The 24th Engineers International Conference organized by the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) in collaboration with the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) took place from 10th to 12th May 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi. It provided a platform for engineers, academicians, industrialists and associated professionals from the Eastern African region and other parts of the world to share experiences, challenges and new knowledge on engineering matters.
The event was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure Eng. John Mosonik. The conference featured a comprehensive technical programme with distinguished keynote speakers from the industry, academia and policy makers. The theme for the 2017 conference was “Engineering Innovations and Strategic Solutions.” The Institution of Engineers of Kenya is the learned society of the engineering profession and co-operates with national and other international institutions in developing and applying engineering for the benefit of humanity.
Welcoming the delegates and exhibitors, the President of the Institution Eng. Michael Okonji recognized that the theme was timely and fit for tackling the challenges of the fast changing world. “The importance of this theme Engineering Innovations and Strategic Solutions cannot be emphasized enough at this time in Kenya and the world,” Said Eng. Okonji. “Whether in technology, health or food production, there is a hunger for innovations and solutions to the endless problems that plague the world. We as engineers have a duty and are called upon to play a pivotal role in providing the much-needed solutions. The world and the quality of life will be greater when engineers provide all the innovative solutions required”.
Opening the conference the Chief Guest Eng. Mosonik said “Engineering innovation that is captured in the theme is a catalyst and will enable Kenya achieve its objectives and ultimately Vision 2030. There are many challenges in engineering at the moment especially with respect to infrastructure development which require engineering solutions”. He recognized cost cutting as one of the challenges to engineering and innovations in the country, noting that engineers are always under pressure to bring down costs. He, however, encouraged engineers that innovation not only gives a solution to current challenges but will also lead to wealth creation. “No country can grow without innovation and engineering. Without engineering, all great countries would not have developed. All nations rely on their professionals and especially engineering and technological output” Said the Permanent Secretary.
He also encouraged engineers to be strategic in their engagements and claim their space in the country as they provide solutions to different challenges facing humanity. He also addressed the academia, those responsible for educating future engineers. “It is the duty of engineers to focus on innovation as such, I encourage institutions of higher learning to focus on innovation and research that help build engineers as innovators,” He said.
IEK has been and continues to organize conferences for its members to expand their knowledge base and share experiences. Other services it gives the members include seminars, lectures, publications and training. This is to enable them to keep up to date with technical and industrial developments, management aspects of engineering, changes in technology and relevant developments in Kenya and elsewhere. At the Conference on the opening day, all the past IEK presidents were honored for their sacrifice and services rendered to the institution.