Many would say that the 2017 Engineering Students Association dinner was glamorous; that the plethora of delicacies was amazingly tasty; that the student engineers were smartly and elegantly dressed; but those are understatements. The dinner was fecund and memorable. It’s not always work and no play for student engineers at The University of Nairobi when the Engineering Students Association planned and organized the annual ESA dinner at Radisson Blu Hotel on the 1st of December. That Friday night occasion was graced by gallant gentlemen, chic ladies, a guitarist, a violinist and talented singers.
The theme of the dinner was ‘Green and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Engineering and Technological Advancement’ and was made lucid by the presence of The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, KenGen, Tsavo Power, KETRACO, KenHa, GDC, Tullow Oil, Kenya Power, APEK, and ACEK. The engineering students had the chance to listen to qualified engineers from these companies and even had the chance to network with them. The message from the companies was very simple, ‘Think and Act Green!’
Besides being a pro-green energy event, the dinner elucidated on the great efforts made in ‘steming’ more women and celebrated the brave women in STEM. It was rightly observed that all the representatives from KenHa, Tullow Oil, GDC and KETRACO who addressed the audience were lovely ladies. KenGen was also celebrated in the event for having received its first female CEO, Ms Rebecca Miano. Also the executive committee of the Engineering Students Association that planned and organized the dinner consists of seven members with only two being male.
There was a lot of nuggets of wisdom to take home from the dinner starting from the representative from KenGen who exclaimed,’ Our CEO is a lady, women can also do it!’ Engineers from Tullow Oil brought out Tullow Oil – Kenya to be big on inclusion and versatility, that is, they would absorb all types of engineers. They also encouraged the petroleum engineering students to partner with them more for them to get hands on experience in the oil industry. Valentine Chebet, representative from GDC encouraged the student engineers to network and not be afraid to speak to the engineers at the dinner. Engineer Edwin Ochieng’ who represented the MD KenGen had these to say as his last remarks, ‘As you think about innovations and entrepreneurships, think GREEN because we have an environment to protect.’
The Chief Guest who was to grace the dinner was The Principal Secretary Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng. J.K Njoroge who was represented by Engineer Isaac Kiva, the Director of Renewable Energy at MOEP. “ We urge you (student engineers) to develop interest in Energy hence help accelerate its delivery , “sensitized Engineer Kiva, “ in energy there is room for all types of engineers. Energy being the enabler for processing and manufacturing, we need a lot of it, focusing majorly on renewable energy, it being the government’s priority. We can proudly say Kenya is operating on 70% renewable energy hence many opportunities in Geothermal, Wind and Solar energy. We encourage universities to grow in knowledge in an honourable way, use the most efficient technology in innovation and research and partner with us (the ministry) in attachments and internships. As engineers it is your mandate to assist the country to shine in Africa because it is engineers who make things work!”
Appreciation and many thanks go to the corporate sponsors who supported the 2017 ESA dinner. Many thanks also go to Nelly Omina (Chairlady ESA) and her team for planning and organizing the event.