This year, AWB’s Strengthening Engineering Education and Research program was launched as an online project at Uganda’s Mbarara University of Science and Technology in close collaboration with its Faculty of Engineering. Two engineering faculty members from the Uganda Christian University also participated.
In the first phase of the project, between January and April 2021, 20 experts from Canada, Australia, Nigeria, the US, and Uganda volunteered as instructors and/or research advisors for an instructional workshop series.
The workshops covered a rich set of themes ranging from identifying a research topic to research implementation, dissemination, funding and proposal development. Trainees also benefited from tailored sessions on effective online teaching, innovation and entrepreneurship, university-industry relations and career development.
In the second phase, trainees worked in teams guided by a highly experienced research advisor and developed 12 research proposals.
After an extensive peer-review process, seven research training projects were selected for funding – 6 projects at Mbarara University of Science and Technology and one at Uganda Christian College. These projects will be implemented over the next year and AWB volunteer research mentors will support each research team.
We are very pleased and excited to announce the research projects:
- Increasing access to medical oxygen in Ugandan rural hospitals through low pressure oxygen storage systems
- Enhancing professional skills of engineering students going into industry internships
- Developing a low-cost digital light microscope for remote diagnosis of malaria in resource-constrained areas
- Designing a locally-produced wind blade for electricity production
- Developing low-cost electronic animal identification and monitoring tags for resource-constrained settings
- Designing environmentally-friendly drilling fluids for the Ugandan oil industry
- Developing light-weight hollow concrete blocks from plastic waste for use in construction
- Project lead: Mr. Rodgers Tayebwa, Uganda Christian University
- Research mentor: Prof. Sarah Dickson, McMaster University
None of this would be possible without the generous participation of our research mentor volunteers – thank you all!
We also thank Mastercard Foundation for funding this project.