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

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

Of blue jobs, pink jobs and anything in between

I grew up knowing there were two categories of jobs- blue jobs and pink jobs. And you were good at one or the other. Rebel that I am, I somehow ended up lilac…somewhere in between. There are these stereotypes that accompany anyone who dares to spend any time thinking about anything. I find myself debunking some, ignoring others and (ooops!) confirming others. Continue reading

My aspiration for Agriculture in Botswana

Meet Ms. Thobo, Ms. Kandondi and Ms. Marang, aspiring scientists in agriculture in Botswana. They tell us their stories and aspirations for agriculture in their country.

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Ms. Marang, Ms. Kandondi and Ms. Thobo at the interview


Miss Kapweke Kandondi – Soil and Water Engineering

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Ms. Kandondi

The person and the career:
I am Kapweke Kandondi, from Etsha in the northern part of Botswana. My undergraduate degree was in BSc. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where I was the best student. I am currently pursuing an MSc. in Soil and Water Engineering focusing on conservation agriculture. I chose to do engineering, since I have always enjoyed science. Continue reading

I am a Civil Engineer

Meet our East African Civil Engineers, Catherine Githuku is a lecturer at the Kenyatta University, Kenya and Agustina Alexander is a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.civil_engineering_drawing


Question: How would you describe yourself as a civil engineer?
Catherine: I am a lecturer in civil engineering. I enjoy training especially in the areas of structures(design of buildings, foundations and similar structures). I have also specialized in structures around water-ways(that is dams and intakes).
Continue reading