. Home, Joseph S. Chacha
University of Eldoret, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology
Maseno University

The insoluble component of wastewater from Chicken Plant Processing(CPP) consisting of a mixture of various natural and petroleum organic oils and fats, typically referred to as Fats, Oils and Grease(FOG) , interferes with facility processes and becomes a regulatory  issue when it enters a receiving stream. It becomes an environmental hazard. Typically, the concentration of FOG in influent waste water and effluent is estimated gravimetrically by extracting 1 liter of water sample with an organic solvent followed by the subsequent evaporation of all solvent.  The mass of the remaining residue is measured gravimetrically and corrections are applied to produce a concentration estimate; no other information about the nature of the FOG is provided by this method. Gravimetric protocols also result in the release of significant amounts of organic solvent to the atmosphere and a relatively inaccurate mass estimate because of the error introduced by measuring a small mass change in a relatively massive container. A method was developed by our laboratory that utilizes Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectroscopy to analyze FOG in water/wastewater samples. Advantages of this procedure include the ability to quantify a wide range and low levels of FOG (400 to<1.0 mg/l); reducing analytical sample size to <5 ml organic solvent; and the ability to characterize the chemical nature of the sample extracted from wastewater and water samples.

For quantifying FOG in influent and effluent samples, FTIR provides a method that is more sensitive and/or precise than gravimetric methods. FTIR also permits the identification of FOG components, including determining whether an observed ambient slick is produced by FOG from a wastewater facility or another source.
Keywords: fat, oil, grease, FOG, FTIR, IR, infrared spectroscopy, analyses

Establishment of a local engineering facility for production of reverse osmosis plants by Davis &Shirtliff
Philip Holi
Davis & Shirtliff

Increased population growth in Kenya has led to the development of Reverse Osmosis (RO) as a technology for water treatment- providing potable drinking water from previously  unusable sources. To improve the availability of RO technology in Kenya, Davis and Shirtliff commissioned the design of a range of RO plants and the establishment of a production facility to locally manufacture these plants. The RO plants were designed based on recommendations by various RO component suppliers and this paper details the design process to develop the products as well as outlining the manufacturing process for RO plants.
The paper concludes with further proposed developments in local RO plant manufacture as including improving of steel pipework to better withstand corrosion especially in high salinity water and the development of RO plants capable of handling seawater.

Makudiuh W. K, Eng. Gitau N. A, Mbuge 0. D and Guto S. N
University of Nairobi, State Department of Agriculture

Animals are an important option towards provision of draft power for tillage in smallholder farms that suffer insufficient on-farm power due to inability to own or hire tractors. This is especially for sub-soiling, a recent conservation tillage technology that demands large amounts of draft power. There is however, limited information on animal draft power requirement for sub-soiling resulting into tillage tools that are incorrectly matched to prime mover. Further studies are required to provide guidelines for the matching of prime mover with sub-soiling implements based on accurate prediction of draft power requirement. A study was consequently initiated at University of Nairobi, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences Farm, whose broad objective was to evaluate the effect of varying the rake angle, tillage depth and on the draft power requirement for sub-soiling in clay loam soils. The specific objectives were to assess the effect of rake angle, speed and depth of tillage on draft power requirement and establish prediction model for optimization of specific draft force. Three experimental factors were investigated: rake angle at five levels (100, 200, 300, 400 and 500), tillage speeds ( 0.6 m/s and 1.2 m/s) and depth (100 mm, 200 mm and 300 mm) giving 30 treatment  combinations replicated three times in a randomized complete block experimental design with  a 50 m by 15 m plot size. The collected data was subjected to ANOVA through the linear mixed model in Genstat Statistical Package. Rake angle, tillage speed and depth were the fixed factors whereas the blocks were the random factor. A regression model was fitted to predict required draft force. Tillage speed had no effect on draft power (P=0.088) while rake angle and tillage depth had significant interactive effects on draft power requirement (P=0.023). For rake angles <400, the draft power increased linearly with tillage depth while at rake angles >400 the relationship was also linear but skewed to the left.

Eng. Eric Owino Ohaga
KENYA POWER, P.O. BOX 151- 40100 Kisumu

Energy transmission and distribution efficiency plays a critical role in the socioeconomic development of a country and there is a close correlation between economic growth and quality of life. Over the last six years, the total system losses have been on the rising trend. As Kenya aspires to be a middle-income economy country, as envisaged in its long-term development blueprint dubbed “vision 2030”, it faces an enormous task of meeting her energy needs due to high expectations in industrial and economic growth. Towards this endeavor, Kenya Power has established energy loss reduction initiative to reduce the system losses from the current 17.5% to a single digit figure of 9.0% in the next five years. In order to disintegrate the losses per county, analysis of technical losses on 33kV network for six counties was carried out in Coast region. The results show the contribution of each county in terms of technical losses at 33 kV distribution network.
Keywords: System losses, Vision 2030, efficiency, loss reduction, loss analysis.

Benson Dianga
Common Services
Kenya Power & Lighting Co Ltd

In any business enterprise, profits making is the main objective. While  some businesses may engage in initial  stages of raw materials  extraction , others  will    occupy  the tail end  of  the chain in service provisions .But most businesses usually  occupy the middle stages, which involves simple  buying and reselling for a mark-up . Even if the model may indicate a business engagement as charitable, profit making is the final intent. The only group of businesses whose   bland and outright objective of profit   making comes out from the very outset   are those that act as middlemen. The do  not  process or change  the quality of  commodity  of trade; they simply buy the products- usually in bulk-  from suppliers and sell it in affordable units  for  a profit.

Looking at, and classifying businesses into such categories, it will be easy to identify   where our Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) falls. The business model of KPLC is exactly like that of a middleman. It buys bulk power from power generating companies and sells that power  to customers .The major  and basic concern, therefore, that should govern KPLC  boardroom decision is  empirically  the same concern of  any road side middleman vendor  at the downtown  street;  a concern  for more sales and more profits. Over the years, KPLC has focused on a market, which have largely been domestic and small businesses. The revenue collection from these enduring markets has hardly met the targets of an enterprise of its size. This is because the cost of running these small numerous accounts outweigh the benefits accrued from monthly billing.   New   markets, majority of which should be bulk industrial consumers, need to be explored in as target for more sales and more profits. However, such types of customers, which can offer new markets, take too long to set up shop locally. It may, therefore, call on KPLC to enter into business partnerships  with  other corporations  and agencies in setting  up  and running essential public services-which consume power. While this  may mean a small deviation in the core mandate of the company, the final intent for KPLC will be increase in sales. One of the most viable investments is the  public transport.

Intra-city  commuter trains  and  trams  have been in use in many big cities  around the world-except  in Nairobi. They are fast, reliable, clean and affordable. Moreover, they use electricity! By collaborating with relevant urgencies like county governments, KPLC can set up manageable commuter network that is powered by electricity. While such an investment will benefit county governments   in decongesting the crowded cities and towns, it will also offer a new source of revenue for KPLC. All the monies collected by private, ineffective and often unreliable ‘matatu’  businesses will partly be collected into KPLC account. Such an investment will definitely offer new market for sales-and assured increase in profits.

Izael Da Silva, Ronoh Geoffrey, Teddy Nalubega, Mwaura Njogu
Strathmore University

The Strathmore  energy research centre  has developed  an outreach  project  to  empower  polytechnics/ technical  institutions to  offer solar PV training  courses with  the  aim of  creating  a pool of  qualified technicians spread throughout  the country.  With around 1,000 solar technicians in the market with no formal PV training or accreditation, SERC is in collaboration with the National Training Authority to develop a PV curriculum at various levels. This will empower craft level technicians to be engaged in installation and maintenance of PV systems from solar lantern up to utility size levels.

Eng. Peter Gitura
Chief Engineer Network Services, Network Management Division,
Kenya Power

Public Private Partnership also known as PPP is a powerful concept that has been applied by many countries to accelerate development in the public sector. It involves a public entity e.g. a corporation, parastatal or county government collaborating with a private developer to develop a project, which will benefit the public, and the investor will get return on investment.  PPP facilitates development of public facilities without the public entity having to seek for funds from either internal budget or borrowing. Funding is mainly the responsibility of the private developer. The private developer also provides knowhow in executing the project.  Such ventures will generate additional income to the public entity, create jobs, and create numerous social benefits to the public. It will also result in Entrepreneurship opportunities and optimal utilization of resources. This paper seeks to explore the various PPP opportunities that can be exploited by county governments and public organizations in Kenya for the benefit of the people and country overall.

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