The Electrical Engineer & her agenda for Africa

Martha_WakoliPassion, tenacity and a force to be reckoned with. Three words that barely scratch the surface when talking about Martha Wakoli. An Electrical Engineering with Kenya Power and the co-editor of Queengineers, she is dedicated to being exceptional in her career in energy, as well as encouraging young girls to pursue technology. She is, also, at the forefront of being part of the dialogue on affairs affecting the youth through the online platform, Shaping African Conversations. Read more about this phenomenal woman. Continue reading

Engineering design thinking & innovation: My passion

Headshot 4.jpgMarian Muthui describes herself as an engineer, innovator and educator. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Nairobi and is a Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP) Fellow. Her passion in engineering design & design thinking led her to start the community based Mekatilili program for young girls. This is her story. Continue reading

Africa: Reintroduced

To define Africa as a whole makes it necessary to look at it from the outside. But constantly doing so results in tropes that undermine the perspectives of those that live on the continent.” – Nancy Kacungira, Winner of BBC World News Komla Dumor Award for Africa – Why I cannot tell ‘the African Story’.

Talking about Africa has become increasingly popular these days where Africa is normally referenced as a single homogeneous entity. Continue reading

The business of renewable energy: How do engineers fit in?

rita nkathalaibuta
There are a lot of investment opportunities in renewable energy in Africa right now. What is the role of engineers in this sector? Rita Nkatha Laibuta, an Electrical Engineer practising in the Renewable Energy Industry, tells us how her training puts her in a unique position to identify opportunities and catalyse involvement of partners towards implementation.  Continue reading

The art of problem solving: Why I don’t know what I don’t know

How do we deal with problems we can’t solve? Or questions we can’t respond to? “I don’t know” is one of the most difficult statements an engineer can make.  However, just stopping at “I don’t know” is, to me, one of the most tragic mistakes a good engineer can make.  I believe that it is important to know why I don’t know before I can lay the issue to rest.  Continue reading

Would the real black forest please stand up?

There are few things in this world as amazing as black forest cake. That melt in the mouth blending of chocolate and cream…heaven on a fork.

One of my brothers once enlisted my help in a survey to determine the best black forest cake in Nairobi. My best assignment to date. My duties involved sampling the cake of the day and giving a verdict. By the end of my task, I came to the conclusion that there were about four categories of cakes being sold as black forest cakes: horrible cakes that didn’t deserve the title ‘cake’, let alone the descriptor black forest; chocolate cakes masquerading as black forest cakes; ‘almost’ black forest cakes; and the real deal. What differentiated the cake categories was how much work had gone into them, and what would be required to transform them into the real deal. Continue reading

My Career in Renewable Energy

Carol_Mwangi-MakenziCaroline Mwangi-Makenzi is the engineering team leader in renewable energy systems at African Solar Designs. Find out how she ventured into renewable energy after her training as a mechatronic engineer and why renewable energy is a niche career choice.

Question: Tell me about your journey as an engineer.
Caroline: I am a trained Mechatronic Engineer, which simply means electromechanical engineering. After graduation, I first worked with Davis & Shirtliff, who  design solar and other energy solutions. I worked for 4 years in the solar department as a technical sales engineer, where my role was in the project design and management of a team of junior engineers and technicians. Continue reading