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iLABS@MAK organizes first National Remote Engineering Consortium Consultation seminar

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The iLABS@MAK Project, Faculty of Technology, Makerere University organized the first Consultation seminar on the formation of “The National Remote Engineering Consortium” held at the Imperial Royale Hotel on Friday 27th November 2009.

The iLABS@MAK Project, Faculty of Technology, Makerere University organized the first Consultation seminar on the formation of “The National Remote Engineering Consortium” held at the Imperial Royale Hotel on Friday 27th November 2009.

L-R Paul Musasizi and Proscovia Nakazinga co-hosts

 

The co-hosts of the day Paul Isaac Musasizi, Project Administrator, iLABS@MAK project and Proscovia Nakazinga, Developer iLABS@MAK project thanked guests for making time despite the public holiday and announced the theme of the day “Enriching Science Education through Remote Engineering”.

The Principal Investigator iLABS@MAK Project Prof. Sandy S. Tickodri-Togboa in his keynote address outlined the relevance of Remote Engineering in Science Education citing some applications already implemented at Makerere University such as The iLABS project at the Faculty of Technology executed in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU) Nigeria and the University of Dar-es-Salaam (UDSM) Tanzania with support from National Instruments and The MIT Open Course Ware project, aimed at freely sharing course material and references from MIT with the rest of the world.

Prof. Sandy S. Tickodri-Togboa Principal Investigator iLABS@MAKOther Remote Engineering applications identified include Video Conferencing, High-Tech digital libraries and collaborative development of software solutions, which with the advancement in Technology and infrastructural support such as the establishment of faster internet connections through the submarine fiber connections are the way to go.

He then cited a case study of The Internet2 , a non-profit consortium project conceived as an application-driven project, designed to be a complimentary network to support advanced scientific applications. This project, founded when representatives from 34 American Universities met in 1996 currently receives financial support from more than 180 Universities, over 80 companies and the US government.

In concluding his address, Prof. Togboa observed that we have to work together, like never before to make Education address the diversity of needs, expectations and interests in their cultural contexts noting that Remote Engineering can improve the quality of teaching, learning and sharing knowledge and information.

Prof. BaryamureebaProf. Nawangwe , Dean, Faculty of Technology, thanked Prof. Togboa for his address and invited Prof. Venansius Barymureeba, Acting Vice Chancellor, Makerere University to make his remarks. Prof. Baryamureeba thanked the Minister of Higher Education, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT, representatives from the private sector, Heads of Secondary Schools and various stakeholders for sparing time to attend this first consultation meeting. Voicing his support for the formation of a National Remote Engineering Consortium, he congratulated the Faculty of Technology for astutely being a model as far as furthering research critical to improving the teaching and learning methods in Makerere University is concerned, thanking Prof. Togboa’s for his valuable contribution in this regard. He then invited the Minister of Higher Education to officially open the seminar.

Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana the Minister of State for Higher Education extended a warm welcome to his fellow members of the cabinet, representatives Educational Institutions and all delegates present including Andrew Watchorn and Lesley Yu from National Instruments, noting that their presence reiterated their commitment to improving the teaching and learning experience in Uganda.

Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana Min. of State for Higher EducationHe re-affirmed The Government of Uganda’s commitment to making education for all a reality and preparing all citizens to meet the challenges of the 21st century. “This is why deliberate macro development policies and reforms like Universal Primary Education (1997) and Universal free Secondary Education (2007) were introduced as a key ingredient of the Educational Strategic Plan.”

He then challenged all stakeholders to utilize Remote Engineering in combating other social problems like the burden of poverty and HIV/AIDS “These are challenges we are facing across the nation, whose prevalence would be less with improved information dissemination.”

The Minister then noted that despite the Nation’s comparable or even better commitment to education, research and innovation in the region, we were not generating as many innovations, new business ideas and new jobs as some other African countries. He however hoped that the seminar would offer an opportunity to take a huge stride in the positive direction and declared the seminar open.

Andrew Watchorn, NIAndrew Watchorn, Senior Academic Field Engineer National Instruments who had prior to the seminar spent four days in the Faculty of Technology training students from several Universties noted that Uganda had some of the most intelligent young minds in the world. Andrew noted that applications such as those used during his four-day training were being utilized as components in world ground-breaking innovations such as the LEGO MINDSTORM NXT software and the CERN Large Hadron collider .

“The Education of Engineers cannot stop at what they learn in class or theory”. Andrew noted that instructors must go ahead and train engineers to apply their theory and continuously innovate.

Prof. Lugujo Head, Department of Elec. EngineeringAssociate Prof. Lugojjo, Head, Department of Electrical Engineering at the Faculty of Technology in his address called upon the Government, Private and Public sectors to come on board so as to leverage, implement and sustain innovations in our Institutions of Higher Learning. He encouraged all stakeholders to facilitate and demystify the teaching of Science and Technology in schools “We should democratize Science and Technology so as to encourage more students to take on science subjects and engineering”. He observed that he had so many brilliant project write-ups and theses written by his former students that were unfortunately gathering dust on shelves, hence reiterating the need to translate these materials to practical innovations.

In his remarks, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe , Dean, Faculty of Technology appreciated the timeliness of the consultation meeting, considering that the submarine cable was now operational and Makerere’s own brilliant students were rubbing shoulders and collaborating with their peers from MIT to come up with innovations like the vision200 car.

Prof. B. Nawangwe, Dean Faculty of Technology“Sharing resources is a commendable thing” said Prof. Nawangwe as he noted that with the use of projects like iLABS@MAK, students were able to share engineering applications with peers in the faculty and other universities using the LabVIEW software. He however noted that the missing link was the lack of close cooperation between several stakeholders i.e. the Ministries, Universities, public and private sectors. He then requested the National Instruments representative to publish innovations from Makerere University on their company website.

Prof. Michael Lejeune Deputy Executive Director, Uganda National Council for Higher Education kicked off his address with noting that the job of the Council was to ensure that the quality of education in Uganda is held high. The council had also observed a growing trend in the number of e-degrees and has had to put into place measures to evaluate their validity and merit.

Prof. LejeuneWith regard to Remote Engineering, Prof. Lejeune commended Makerere University for embracing innovation and keeping up with the technological trends in the industry. Considering that the East African Community integration process was becoming more of a reality daily, the future might see the formation of policies stating minimum requirements for graduation that will be effected across the region. In concluding his remarks, Prof. Lejuene noted that “Uganda needs us all to develop this country. Lets all do it with enthusiasm”

Dr. Saamanya P.S Min. of ICT The Guest of Honor and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Dr. Jimmy Saamanya thanked Makerere for organizing the consultative seminar aimed at forming a National Remote Engineering Consortium. As a background to his address he noted that previously as a result of higher bandwidth costs via satellite, the region may have lagged behind and missed out on advancements that have been made by other countries like India and the United States. However, with the advent of faster and higher capacity internet connections through the submarine cables, the Minister reckoned that we should be in a better position to compete favorably and produce more innovations.

With regard to legislation, the Ministry has pushed for the passing of three bills namely The Electronic Signature bill, The Electronic Transactions bill and the Computer Misuse Bill , all designed to regulate online activity in Uganda. With regard to partnering with Institutions of Higher Learning, he noted that that the Ministry of ICT was working with the College of Health Sciences on e-medicine collaborations linking Makerere to American Universities.

Presentations of the day saw Andrew Watchorn exhibit how National Instruments partnered with American Universities to produce spin-off companies like TORC (Virginia Tech) and EVIROFIT(Colorado State University) . In a practical demonstration of the power and ease of use of National Instruments products, Andrew built an “Illustration on Vibration Systems” using the LabVIEW software, a laptop and the National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS) module in under eight minutes.

Andrew then cited an example of how students, with the aid of their Professor led to the formation of Mashavu (Swahili for “Chubby cheeked”) . The project enables medical professionals around the world to connect with patients in the developing world using modern technology and communications infrastructure. Prof. Khanjan Mehta , Senior Research Associate, Electronic and Computer services, Penn State University and one of the students’ team faculty advisors noted that the project is a laptop-based system designed to use the existing mobile phone infrastructure.

iLABS team LeaderStudents on the iLABS@MAK project team led by Orishaba Doreen a Fourth year Electrical Engineering student went ahead to demonstrate the merits of the LabVIEW software. Tom Kigezi, Developer and Second year Electrical Engineering student then walked delegates through the structures and activities of the iLABS team before Nicholas Mpanga, Developer and Third year Telecommunications Engineering student made an online demonstration of how an iLAB is conducted.

In his closing remarks Prof. Lugujo expressed his disappointment as some of his brilliant students after graduation go on to seek better paying jobs at the expense of turning their project ideas into cutting-edge innovations. He however had hope that this would all change as “LabVIEW will provide a confluence of aspirations to bridge generations” and foster innovation. He urged all stakeholders present to continue collaborating so as to make the National Remote Engineering Consortium a reality. On behalf of the Acting Vice Chancellor and his Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance & Administration and the Dean, Faculty of Technology, he thanked everyone present for coming and encouraged them to continue with the good work, urging all students to keep up with the enthusiasm as they were the heirs of Science and Technology.

Click on links below to view respective powerpoint presentation

Minister of State for Higher Education's Full Speech  

Vice Chancellor's Full Speech  

Dean, Faculty of Technology's Full Speech  

Principal Investigator iLABS@MAK-presentation of the Position Paper

Presentation by Andrew Watchorn-National Instruments Senior Academic Field Engineer

Presentation by students on their ILABS experience  

 

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A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

Click here for more details

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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