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Varsity receives Ksh. 107m for research

MKU chairman BOD and founder Simon Nyutu Gicharu (left), the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stanley W. Waudo and University Board of Trustees member Jane Gicharu  during the launch of the new university brand and logo.

Mount Kenya University (MKU) has revved up its research drive in its bid to unlock infinite possibilities for individuals and communities.

After its re-branding during its 13th graduation ceremony held mid last December, research proposals by faculty and postgraduate students have already won funding worth Ksh107 million worth from the National Research Fund (NRF) in the last financial year alone.

NRF, as established under the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, 2013, is mandated to facilitate research, science, technology and innovation for national development and connected purposes.

“This raises to Ksh. 400m the total amount of grants MKU has received from diverse external sources over the last 12 months,” said Vice-Chancellor Prof Stanley W. Waudo.

The NRF grants are for multi-disciplinary research and for PhD students’ projects. Recipients of the multi-disciplinary research funds are: Dr. Paul Sifuna Oshule, Dr Benson Njoroge, Prof Francis Muregi, Dr. Catherine M. Mwende, Dr. Jesse Gitaka, Mr Francis Makokha and Prof Njeri Wamae.

The PhD students who received the grants are: Kamau Joyce Muthoni, Laban N. Ireri, Nancy Ng’ang’a and Oscar Onyango Sangoro.

Professor Francis W. Muregi, the Director in charge of MKU’s Directorate of Research and Innovation, said the university’s researchers are increasingly attracting external grants. The Professor has been, and remains instrumental in nurturing the university’s research culture. He has received several grants from diverse external sources.

“Every year, our researchers publish at least 30 publications and register two patents,” Prof Muregi indicates.

Meanwhile, the MKU School of Engineering, Energy and the Built Environment has acquired state-of-the-art equipment worth Ksh30m through the support of Board of Directors.

The equipment, according to Dr. Isaac Alukwe, the school’s Dean, is currently on high seas and will soon be available to students for training in areas of renewable energy and petroleum engineering.

Dr. Alukwe said students will have the opportunity to learn new technologies in design, operation and optimisation of meeting a mix of technologies and integrated schemes using solar, wind, geothermal sources.

This achievement adds to the already ongoing construction of a modern school of engineering, estimated to cost over Ksh1 billion, on 100 acres at Landless Happy Valley in Thika.

The design and master plan of new school is ready.

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