Kenya Engineering Students Association is here!

kesa

FORMATION OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS

On the 20th Jan 2017, engineering student leaders from 7 universities across the country met at the school of engineering University of Nairobi to initiate the process of creating Kenya Engineering Students Association.

This association is aimed at being the voice of all engineering students in seeking to improve the training of engineers in the country.

In the meeting, Kevin Odongo of the University of Nairobi was elected as the first President of the association.

Other positions of the association were distributed as follows:

  1. Vice President-Betty Langat UoE
  2. Sec Gen- Tom Juma-KU
  3. Finance Secretary- Wambui Kinyanjui- Moi
  4. Organizing Secretary-Geoffrey Wambui-MMUST
  5. Academics Secretary-Wilson Kihara-TUK
  6. Publicity Secretary- Lucy Mugala-JKUAT

It was agreed that the physical location of the association be at the University Of Nairobi School of engineering until a time when the association will be able to acquire its own offices.

We will appreciate any support given to us by schools of engineering in the country, engineering consultants and other players in the engineering industry.

We are grateful to the dean of School of engineering University of Nairobi, Prof. Mwangi Mbuthia for hosting us in the first meeting.

More on the story check: http://www.kenyaengineer.co.ke/2016-05-28-20-43-28/latest-news/item/3355-national-association-for-engineering-students-formed

 

Contact us

Kenya Engineering Students Association

School of Engineering, University of Nairobi

P.O Box 30197-00100, Nairobi.

Tel: +2547 02 532531/ +2547 38 690774

Email: kesa.exec@gmail.com

Dream Big with Doreen Ngoge, the Managing Director of ULCCC

IMG-20170223-WA0003

Allow me to introduce to you, Doreen Ngoge, 23, a woman of strength and big dreams. Doreen Ngoge is no ordinary woman, she  achieved much at a tender age but it has not all been silver and gold.

Ngugi has interests in:

  • Environmental activism
  • Women empowerment
  • Human rights activism
  • Politics
  • Fashion
  • Entrepreneurship

Her ambitions: 

  • To serve as a women representative in 2022 and higher positions in subsequent terms
  • To register milestones in environmental activism and push for achievement of SDGs on environment
  • To register massive success in my business ventures and play a role in curbing unemployment crisis

Hobbies

  • Taking part in issue based debates
  • Reading publications on leadership, technological advancements, activism and environmental sustainability
  • Watching movies
  • Writing poetry
  • Participating in leadership forums

Outlook on life

While academic excellence is highly applauded in life, to be all round is a noble thing. Create time for God. Create time for people, interact,create networks, create friendships, love, make mistakes, learn, grow. Identify what sets your soul on fire, live for it. There is no manual on how to live, create one for your life and don’t be too hard on yourself. *smile*

Also, life is not predetermined, no one was born successful, successful people had dreams, ambitions and looked for inspiration then they worked their way to the top. Success doesn’t happen by accident and rarely does it happen by luck.

Role models

  • Hillary Clinton : she is a living example of a woman whose ability was neither defined by gender nor societal believes.
  • Maya Angelou : her works have played a fundamental role in uplifting struggling women and restoring the hope of brighter futures in them. May her soul R.I.P.
  • Wangari Maathai : an outstanding environmental political activist who put sufficient emphasis on the need to conserve the environment. May her soul R.I.P.

Education

I am;

  • an Environmental and Biosystems Engineering student
  • A Certified Public Accounting(CPA) Student

Should all go well, I will be starting my law degree sometime next year. I believe proper understanding of the law is not only a fundamental asset to the running of our day to day activities but also an arsenal in the defense and protection of human rights-something I am very passionate about.

Entrepreneurship journey

High unemployment rates in the country have been a strong driving force in my entrepreneurial journey.

Some of my ventures include:

  • I’m a managing director of Upper Level Creative Contractors Company, A construction company I’m determined to see grow in the foreseeable future
  • I’m a general manager of Sasy Collections, an online clothing and beauty products store.
  • I double as a technical advisor and a marketing executive for Prime Alarms Ltd. A security company that is doing relatively well.

Political Career

I’m very passionate about politics. I value interactions, I love people and I would love to do at least something for everyone. I love discussing issues, solving problems and advocating for what is right. This defines fulfillment for me.

I vied for The Gender affairs secretary position in the last SONU election but due to the questionable nature of the credibility of the electoral process, the position went vacant for the term.

This year, I take a break off student politics to concentrate on business and my Industrial attachment, however, I will be serving students in a different capacity.

I will be going for the Women Representative position in 2022, if all goes as planned.

I have also been honoured to be a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of a political movement (party). I’m the Secretary, Environmental Matters of The Green Congress of Kenya (GCK), a political movement that advocates for environmental sustainability. We are looking forward to working with international movements that share in the green vision.

THE DEAD SEA – By Anne Gathoni

the dead sea

The Dead Sea is also known as the Sea of Salt or the Sea of Death. Such morbid names come from the fact that it is extremely salty and is thus too harsh for either fauna or flora to flourish. According to Wikipedia, it lies in the lowest valley on earth and is one of the deepest hyper-saline water bodies on earth with a depth of 304m. It is so salty that it is ten times as salty as the ocean.

So what makes the Dead Sea so salty? So deadly? Other than being in the lowest point on earth, it also only has one source of water and that is the Jordan River. So water is able to flow in but since it barely has any outlets, this water is unable to flow out. Also, due to its gradient, all the minerals in the surrounding regions get washed into it and due to the extremely high temperatures, these minerals get baked by the sun and in turn make these waters extremely concentrated. Fun fact, the sea is so salty that swimming in it is as good as floating due to its extreme density (1.24kg/litre). But don’t get me wrong, people still drown in this sea.

You might be wondering why I’m prattling on and on about the Sea of Salt. And this is why. In life we can sometimes find ourselves receiving so much from so many ends. It may be that we receive so many good things and like the sea we do not share it with others. Or it could be that life is filled with so much misfortune and we still do not open up to others to let them help us or to try and share in our burdens. In both cases, the accumulation of so much good or so much bad will turn you toxic…will turn you salty, from the inside out. We all need an outlet, no matter the circumstances, to make life a little better. Even if you are the richest man on earth and you do not share this with others, the less fortunate perhaps, of what good is it? If you get to live and die alone, you and your millions… If you carry so much misfortune in your life that you get so bitter that you drive anyone and everyone who might have cared away? Luckily for us the Dead Sea may not have a choice, but we do. We can choose to have an outlet and to not hold on to things so tightly.

Learn to share the things in your life and in the process, create room for even more experiences and emotions to grow and flourish.

SMILE – By Victor Mungai

Hi guys. To my Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadan Kareem. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a sudden feeling of sadness in the air? Everywhere I go these days feels like there’s a dark cloud hovering above me. It’s almost like the dementors have abandoned their guarding duties at Azkaban and have instead shifted base to Kenya. Speaking of Harry Potter, there’s a new installment coming out this July in the form of a play titled “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. I am really excited about it as I can’t wait to see what happened to the Potterverse characters and their various offspring. (Spoiler alert, Harry Potter’s son may join Slytherin. AWESOME!) I was also sorted into Slytherin so it’ll be cool seeing the next generation of Potters wearing the same green jersey as me. You can also get sorted by visiting https://www.pottermore.com and beginning your sorting process. Also, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits the big screen this November – on the 18th to be precise – so am real psyched to see how Newt Scamander came across all those marvelous creatures. The synopsis of the movie states that this movie could have more than just chasing after magical creatures and could actually offer an allegory to real life discrimination and human conflict so it seems like a real keeper. Oh, and the movie marks J.K Rowlings screenwriting debut! Excited shriek! Don’t worry, I just needed an excuse to rant about the fictional world of Harry Potter.

Back to the issue at hand. It seems like we are all in a bad mood nowadays. The economy isn’t looking so positive, there’s no money, the threat of Al Shabaab looms large, banks are collapsing at almost the same rate as buildings being constructed, Donald Trump may be elected the next president of the United States and the national coffers seem to be growing even thinner due to the efforts of a few unscrupulous individuals who have been entitled with the responsibility of leading us. Leading voices are being assassinated, scandals of all manners are exposing the moral decay of the Kenyan society and residents of University Way have been accustomed to a weekly holiday as a result of T.G.M (Tear Gas Monday). And Batman v Superman was a monumental disappointment so that also really pulled down our spirits.

However, I’m not here to offer a solution to these problems. Instead, I want us to focus on something else. I want us to smile. I know some of us have browning teeth – yours truly included – but that should not prevent anyone from smiling.

Some may ask why we should smile. Nothing seems right so smiling is not ideal for the moment. Well, I just came across an article that states that, among other benefits, smiling makes one more attractive. Yes, you read that right. So if you are into all things beauty – or are searching for that special somebody – smile more. Smiling also lowers stress and anxiety and strengthens one’s immune system as shown by a study that found that hospitalized children who were visited by puppeteers and story-tellers who made them smile and laugh had higher white blood cells counts than those who weren’t visited. I am not comparing you to children but I think you get the gist of my argument.

GRAMMAR – By Victor Mungai

grammar

Let’s talk about something interesting. Let’s talk about grammar. You read that right – grammar. Wait, before I continue, let me give you this chance to leave. Actually, run for the hills. Run like your life depends on it. You’re not gone? Sure? Okay, fine. Disclaimer though, if you fall asleep halfway through this text, it’s not my fault. Rather, it’s your brain that kept you here. Cool? Good.
Now, grammar. What do I talk about in grammar? Do I talk about spelling? Or pronunciation? Or semantic and syntax? Wait, are those even part of grammar? I don’t know, am just an engineering student. For the correct information, consult a library. Or a dictionary. Or a literature student. Oh I know, I’ll talk about people’s grammatical errors. Don’t roll your eyes. Or roll them – I don’t care, I have a really high self-esteem that you can’t break. (Stifled laugh)
Have you ever encountered a piece of written text so bad that you wanted to flush it down the toilet and destroy the toilet so that you never encounter it again? Not this one, another one. Well I have. Lots of them in fact. Enough to make me swear off reading. Hmm, that probably explains why I haven’t picked up a book in months. Story for another day. Back to my story. There’s friend of mine – name withheld – who’s so notorious I think I’ll christen her (of course it’s a her) Bad English. Or Typo. Yeah, that sounds better, don’t you think? So Typo it is.
Typo’s a university student so that makes her mistakes all the more painful. She is so horrible that when her birthday came up, she was wished a long life so that she could correct all her typing mistakes! The worst part of it was that her gratitude speech was full of typos so I pretty much died there and then. Literally speaking. In her defence, she says that it’s her fingers that make the mistakes and not her. Which then begs the question, does she have itchy fingers or something? Or maybe she suffers from fingerosis typosis. Just saying. Don’t look that up by the way.
But for me, I don’t blame Typo. I mean, she’s just a representation of the larger Kenyan society. A society more likely to care for some meaningless tribal association than for their command of language. A society more likely to engage in debates over which team will win the English Premier League or which team to bet on than to engage in any meaningful literary discourse. This makes me respect Mr. Phillip Ochieng’ for his devotion to teaching an obstinate, pig-headed society proper English without as much as a thank you from the latter. Too bad. Kudos Mr. Ochieng’!
But what’s the problem really? What made us so horrible at English and Swahili for that matter? Is it our happy-go-lucky nature that makes us so reckless with language? Or is it our education system? Were we drilled into being machines that wrote and spoke perfect language only for exams? That reminds me, I was reading somewhere that the stakeholders met to discuss ways of improving the system. Maybe even scrap the 8-4-4 curriculum. Good for them although the pessimist in me feels that it may be a case of too little too late. Just saying.
So, what’s my solution to this menace? Simple, read. Take a book and read. When writing something, take time to go through whatever it is you are writing before submitting it to an audience. I mean, no one ever died of a few seconds of proof reading. If you feel that you’re so horrible in English, then make use of the autocorrecting feature. Every device has it these days so why not use it? I know, there are times that the autocorrect does more harm than good but it’s better than a text full of grammatical errors. If all those don’t work, then get someone to proof read for you. It never hurt to get some help you know.
Which reminds me, if you come across any grammatical errors in this piece of work, just ignore it, they are typos. Or you could politely bring them to my attention.
Don’t forget to comment. Really looking forward to your feedback.

Cheers!

 

 

THOUGHTS ON RECLAIMING KENYA. –THE ART OF GOVERNANCE

government of kenya

“There cannot therefore be a single system of governance in the Universe. And to suggest that governance ought to be under Democracy in the whole world would be a boring and an irresponsible excursion. Let universality give birth to pluralism.”

These sentiments were raised by a Chinese student on the American soil during a Ted Talk Show. He was adamant and probably unshaken that America had a worldwide agenda that had already bloodied the world. The speaker moved from the times of peasantry activities in China at around 1948 and elaborated why and how The Chinese People’s’ Congress otherwise called The Party had unified The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and  through five decades the economy of China is now the second to The United States.

Amongst other things they say, Democracy is a cycle of Elect and Regret. And as I shall try to elaborate in my next discussion that it is evident in the current situation in most African countries. Yet it is lauded as the most convenient system of governance than Socialism that entrenches itself into the service of the people.

One would want to question therefore, if Democracy was such a hallowed system of governance how come the worst of them all, a repulsed system,and a form of communism is now coming up and redefining Chinese economy. Let alone the so called pillars that sustain the economic wheels of the PRC. I must therefore be tempted to think that Democracy is a stifling mechanism employed by the Western Countries to wipe out any space coverage by countries that are almost hitting the mark. Democracy is best suited for countries with a cohesion, which have attained certain levels of education and whose populace can reason out and the law is fine and crisp enough to hold accountable every single individual. It is a sound system of governance for countries where the people themselves can debate a bill placed before parliament. It works better when they do not need civil service or the members of the Assemblies – National or otherwise to explain to them because they have in mind the full repercussions of such legislation. Democracy is only good in its current form if Poverty index levels and diseases have been directed to flopping direction.

But in a country where Malaria is still a scourge, HIV stigma is on the rise again, dissatisfaction among the youth cannot be rated, and importantly, population parameters point south of the economic prospects- We do not need Democracy. In its current form, we do not need it if the educationists cannot be trusted to craft  a system of education that assures each individual a right to some level of societal dignity regardless of the level attained. We do not need Democracy if the very tenets that support it are annihilating the breakthrough of civil liberties and greed is now breaking down an already broken economy. When all everybody knows including school truants and drop outs in the hamlets understand ‘tyranny of numbers’ as the Biblical beast.  And when the leaders who would inspire a hard working attitude amongst the newgeneration actually enjoy the looting. In return there is a buildup of sycophancy even in the elitist class from a very tender age. We are therefore sharing out this country to a few people- those with the ability to rip off or those related to people with ability to do so. Yet these hard truths must be looked at from a clear perspective. As a fraternity we need to change our way of looking at this whole imbalance.

So must we change the eye through which we peer into the mystery of Africa. It would be best to understand that we cannot be United States of America. Neither can we be China. It is upon us to craft our own civilization and reject any notion by any other state or nation that they could, upon us, effectively impose dominance. Because we all understand with a better view the African problem. In this regard we must embrace good leaders and reject the ones that are full of impropriety. In doing so we must claim our right. We must eradicate the poverty in our outposts, we must reject depravity of any form in equal measure. We must therefore redefine how we want to be governed because we understand ourselves better than the outsiders.

As most people believe, I also do. Gadhafi was not a dictator. He was an intelligent ruler who understood the jurisdiction of operation and the hostility of his people towards anything that was not natively suited to them. Again every system cannot miss to have flaws. In Kenya we have the post-election violence, in Rwanda we have the Genocide, and in The US we have the Civil War that claimed Lincoln. Even in France we have the Bloody French Revolution that ended up claiming the King and Queen as well as the architect of the whole Revolution. A republic is not born only out of independence struggle. A republic is watered by the blood of political martyrs. And for this course, leaders in various countries have killed and sustained their territories. Again my opinion in that regard is that neither Saddam Hussein nor any of the Arab Supreme dictators were dangerous to a system of governance. The World came into Africa and fought against the best Africa had in terms of leadership and we cheered the whole American lot. We jeered at our brothers as they were maimed. But this shouldn’t surprise a soul. For long before that we had sold each other to Slave traders. It is completely no surprise.

But this rant must have an objective-

Democracy can only be good if it is fashioned out to serve the people and not when it is plagiarized from high ends of the universe and peddled in form of a paper constitution. We need a Social Democracy in this country.  The principles guiding us have no social base in them by any means. They are capitalistic and they are bound to wreck the societal peace and order that we have for so long enjoyed.  This is entirely because, when the laws of nature are not followed to the letter, then there is no natural order or flow of a system. I mean – if all the powers of appointments and legislation are as it stands in the disorganized parliamentary caucus that we have at the moment, then God save Kenya. We are at a needle balance. We do not even know what shall befall us.

 

A good system of governance must reflect meritocracy. It must reflect the endearing experience of the representatives. Meritocracy on itself is a show of an emboldened personality. Leadership cannot be something that happens by accident. Drawing from my high school model- The School Captain was a tested and proven person. He was a person of outstanding character, a person that could be chosen by everybody around him, though that was not their responsibility. A school captain had gone through ranks of governance, asserting his prowess and dominion. Declaring to one and all through action that he was the best person. There would therefore be no regrets whatsoever.

Yet this system of leadership selection is not just a reserve of schools. Every successful Engineering Consultancy firms have the person with the most experience, dedication and discipline being at the helm of it. The criteria of selection is not based on who has the most amount of money. It is measured by the dedication and the zeal- it is tested by subsequent appointments which later confirm that in deed the person in question has the capabilities and he wields the power to radically change the way things are done or improve the way things have been done.

This important tendency of ensuring that you have the best was embraced by the Chinese people. While they maintained their cultural exception they embraced a form of Marxism that was out to change the country’s discourse for the better. Structures are laid in this system in a way that no other government can ever do. Using the existing structures, the government has industrial zones, educational centres that are managed from well above right from the village level. And China is populous. The government in its sense has its own research firms that reach the ground to find out if the service delivery is up to the expected level of satisfaction, or if the industries are playing a suitable role they are supposed to. These are truthful organs under the government that play an important economical role. They give feedback that then helps the government to asses it service delivery to people.

We cannot thus be blind to such small systematic plays of organs that are important in the demystification of the economic problem. We cannot decide to be blind that in our very best of judgment, the current assertion that we need the Democratic space we have is out of place.

As engineering students, most of us understand that we actually facilitate and implement what we are asked to. We are sure that if the system of governance has too many hurdles as it is- too many self-imposed watch dogs with a solemn aim to bite something off from the procedure, we cannot overhaul the systems of this country. We therefore are sure that if the system of governance in this country change, even to reach the levels of Rwanda, Kenya will be genius.

At this rate, there is just too many people in the food chain who are particularly not doing anything. The politicians are wild and the upcoming politicians are hungrier and the nation is up for grabs.

But I must express also my dissatisfaction at the thought of allowing the current crop of leaders to take this nation into a “serious mood”. The current crop of leaders are best in this system. If they were to fashion out any other system of governance- it would be another fabrication of the foolish indecent Iddi Amin or Gen. Sani Abacha. Because if in the open as it is now, they are privy to the looting that is taking place and they have the knack to prosecute those who stand up to them, then  I am damned if they were in the shoes of Kagame they would have any key agenda on their mind.

Longevity in power has never been an African problem. The problem has been and still is how much of the subject’s welfare is still in their heads. After all we had chiefdoms and monarchs which were hierarchical in nature.

There is a need to remodel our way of doing things such that we can have a nation first. We have to remodel our identities and lose it in the process. We must probably redefine if it’s any important to have this constitution any more especially its political framework.  We have to have the echelons making the decisions for the posterity of our nation. An observation I would say, the nation is at cross roads. We can as a people continue living in this miasma of a phony ‘Free World of East Africa’ or wake up and confront the problems of the current system.

This must be however understood, that if the best of the best that rakes in Kenya most money in form of tax returns does not use the system that is now nationally accepted- then it is irresponsibly for this country to milk them dry and waste away their sweat. It is time we understood that whether we like it or not – the cohesion of this country can only be attained by a change in most importantly the political ideology. Without which, the shaping of the country’s destiny is left to question.

Think about this- Prosperous 2016

 

Managing Oneself in the Digital Age: The Human Side of Technology

artificial intelligence

The Digital Age, also known as the Age of Information, is the period marked by increasing impacts of knowledge on the general social, economic and political spheres of society. These impacts are evidenced by exponential advancement in science and technology in the last few decades spanning from the development of the computer which was then adopted in wide scale to the emerging trends in wearable technology. Also evident is the transition from traditional methods of learning in schools to the growing acceptance of Open education where one can learn anywhere, at any time and at their own pace. Such is the case with careers where there is a shift from the conventional to freelancing where anyone with special knowledge has leverage.

With all this in mind, it is easy to be swept away by the huge tsunami of change and that explains why it is paramount to manage oneself in the digital age. It is a fact to state that the key to self-development in the digital era is through effective management. How can we survive in the era where knowledge is currency? Where education access is open for all who are interested? How can we manage our selves when we can choose between contemporary jobs and freelancing? When we are constantly distracted by notifications? How do we maintain or even improve productivity when we are faced with increasingly overwhelming choices? How do we deliver on our obligations when we have lots of things to do in what we may call so little time? How do we keep fit when most of our jobs can be done only with the touch of a button and a keyboard? How do we exploit our potential without being overwhelmed by unlimited options made available by technological advancements? How do we become competitive? How do we get the most out of relationships when social media allows us to connect with hundreds of people every day? How do we become effective when we adopt ecommerce as a substitute, and sometimes, a replacement of traditional commerce methods?

There is no doubt that innovative technology brings along many benefits from reducing costs to increasing productivity and by extension, contributing to stronger organizational culture. But we have to appreciate that these benefits are pegged on the training and expertise of the users of these innovations. This means that for the most part, enjoyment of these benefits is ensured by focusing on the human aspect such that with effective management, users are equipped with the knowledge, skills and discipline required for maximum performance.

To be able leverage this power of technology in order to strengthen human capabilities, we first have to appreciate our own uniqueness as humans. We have to seek the distinguishing features such as empathy, creativity, intuition, morality and ability to learn continually. We, then, have to find ways in which we can employ technology in a manner that helps us strengthen these distinguishing human abilities.

For example, to boost creativity, we have to encourage customization in workplace. This affords inventiveness and creativity by allowing each user to decide on the specific methods and technology that helps them to be most productive. This can be the decision to use a specific kind of operating system, software application or even gadget. The use of brainstorming applications can also help users develop their intuitive powers by widening their perspectives. This can be through making it possible to get regularly updated on new methods, practices and developments that are job-specific. This also helps improve, significantly, the competitiveness of each person.

Another way of boosting one’s creativity is by encouraging experimentation. Science and technology has made it possible to quickly learn and creatively experiment. An example of a software application that has been created for designers is AutoCAD which makes it possible for structural engineers to think creatively and design models that they can later use practically.   Experimentationalso helps strengthen intuition since it is a deviation from routine.

The other human ability that makes us special is talent. This natural aptitude can be said to be what fuels creativity and intuition. It is what helps us innovate. Among the most impactful human creations so far, most have been a result of talent that has been nurtured and exploited significantly. In the digital age, managing talent is the best way to get the most out of people. In fact, technology has played a major role in the nurturing of talent. It has provided an avenue for experimentation and unbridled creativity which results in serious advancements and achievements.

With technology, learning has never been simpler: A quick search on the internet reveals a whole new world of open education. In this digital age, it has been made possible for anyone with enough motivation to pursue whatever type of education one desires at any time and place one finds most comfortable. Open education technology has made continual learning possible. With huge online libraries and databases, one can get any information they want at the touch of a button. Portable gadgets have such as the tablet makes it easy to watch, read and even write anywhere. The only setback in this case is unavailability of power and reliable internet connections in some areas around the world. This hinders creation, adoption and development of technology and integration to societies.

Jean Ladrier in The Challenge Presented to Culture says that we must consider under what conditions science and technology can be integrated into a culture without destroying its inner harmony. It is true that technology has made it easier to introduce new ideas, values and morals in places that already have diverse cultures. While this might threaten the already existing harmony, management practices focused on people makes it possible to carefully balance this influence science and technology introduces while ensuring that it does not cripple technological advancement and capabilities. This brings about a harmony that allows the satisfaction of needs of individuals while protecting their cultural identities and values and so, avoiding a drift to completely technocratic mindsets.

In the digital world, and in the future, management should start focusing more on the human side since, as has already been established; machines are getting smarter every day. Artificial Intelligence is already past its early stages of development with the emerging technology such as autonomous vehicles and personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri. With further advancement, it is safe to say that management will spend less time managing the technical side and shift focus to cultivating talent, helping people strengthen intuition and creativity. Management’s role will be to provide an environment where people are motivated to work for the general good of organizations, to uphold the organization’s values and to create a culture that provides for more productivity, competitiveness and efficiency. All these lead up to the much needed value creation which result in achievement of organizational goals and objectives.

Management’s role will be to show the destination and the people will find the way. All these will be possible only if the management capitalizes on human aspects which, as earlier mentioned, can pose great threats to technological advancement if not well managed. Management needs to focus on supporting the needs of value-creating employees down the line which in the end, will lead to achievement of organizational goals and objectives. Having in mind that the above will be management’s roles managers will have to be chosen not on the basis of their technical know-how, but based on their leadership skills. These will include those of intuition, clear communication, strategy and integrity. This means that as much as organizations will take advantage of technology and the culture it fosters, we will always have to consciously avoid drifting into technocratic mindsets, or at least, we will still have to be in contact with our human side that is not necessarily the best home for rationalization. We will still have to rely on moral values human intuition, creativity and talent for further innovation for productivity.

 

This piece was inspired by Peter Drucker’s masterpiece on Managing Oneself

GIS

It is an acronym for Geographic Information System. A special kind of information system distinguished by its use of spatially referenced data. GIS can also be defined as a computer based information system with the following components:

  1. Data input – manual digitization or scanning.
  2. Data management – data storage, updating, retrieval, backup, exchange and archiving
  3. Data manipulation, analysis and modeling.
  4. Data and information output and dissemination.

It was developed in the late 1960’s primarily as an environmental application and currently it acts as a Decision Support System (tool) with wide applications e.g. Land Management, Disaster Response, Business Development, Farm management, Pest/Disease tracking, Crop monitoring, Yield prediction and Soil analysis.

Information has always been the cornerstone of effective decisions. Spatial information is particularly complex as it requires two descriptors—Where is what. For thousands of years the link between the two descriptors has been the traditional, manually drafted map involving pens, rub-on shading, rulers, planimeters, dot grids, and acetate sheets. Its historical use was for navigation through unfamiliar terrain and seas, emphasizing the accurate location of physical features.

Many people may be having the question ‘why GIS?’ the reason why GIS is applied almost in almost all fields today is because maps unlock many of the answers deep inside a database enabling one to discover data richness, they are ideal because of the spatial component making it a critical tool for analysis, also a Map is a powerful language as it presents Information in a table vis a vis a map, and it also provide wider applications e.g. 3D Mapping or Visualization.

There many changes that have taken place in the processing environment one of them being the forms of display. It is now beyond the historical 2D planimetric paper map. Today, one is able to display spatial information on a 3D view of the terrain. Virtual reality can transform the information from polygons to rendered objects of trees, lakes and buildings for near photographic realism. Immersive imaging enables the user to interactively pan and zoom in all directions within a display. Analysis of mapped data has become an important part of understanding and managing geographic space. This new perspective marks a turning point in the use of maps from one emphasizing physical description of geographic space, to one of interpreting mapped data, combining map layers and finally, to spatially characterizing and communicating complex spatial relationships. This movement from “where is what” (descriptive) to “so what and why” (prescriptive) has set the stage for entirely new geospatial concepts and tools.

The importance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can hardly be overemphasized in today’s academic and professional arena. More professionals and academics have been using GIS than ever – urban & regional planners, civil engineers, geographers, spatial economists, sociologists, environmental scientists, criminal justice professionals, political scientists, and alike.

GIS has proved to have ability to solve many problems affecting the humanity today and therefore there is need for it to be taught in institutions in

All departments not only in Geospatial fields. This will help our country to solve issues such as insecurity, famine, flooding and urban planning to avoid congestion .It will also help in improving the economy of our country through its application in tourism management and identification of location of businesses where maximum profit can be made.

 

 

By Winny Cherono,

Fourth Year, Geospatial Engineering

OPENING THE MIND OF GODS

Progressively, the sands of time pass, fate unfolds, man’s life erodes and dissipates. The essence of his being gradually diminishes, his existence steadily expires. In between the hallmarks of birth and death, he struggles to squeeze in as much as possible, earnestly toiling to fill up the modest slate of life.  He seeks money, pleasure, status and fame. Every man has his own peculiar value systems, they all seek to bargain in life with what they find valuable. And many a times they become blind to other realities around them.

Since time immemorial, man has asked himself great questions; questions that have gone unanswered. One of the questions is whether there is life outside our planet and whether there is a parallel universe or other dimensions in the universe that the human mind cannot perceive.

History has constantly shown that man has always paid attention to only what benefits him most. However he has always been blind to other realities that do not concern him. Over the last thousands of years our ancestors mostly concentrated on finding food and protecting themselves from harsh conditions. They never took more time to contemplate upon the starry sky. Any strange thing that their primitive minds could not decipher was alluded to deities.

It is with no doubt that with the new technology, man is able to create even realities that he only once dreamt existed. He has created novel machines that can even take him to the moon and back. We have now left our minds unbounded and we are on the ladder; on the ladder to opening the mind of god…the question modern man is asking is, is there another universe? ; Another dimension such as ours in the cosmos? Is there your doppelganger somewhere doing Bachelor of Arts; or some tyrant seated on the throne of despots; are there aliens within our realm? Is there another reality around us that we cannot detect by our senses; senses which have become blunt with time since these realities were not affecting our ancestors? If indeed the big bang theory is right and the universe expanded uniformly is it not obvious that there is another planet on the other side with the same conditions as earth. We are descended from ancestors who evolved to only fit for those things that affected them either negatively or positively. We were forged in the same fires thus even the fundamental structure of our mind is the same. It is thus safe to say that we are simply a refined species of our ancestors. We have nearly all the characteristics that they acquired over the centuries to survive. And with this evolution some of the senses they never used became vestigial.

Our planet is the most extra ordinary planet in the whole universe. It has mild temperatures that can support life and the development of a conscience. It doesn’t have dark matter, ultra violet waves neither does it have heavy metals that penetrate, unlike on other planets. Its gravity is just enough to keep it in its orbit and to allow some light to be reflected other planets and stars have either very hot temperatures or very cold temperatures. In short, it’s in the goldilock zone. These mild temperatures have enabled plants and animals to thrive-in the end we consume these plants and animals for survival. Could these foods be the ones making our minds so dump, disillusioned and dull that they cannot grasp reality? Can such a mind that has developed in a remote planet with mild temperatures really understand reality; a most ordinary planet, orbiting a mediocre star, one speck on the spiral arm of a standard galaxy. Can it really comprehend what reality is when it’s affected with exceptionally different conditions from real conditions of 99.9% of all that constitute the universe? Can such a mind be a powerful, cold logic engine or does it function like a blunt weapon that tears and hack instead of cutting clean.

All that comes from a weak womb are weak and so are those created in a weak environment. Forget mortal lies, we are not natures best creation; we are simply a failed experiment of nature. A majority of people engage in hard labor which cannot be done away with because of the requirement for nutrition. This leaves them with less time for learning and contemplation. They engage their muscles from dawn to dusk and the only thing that can drive them from their toil is rain or darkness. Thus in the evening and at night the mind is tired and the antagonism between this muscles and mind causes the intelligence to go blunt, becoming clumsy, heavy, awkward and incapable of grasping reality. Their muscular strength is overworked so much that the nervous power, which makes intelligence, is thwarted. If you do not believe this; then close your eyes; look into your mind, does the light suffice? Why has it taken thousands of years to discover the Higgs Boson particle? Why did it take us long to discover cosmic microwaves. Why did it take us long to discover that there is inflation and the universe is expanding at an extremely high speed? Why did it take us too long to discover dark matter? Why is it taking us to long to discover the unifying formulae .Maybe we are wired to only know that which affects our existence.

What happens when a man finds he knows less than he thought? What happens when Knowledge confronts faith, “truth” begets fraud, myth and rationality bestows curiosity? What happens when gullibility dissolves and skepticism is born? Does a man become less rational when he abdicates faith at the altar of “reason”? Does it diminish a man one bit to confront belief with reality? We all harbor questions; deep questions, we all seek an incursion into the bottomless domains of life. We all seek a clear picture, a bright exposure, more leverage. Better understanding. But as we pursue these winds of knowledge we deprive ourselves the pleasures around as. Let’s only be the poet who asks gods to put his head in the heavens to have a glimpse of its beauty and not the philosopher who asks gods to put the heavens into his head making it split.

RFID TECHNOLOGY

FUTURE OF PRODUCT TRACKING AND IDENTIFICATION

 

Imagine going any supermarket in Nairobi, filling up your cart and walking right out the door, without having to endure those long lines at the cashier. No longer waiting as someone rings up each item in your cart one at a time. This might soon be happening thanks to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. RFID tags on each item will communicate with an electronic reader that will detect every item in the cart and ring each up almost instantly. The reader will be connected to a large network that will send information on your products to the retailer and product manufacturers. Your bank or mobile service provider, due to the MPESA users, will then be notified and the amount of the bill will be deducted from your account .No lines, no waiting.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) involves use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data with the goal of identification or tracking. RFID tags contain at least two parts: an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating radio signals, collecting DC power from the incident reader signal, and other specialized functions; and an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. The tag information is stored in a non-volatile memory. The RFID tag also has fixed or programmable logic for processing the transmission and sensor data.