Seminar: Solar Energy Technology and Applications

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Fredrick making his presentation during the seminar
Fredrick making his presentation during the seminar

Mr Fredrick Kariithi, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology gave a seminar on “Solar Energy Technology and Applications” on Friday 30 June 2017. Mr Fredrick was passing knowledge from an online course he had undertaken through the funding of International Science Program (ISP). Fredrick together with Linda Karea (also a Msc. Student at INST) were trained for a Galileo Master Certificate from the European Energy Centre which is a package consisting of 3 renewable energy courses. Fredrick and Linda undertook the courses: solar photovoltaics, solar water heating and electrics for renewables.

His seminar covered topics ranging from the solar radiation spectrum, solar radiation measurements, current-voltage characteristics, technological development and price trends of photovoltaics, photovoltaic installation, maintenance, safety among many others.

Read entire presentation here….


Seminar on Fraud, Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

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Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen giving a seminar
Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen giving a seminar

Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen gave a seminar on fraud, plagiarism and academic dishonesty at Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology on 14th June 2017.  Here we just give an overview of his talk, but you can download and read the entire presentation here.

In the recent days, there has been a rise in competition in the world of academics as more and more academics institutions are coming up. For the institution to stay afloat, they have to publish hence increased use of the statement “publish or perish.” This in some cases has led to a lack of scientific integrity in authors as they try to stay afloat.  Scientific integrity is important and leads to better science, trust and respect as science is built on the shoulders of others.

Academic dishonesty exists everywhere and much more than we think. It is a creeping phenomenon that starts with seemingly innocent acts until at the end the person or group believes in it.  Commonly encountered malpractices include:

 There are different forms of scientific misconduct involving data fabrication and falsification. These includes:
  • Simply producing data that are not there
  • Removal of outliers from data or smoothing
  • Just picking out an outlier without verification and using it as “proof” of one’s theory
  • Cherry picking or selective reporting
  • P-hacking- generating hypotheses afterwards until something significant is found. Data dredging
  • Deliberate statistical errors: selective sampling, not reporting sample size, leaving out results from control, etc.

Plagiarism is another form of academic dishonesty. It is the use of ideas, concepts, words, or structures without approximately acknowledging the source to benefit in a setting where originality is expected. The right thing to do is always to give citation when using materials from others, and when exact text is used put it between quotes and cite.

Master Thesis Defense: Tollah Stephen

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tollahs_thesis frontpage_7_9_2016

Tollah Stephen, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, successfully defended his research thesis titled: “Development of a Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) system at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INST)” on 9th June 2017.  

Tollah conducted a computational investigation into developing a PGNAA irradiation system for elemental analysis using the Am-Be neutron source stationed at INST. He focused on the parametric study of the variables that influence the design of the PGNAA system through Monte Carlo simulation using the MCNP5 particle transport code.


Read full abstract here……

Master Thesis Defense: Mwaura Anselim Mwangi

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Anselim Mwaura carring out Research in the Labaoratory
Anselim Mwaura carrying out Research in the Laboratory

Anselim Mwaura, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology successfully defended his thesis titled: “Design and Characterisation of an Electrohydrodynamic Multinozzle Atomizer for Thermal Desalination Processes”  on 4th May 2017.

In his research, Anselim was seeking to verify whether the combination of electrohydrodynamic atomization and multi-effect distillation systems could improve the efficiency of the thermal desalination system.

The multi-nozzle atomiser uses electrohydrodynamic atomization, also known as electrospray, to create mono-sized electrically charged droplets.  Anselim carried out an investigation on whether it provided small sized, monodispersed and broadly dispersed droplets which would eventually improve evaporation ratio of the liquid.

He made a design of a multi-nozzle atomiser, followed by computational modelling to check the process parameters and finally simulating of the complete design and characterising the working conditions of the device.

The sprayed water was analysed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) and Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF). His work provided vital information of the reactions that occurred during the electrospray process and thus gave insights of the possible implementation of electrospray in desalination hybrid systems.

Part of his work was done under scholarship at NHL University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden, Netherlands under the supervision of Professor M. J. Gatari, Professor Jan Marijnissenn and Luewton Agostinho. H

Read full abstract here

Master Thesis Defense: Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui

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Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui during his thesis defense
Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui during his thesis defense

Mr. Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui, an MSc student at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology successfully defended his Master Thesis, “Analysis Of Heavy Metals, Minerals And Radionuclides In Heavy Sands From Tiva And Mwita Syano Rivers, Kitui County”, on 23rd June 23, 2017. His work focused on characterizing sands from Tiva and Mwita Syano Rivers in Kitui County. He carried out analysis of heavy sands for the presence of mineral sands, radionuclides and heavy metals. Samples were analyzed for:


  1. Mineralogical content using the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) technique;
  2. Presence of heavy metals using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Diffraction (EDXRF) technique, and
  3. The presence of radionuclides by high-resolution gamma radiation spectrometry using HP Ge detector.

Training on NDT Methods

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Currently, Kenya is experiencing accelerated growth in infrastructural developments, particularly in real estate, transport and energy sectors. These developments are going to provide an enabling environment towards achieving Vision 2030. It is important that constructions in these sectors be inspected for their structural integrity to ensure quality, safety, reliability and sustainability during the construction phase as well as during their operation period. Failure to use quality assurance methods in the construction phase may result in accidents which in some cases have resulted in the loss of lives as has been recently observed in the housing sector.

Among the various inspection methods, non-destructive testing (NDT) is superior compared to the destructive methods that are currently in use. NDT involves inspection of a structure without necessarily obtaining a sample and taking it to the laboratory for analysis. The major NDT methods include magnetic particle testing, liquid penetrant testing, radiographic testing and ultrasonic testing. Typical applications cover a wide scope that includes the inspection of aircraft, pipelines, roads, bridges, trains and railway lines, power stations, oil refineries, residential and industrial buildings. The Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, a unit within the College of Architecture and Engineering of the University of Nairobi has acquired equipment on these methods. The equipment will be used to train engineers and scientists to give them skills they can use when they join the workforce. The Institute has staff who have the necessary academic and professional skills.

In this regards, we have organised a three-day training on NDT methods from 12th to 15th July 2017 at the Institute’s NDT laboratory. The cost of the training is Ksh 30,000 per participant, which should be paid to College of Architecture and Engineering KCB account 400-634-003

For any queries write to us through: inst@uonbi.ac.ke or dmaina@uonbi.ac.ke.

Training of Academic Staff of College of Architecture and Engineering in Pedagogy

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Training session in progress
Training session in progress

Three staff members from the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology attended a three days pedagogy training at the Central Catering Unit (CCU) between 19th to 21st June 2017 which was conducted by staff from the Centre for Pedagogy and Andragogy (CEPA).

Right: Wilson Kairu; Second Right:  Susan Karuga
Right: Wilson Kairu; Second Right: Susan Karuga

The purpose of the training was to provide knowledge and skills in pedagogy and thus contribute to professional development of academic staff in the University of Nairobi.

The topics covered included:

  1. Introduction to Pedagogy
  2. Instruction as a communication
  3. Use of media and learning resources in teaching
  4. Motivation and individual differences of university learners
  5. Theories of learning
  6. Nurturing critical and creative thinking through pedagogy
  7. Strategies for Teaching in Higher Education
  8. Preparations for teaching science based subjects in Higher Education
  9. Approaches and strategies of teaching science based subjects in Higher Education
  10. Methods and techniques of teaching science based subjects in Higher Education
  11. Effective lecturing in higher education
  12. Management of teaching and learning environment
  13. Assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes: setting exam papers