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The Dean, School of Engineering and Built Environment (SEBE) at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Prof. Eng. Bernadette W. Sabuni is the winner of the Distinguished Woman in Engineering Education Award. Prof. Sabuni received the prestigious award during the 28th edition of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) International Conference which was held at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa from 8th to 12th November 2021.

The IEK Conference themed ‘Engineers Accelerating Sustainable Economic Recovery’ also hosted the 4th Women Engineers Summit themed ‘Power of Diversity’. The eventful conference and summit attracted over three thousand (3000) delegates from diverse fields including Engineering, Research and Academia and engineering students from twenty-six (26) countries. The conference organized by the IEK organizing committee, was sponsored by Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA), Grundfos, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Kenya Roads Board (KRB), Bamburi Cement and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and a host of other stakeholders in the engineering sector.

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The prestigious award won by Prof. Sabuni

The presentation made by Prof. Sabuni ‘Strengthening Engineering Training Curriculum through Industry- Academic Driven Approach’, emanated from the partnership between MMUST’s School of Engineering and Built Environment and the School of Engineering, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology. The partnership was based on the Royal Academy of Engineering funded project whose focus was to develop a model approach for engineering curriculum review, upon the premise of active stakeholder engagement. The research outlined the difficulties students undergo in getting industrial attachment.  The study also explored the challenges related to the length of the attachment period.

To counter these difficulties, Prof. Eng. Sabuni recommended that linkages with Government agencies be created. Further, Universities should be used as sites for laboratory work to increase practical exposure of engineering students. She also advised that engineering curriculum be revised to be more adaptive to the industry needs and rapid technological changes.

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Prof. Eng. Sabuni after receiving the coveted award.

According to the President of the federation of African Engineering organization Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, engineering is not just a man’s world. “I believe diversity means representation across a wide range of traits, backgrounds and experiences,” said Mrs. Bou-Chedid.

Prof. Eng. Sabuni is one among the only two female Deans at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. She is a great inspiration to young Women Engineers looking forward to tremendous growth professionally in the engineering career.

The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) is the learned society of the engineering profession and co-operates with national and other international institutions in developing and applying engineering to the benefit of humanity. Most members of IEK are residents of Kenya but IEK has members outside Kenya. The membership is drawn from practicing engineers in the local and central government departments, parastatals, private industry, consultants, contractors, educators, designers, manufacturers and other persons interested in engineering.

 By: Charity Idaya and Caren Mutoro