Planning for S/Leone’s Next Generation Engineers

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The hope is that this will enable industries, such as mining, to use local engineers rather than recruiting from overseas at heavy cost.

Last week, academics from Sierra Leone visited Imperial to see its facilities and learn about the content and structure of its engineering courses.

The visit was hosted by Professor Mike Lowe, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mike Templeton, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Kristel Fobelets, from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The three year project, led by the charity Engineers for Change – Sierra Leone (EfCSL), is supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund Africa Catalyst which is managed by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Imperial’s Professor Mike Lowe said: “This exciting project aims to help develop and train the next generation of engineers in Sierra Leone. Mining and engineering make up a large part of the country’s economy but there is a skills shortage locally.

“We are working with partners in Sierra Leone to raise the standards of engineering courses in the country to enable talented students to reach their full potential.”

Sahr Nyalloma, Head of Mechanical Engineering at University of Sierra Leone said: “I must confess that it was a very good and eye-opening experience.

“The hosts were very accommodating and did everything possible to give us the necessary exposure. They even pledged to let the engagement continue even after this visit for the mutual benefit of our institutions and nations at large.”

Mr. Nyalloma was joined on the visit by Obafemi Beresford Davies, Head of Civil Engineering Department, Fourah Bay College, and Professor Jonas Redwood-Sawyer, Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Earlier in the week, Dr. Templeton spoke at the Sierra Leone Innovation Event, held at the Royal Academy of Engineering, where he explained the critical role that in-country engineers will need to play for nations like Sierra Leone to be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as achieving safe and sustainable access to water and sanitation by 2030.