Uniport produces Nigeria’s first set of nuclear engineers

Nuclear engineers to help in diversifying Nigeria’s energy sector

The University of Port Harcourt, Uniport, has graduated the first set of Nigerian trained nuclear engineers, an official has said.

The University’s Director of the Centre for Nuclear Studies, Ayoada Kuye, told journalists on Wednesday in Port Harcourt that there were six graduating students.

Mr. Kuye said that the six graduates were not only pioneers at the institution but also in the country. He said that seven additional nuclear engineers would also graduate soon.

Mr. Kuye said that the programme was carried out in collaboration with the University of Maiduguri, Obafemi Awolowo University, and Ahmadu Bello University with sponsorship from the National Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC.

He said that Uniport was the only university in the country to admit and graduate students in nuclear engineering.

“NAEC had mandated four universities to develop a curriculum for the study of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Master Degree level, and of which Uniport is the first to graduate its students. The programme, which lasted for 15 months, had the students spend six months at a research centre provided by NAEC in Sheda, Abuja, before completing other courses and projects at Uniport,” he explained.

On the quality of the nuclear engineers, Mr. Kuye said, “The beauty of the programme is that the facilities for the project were locally based. It is gladdening to note that out of the six projects done, we have three published in internationally reputable journals, two others are awaiting publication. If they are good for such publications, it means that the quality of graduates is also high. The resource persons, who came from all parts of the world, were drawn from the collaborating universities, NAEC and the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA.”

Mr. Kuye said that the new nuclear engineers would make their own contributions to the Federal Government’s bid to diversify the nation’s energy sector. He said that the move conformed to President Goodluck Jonathan’s willingness to discover other alternative energy areas to boost electricity supply in the country.

The don said that the centre was already putting measures in place to offer doctorate degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering to promote the discipline in the country.

“The bachelor of engineering programme had been approved by the university Senate, and so, we intend to move forward to the doctoral level. To accomplish this, I have already started talking to foreign universities on possible collaboration with the University of Port Harcourt,” he said.

(NAN)


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