Essay on Mechanical Engineering Design

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Okello Joseph Moses

Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Kyambogo

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The knowledge acquired from schools and colleges, to me, I believe is not merely an Education but rather the means to Education. It is through this belief that fundamentally drives my search for more knowledge, the obvious direction being curiosity toward exploration.

My greatest memories during my primary school life time were some of the social challenges like walking long distances to school, poor community roads, and a remote village with no power source for domestic use. I still remember how the Headteacher of my primary school then convinced me that science and technology can technically empower a man to harness nature and make the world a better place to live in. This shaped my career aspirations and captivated me to concentrate on science subjects to enable me to become an Engineer and use Engineering Knowledge to deal with real-life problems in the world. My interest and ability throughout my growth got inclined toward the physical nature of the universe.

My focus on applied sciences drove me to opt for Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics in my high school studies. After completing high school, I felt that Engineering would be the area, that would allow me to learn and explore how the fundamentals of science are applied to create technology for practical and real purpose in life. My greatest strength has always been the power of imagination; this inspired me to take up a discipline that would allow me to channel it in the best possible ways. Mechanical Engineering became a direct consequence of my convictions. Subjects like Mechanics of Machines, Energy Production, and Mechanical Engineering Design, revealed to me a limitless horizon in the field of Mechanical Engineering. My undergraduate study was richly a rewarding experience, during which I participated in various industrial training programs.

We are in an era of global and technological changes where boundaries are fast disappearing and the greatest challenge tomorrow holds for us is to manage continuity of change. To satiate my curiosity and fulfil my ambitions I decided to pursue a master’s program in Mechanical Engineering. My research interest is hydrodynamics of turbines, pumps, and pump turbines including cavitation, design, and evaluation of the performance of hydraulic machinery using both experimental investigations and simulations with a strategic vision of sustainable energy development. While at Kyambogo University, I found areas in Mechanical Engineering Design, Power Machinery, and Energy Production motivating. In my final year project, I majored my Energy production in ‘Designing a self-sustaining Electric Generator’ to address the needs of communities in rural areas to have clean Energy for domestic consumption. The idea here was to come up with a fuel-free electric power generator that has no carbon emission and will use the same power it is generating for self-sustenance. I collected data on energy needs and utilization in rural areas and analyzed them to enhance the sizing of my generator. The project educated me a lot on principles of energy transformation, mechanical design principles, mechanics of machines, and the need for a clean, affordable, and sustainable energy mix in our society. I was supervised by Dr. Joseph Olwa -lecturer Kyambogo and Dr. Titus Bitek Watmon- lecturer Kyambogo, who were very supportive and positive towards this research. I got an opportunity with Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited to work as a Mechanical Engineer to supervise the installations and commissioning of Hydromechanical and Electromechanical equipment for Isimba Hydro Power Plant (183.2MW) and Karuma Hydro Power Plant (600MW), of which the former already commissioned and in operation and the latter yet to be commissioned in December 2020.

I am determined to use this opportunity while at Tianjin University to gain more knowledge and become a key player in harnessing and developing Renewable Energy resources in Uganda and the Great Lakes region. I have actively participated in studying Designs and development of major Hydromechanical components for power generation facilities which are currently being developed. This has broadened my research knowledge on power Machinery and Clean Energy Production enabling me to appreciate the vast knowledge in the Mechanical Engineering field. My major goal is to elevate my knowledge and skills to the standard of an expert Mechanical Engineer, competent and resourceful in Renewable energy development in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals.

Uganda lacks highly skilled ‘Mechanical experts’ with advanced knowledge of power machinery and Renewable Energy Development making the development of generating facilities expensive, propelling me to learn more and bridge the gap in the future. Hydropower Engineering is my center of influence in the most developing world, looking at Vision 2040, the National Development Plan of Uganda; an estimate of power demand will be 41,738MW which is about 30 times the current installed capacity. This will necessitate the establishment, acquisition, development, and generation of modern energies to drive industrialization and the service sector. Considering the ongoing Construction, installations, commissioning, and maintenance of Hydro Power Plants like Karuma (600MW), Muzizi (48MW), Nyagak iii (6.6WM), Isimba (183.2MW), proposed Hydro Power stations along the Nile Basin and other Renewable energy to be exploited boosted my morale to positively contribute to this lucrative national transformation. Am very optimistic that, pursuing my master's in Mechanical Engineering from Tianjin University will enable me to make a difference in the field of Engineering exposing me to more research, hence advancing the technical capability of the engineering industry in Uganda and the world at large.

After completing my master's in Mechanical Engineering from Tianjin University, I intend to come back to Uganda and champion Renewable energy development programs like Mini- Hydros, solar, geothermal, wind, and other modern energy technologies, as well as build a robust technical force that can provide technical expertise to the nation cheaply.

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