Everyone was nifty dressed with others bejeweled as they waltzed their way to the Marsabit lounge for the annual Engineering Students Association (ESA) dinner held at the LAICO REGENCY on the 27th of September, 2014.
Behind the heart-felt laughter, the posing of photos and the trance like state some of us were in for having the opportunity to dine at one of the prestigious hotels, we never knew what to expect or what treat we were in though the theme, ‘Harmonizing Engineering Leadership Entrepreneurship’ whet our appetite.
Energy was the topical subject of the day and being the driver of the economy, we took time to appreciate the issues facing the country, shared experiences, exchanged ideas and formed opinions to be debated upon.
The launch of The Student Engineer once again proved to have enduring and permanent value with its great insights into energy, telecommunication and infrastructure. It did answer a few of the perplexing vagaries of questions that crossed our minds: Who powers Kenya? How energized is the country? What new technology is in the market?
All from the student’s perspective.
The Dean of Engineering being aware of his presence amongst the students didn’t want to give a long speech and eat into the time of eating but in his few words, advice could still be plucked. That we should keep and respect time for it is the one thing that we do not get twice. In his soft and utterly sincere voice, it was a spur to self improvement not a stick that beat us down.
That there is a difference between ‘student-mode’ and ‘professional-mode’. We should take it upon ourselves to go to the field, visit the site and be well versed with the practical world. For with too much knowledge only, we’ll be stuck in educational infancy remaining in diapers and booties. Knowledge must be coalesced with skill and desire meaning our professors must be top class, facilities and equipments must be modern.
This led to the Chief Guest Eng. Julius Riungu to swerve into the issue of training, unemployment and exporting of jobs that have tremendous effects on us, the student. A structured training program is on the cooking that will enable the Engineering student to be embedded in an industry. After three years of training one will not only have some money to afford a decent life but the experience and skills gained will be priceless. Not forgetting the icing on the cake, one will be declared a professional Engineer. Only about 8700 Engineers are registered and the bulks i.e. about 7000 are graduates, the rest are professionals.
Having an experience of 42 years in the field, he assured us that Engineers are not the mechanics with unwashed overalls we see down the block in our estates and villages that has duped many to choosing Farming, Teaching and Nursing. An Engineer is an innovator. An employer. One, who wears a suit and a tie, drives a car. That God was an Engineer (an article for another day) too. The life we enjoy today is thanks to Engineering. LAICO REGENCY, The Super-Highway, The High Speed Railway Train, Hollywood and the showers we enjoy – any design system. He sneaked in a caution that unlike a doctor who treats a patient and still kicks the bucket, they conclude that their time had come or the LORD has called them to heaven but an Engineer will always be responsible, accountable and answerable to anything that goes wrong in their care until the day they are 6 feet under, is when they’ll be safe.
Though many times us as students we may deal with the ‘elders’ as the poultry-keeper deals with young birds of which the birds know nothing; they, the professionals, dealt with us more as grown birds deal with young birds when they teach them to fly: thank you.
Being part of the ESA executive committee; I want to thank the guests, sponsors, individuals, organizations, companies and students that made the day a success. To Tsavo Power captained by Eng. Riungu, the TATA family, Eng. OREGE, The University of Nairobi and Kenya Engineer group, receive our deepest and fond gratitude for your support and participation.
A reminder of our upcoming events: Sports Day is round the corner and Career Fair is on February 2015, stay tuned! We invite the professionals, corporations and individuals to assist us with their support and kindly grace the occasion.
As we filled our bellies with all manners of foods we could knowing really well that the next day, ugali (grounded maize) would be our breakfast, story-telling of the life and relevance of Isaac Newton in science: wondering whether he was a physicist or an Engineer, with others buying more raffle tickets with the hope of winning the grand prize, ‘Dinner for two at LAICO’ to impress their BA girlfriends; we left with smiles pasted across our faces, determined to keep it up and not to give it up knowing we had chosen the best profession and without seeming pompous we told each person we met, “Watch out for the Engineer in the making!”