The Biopolymer Workshop in Kenya resulted in five project presentations
The Biopolymer Workshop took off with 32 students, 10 international experts, and a handful of local mentors, but already after the first day of introductory lectures of Dr. Sujata Bhatia (Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), Dr. Andrej Kržan (CE PoliMaT), Dr. Dejan Štefanec (CE PoliMaT, Mikrocaps), Dr. Majda Žigon (CE PoliMaT), and Dr. Gernot Oreski (PCCL), followed by industrial case studies vividly presented by Mr. Edi Kraus (Aquafil) and Mr. Alojz Kračun (Kračun d.o.o.), workshops’ sponsors, along with Westminister RTS (Kenya), and a panel discussion on local needs, facilitated by Dr. Fernando Quazada, the number of participants increased to 53 actively involved students, and 30 JKUAT mentors and staff.
The next two days were dedicated to group work. A lecture given by Dr. Steven Fening (ABIA) on value-driven engineering gave a framework for the preparation of project ideas by student teams, and the eye-opening presentation of Dr. Gerd Meier zu Köcker (VDI/VDE-IT) on policy implications for science and technology set the grounds for future collaboration of international and interdisciplinary teams. As a result, 5 project presentations were given by 5 committed student/mentor teams. The project ideas addressed specific local needs, and will hopefully develop into well defined project proposals. The mission statements for the 5 teams give a glimpse on the dedication that was expressed in these short three days:
- Providing cutting edge biopolymer research and innovation for global development
- To enhance food security, health, environment and sustainable development through encapsulation
- Value addition to mitigate environmental pollution
- Value addition and utilization of fishing nets in marine environments and plastic wastes, Clean environment, and Creation of job opportunities from waste
- Biopolymers for improved healthcare in Kenya