Meet one of the few ladies who made it to the IEK Council 2012 and a member of the Kenya Engineer Journal committee.She is up and down all over the country trying to make better the infrastructure.Once a tomboy,now a woman who is making men run for their money in this man-dominated field,civil engineering.
Q: Have you always dreamt of being an engineer or how did you land in engineering?
I have always been a tom boy since I was a kid. As I was growing up I wanted to get water to our place from the Aberdares forest. (I accomplished this 4 years ago as a contractor). I had not thought about engineering then as I was not sure what exactly they do.
Q: Education background
Masters in Computer Based Information Systems (Sunderland University), BSc in Civil Engineering (Nairobi University), Githumu High School (Form 6) and Limuru Girls School (Form 4)
Q: What are some of the challenges you faced after getting into engineering as a career?
Too much expectation from some quarters and too little from the rest.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as a lady engineer in your field?
Any time you are assertive or tough someone thinks you are being tough because you feel undermined, or because you are trying to prove a point, whereas all you are doing is your job.
Q: Your experience as one of the few lady engineers who’ve made it in the IEK committee
It is actually quite exciting, and I am grateful to those who chose to choose me to represent them. I will strive to do all I can to serve in the council and the engineers.
Q: What has been your path to where you are now?
Exciting, interesting and sometimes very stressful. I have been an assistant (trainee) engineer, an assistant resident engineer, resident engineer, area manager, (all inthe Nairobi City Council), site agent on various projects, assistant engineer (in Kenya Pipeline), project engineer/site engineer (in La Femme Engineering Services – a company that I own), project manager (in Kenyatta University), water supply expert with Abdul Mullick Associates and lately Headof Construction with Danish Refugee Council based in Dadaab Refugee complex. I think my life has been quite exciting.
Q: Major projects handled in the so far
I have handled many projects and will only name very few: St. Paul’s University Chapel, Nairobi, offices; Kahawa West St. Joseph Mukasa Catholic Church; St. Francis Girl’s Secondary School Naivasha;Mwiyogo Water Supply –Kieni;Mutuini Hospital – Nairobi;Study and design of water supply to Nandi Central and Vihiga districts from the proposed Nandi Forest Multi-purpose Dam; Feasibility Study and Detailed Design of the Lower EwasoNg’iroSouth River Multipurpose Dam Development Project; Amphi theatre, School of Engineering, water reservoir -Kenyatta University; Schools, hospital, police stations and police barracks – with DRC Dadaab.
Q: How do u feel about engineering in Kenya and what changes would you suggest?
We should have more engineers in the construction field to give the construction industry a more professional touch. Engineers should also be more assertive in the field and should get involved in most of the constructions works on going in the country.
Q: Comment on the country’s Vision 2030 from a civil engineer’s perspective
The 2030 Vision aspires for a country firmly interconnected through a network of roads,railways, ports, airports, water and sanitation facilities and telecommunications. I believe that we have started on the road to the vision with the recent infrastructure development and should actually not lose sight of the same. I believe we shall be able to achieve the same. However, we need to focus on capacity building and I believe this will come on training
more technical staff at various levels.
Q: Word to those (women and men) aspiring to become engineers and to those in that field already.
It’s a good field and worth all the hard work. It gives a lot of exposure and expands ones thinking.
Q: What engineering bodies are you a member of here in the country?
• Registered Engineer with Engineers Registration Board (Reg. Eng.)
• Corporate Member, Institution of Engineers of Kenya (M.I.E.K)
• Practicing Engineer
• Corporate Member, Women Engineers and Girl Scientist Africa WEGSA (Kenya Chapter)
Q: Parting words
SEVEN DEADLY SINS
o Wealth without work
o Pleasure without conscience
o Knowledge without character
o commerce without morality
o science without humanity
o Worship without sacrifice
o Politics without principle