In partnership with Academics without Borders (AWB), 27 academic staff of the Faculty for Applied Sciences and Technology (FAST) graduated in the pioneer Strengthening Engineering Education and Research (SEER) program on 29th April 2021. The SEER program and graduation were both virtually undertaken. The staff trainees undertook online learning for a period of 4 months. They exhibited resilience amidst COVID 19 pandemic which illustrates that through visionary leaders and team work a lot can be achieved.

The graduation was graced by the Executive Director AWB, Prof. Greg Moran, Assoc. Prof. Charles Tushabomwe-Kazooba. Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Prof. Jerome Kabakyenga, Director Maternal NewBorn and Child Health Institute and Mrs. Sheila Niinye Twinamatsiko, the International Relations Officer, MUST. The event keynote speaker Prof. Yu-Ling Cheng from University of Toronto emphasised the need for integrating ‘systems thinking approach’ to conduct impactful research. The program led by the Dean Dr. Theodora Twongyirwe and Dr. William Wasswa focused on salient aspects regarding engineering education and other complementary knowledge and skill. By the end of the program, 15 proposals were developed from 15 research groups composed of 2-3 team members. Each team worked with a mentor from Universities in America among which are; McMaster University, Yoke University and Toronto University. The project proposals will be assessed by AWB and the selected teams will be funded. The projects are; Oxycare, Academia-Industry Engineering, Solar street lighting, Medical errors in Labs, Livestock monitoring, Electricity from wind, Malaria diagnosis, Enhanced drilling fluids, Plastic waste into fuel, Plastic waste into variable commodities, Plastic waste into concrete blocks, Water treatment and Digital profilometry.

The SEER program will be rolled-out globally to enhance research and teaching capacity by training early-career University Faculty members in partnership with interested Universities. The SEER program is modelled on the successful MicroResearch initiative, which has trained over 1000 health instructors and practitioners in Africa and other regions in recent years. The MicroResearch Health program has resulted into MicroResearch Engineering Program.

The Vice Chancellor MUST, Prof. Celestino Obua recently signed an institutional Memorandum of Understanding with Academics Without Borders, a Canadian Non-Governmental Organization that works with Universities in the developing world to build their capacity to educate professionals and leaders essential to building strong societies. Academics without Borders offers MUST a wide range of opportunities to advance both academic and administrative staff expertise in teaching, research, community engagement and back-office operations. Kindly use the attached template to send in a proposal and benefit from this new partnership. Contact the International Relations Office for any inquiries.

Succeed we MUST!