Training Sustainable Engineering in Uganda

We're sending a team of our students to Uganda, to train students there in sustainable engineering.

Training Sustainable Engineering in Uganda
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This project received pledges on Sun 08 Mar 2020

We’re raising £2,000 to send a small team from Manchester to train Ugandan students in sustainable engineering which will enable them to make use of their country’s abundant natural resources in a green, sustainable manner and to raise living standards in their communities. 

Who are we?

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at The University of Manchester will send a team of four third year students to Uganda. Find out more about them below:

Fleur Hodges

I’m currently on placement as a Process Engineer at GlaxoSmithKline in Barnard Castle, a role that’s providing me with an array of skills and knowledge. This trip is an exciting opportunity to share what I’m learning and to train students in the latest sustainable software engineering. It’ll also provide me with the chance to develop my research project skills, an area of interest to me as I’m considering studying a PhD. This is a great opportunity for personal development.

Zainab Abbass

I'm a third year Chemical Engineering student with my main interests lying in sustainable development and renewable energy, as well as engineering separation techniques. Outside of my degree, I chair the Women in Engineering society and I'm also a keen volunteer, having always had an interest in social action and social justice.

Ismaeel Ali

I’m Ismaeel - a third year student studying Chemical Engineering. I’m currently working in industry at Johnson Matthey, managing projects in process safety.

One of my motivations for participating in this project is to teach others. In my spare time, I tutor GCSE level students in Maths and Sciences, and coach archery, where I have supported young adults from diverse backgrounds. I want to share my education, training and skills (e.g. managing projects; using state of the art simulation software; developing and implementing new process designs) to develop collegial learning/working and share good practice to work safely and efficiently.

This project will provide first-hand insight into the challenges faced by engineers in Uganda, giving me the valuable opportunity of being able to learn and contribute in helping to find solutions. I want to forge links with universities internationally to offer students similar opportunities, and to ultimately inspire the engineers of the future.

Subra Choudhry

I’m Subra, a third year Chemical Engineering student at The University of Manchester. I spend my free time volunteering as a STEM ambassador in the local community. In the summer, I am going to carry out ‘research with impact’ in Uganda. My skills in communication and lab work mean that I’ll be able to make a positive impact by creating strong working relations whilst carrying out thorough research.

Our story

What are we doing and why? 

We have initiated a collaboration with the University of Makerere in Uganda, so Makerere can become a hub of engineering excellence in sub-Saharan Africa. We will hold free, regular training workshops for participants from universities in sub-Saharan Africa and local industries. In these workshops, the participants will get hands-on practice with the latest design software, the necessary tool to create the most efficient, low-carbon, low-emissions processes possible. We will share good practice, particularly in worker health and safety and in green technology.

We piloted this collaboration last year, with two Manchester students going to Makerere to instigate the bond between our universities and begin the journey of developing these skills within this Ugandan community. You can see photos from last summer below.

This summer we will run our first training workshop. The University of Manchester will contribute £3,000 so that one staff member and two students can travel to Makerere. For real impact, though, we need more students and staff from Manchester and we need funding to support the attendance of African participants.

Much of the activity will be hands-on training with design software on computer clusters. Manchester students are already familiar with this software, having used it themselves to design chemical processes. Their role is to provide individual support to the participants, helping them overcome both programming and engineering obstacles. They will also play the invaluable role of interacting socially with their African peers, comparing and contrasting their academic training and broadening their experience of how other countries do things.

More staff are need to broaden the topics that need addressing. For example, oil and gas processes are vastly different from those needed to make beer or pharmaceuticals! We need staff with expertise in different areas.

Finally, and very importantly, we want engineers with UK industrial experience to participate. We trust that many of our alumni and industrial colleagues will join us in Makerere to share their practical, industrial experience.

Why is this important to us?

Uganda has an abundance of natural resources. It is amazingly fertile, producing sugar cane, tea, coffee and many other crops. It possesses reserves of copper, oil and uranium. Despite this, it is one of the poorest countries in the world with much of its exploitation by foreign developers with minimum regard to the environmental consequences and safety of employees. We aim to support the training and education of Ugandans in both modern, green technology and in rigorous health and safety procedures, so they can run their own industries safely, increasing local wealth and employment prospects, all done with improved care for the environment.

Why should it be important to you? What impact will you have by giving money?

1. You can help us make an important contribution to alleviating poverty in Uganda.

2. We can provide deep learning experiences.

3. It will start and strengthen collaborations in research and teaching.

4. It will be the beginning of a new, wide ranging partnership.

Where will the money go?

What we’ll spend the funding on if we hit our minimum:

Our minimum of £1000 will pay for the return flight and living expenses for one University of Manchester Chemical Engineering student to contribute to the training workshop for three weeks.

- Return flights £800

- Accommodation and living expenses £200

Where the money will go if we hit our full target:

£2000 will allow two Chemical Engineering students from Manchester to contribute to the three-week workshop.

- Return flights £1600

- Accommodation and living Expenses £400

What we’ll do with extra funds:

If things really take off and we raise more than our target, we’ll use the extra funds to improve the scope of the workshop by paying for wider participation and additional training resources.

We will give weekly updates on the crowdfunding campaign via the crowdfunding page and Facebook and provide a report of the success of the project after it has been completed.

Rewards

We have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out!

Find us here

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Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.

In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.

And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.