Kenyan scholar becomes first African to win prestigious European award

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Moi University Ph.D. scholar, Dr. Peter Chemweno, has become the first African to win an award at the European Federation of National Maintenance Societies (EFNMS) Excellence Award for Ph.D. theses.

The award ceremony celebrates quality research in academia specifically in the field of maintenance engineering.

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Dr. Chemweno had earlier received a scholarship to finalize his Ph.D. in KU Leuven University in Belgium back in 2012. After joining the university, he worked on a thesis to improve the maintenance of assets in Kenya such as power plants and hospitals.

His thesis was selected as the best in Belgium, becoming a national winner in Belgium. His work has now gone on to win the ENFMS Excellence Award a few weeks ago in 2018.

He talked of the award saying, “Receiving this award is something rather unexpected but a very pleasant surprise indeed. When I undertook the Ph.D. research, my goal was to transform how power generation assets in developing countries are managed. For this, we conceptualized with my promoter, Professor Liliane Pintelon (KU Leuven), and my co-promoter, Professor Peter Muchiri (Dedan Kimathi University), that data would play an important role in achieving this goal. This award further strengthens my strong conviction that we can still leverage our research to improve the way we manage critical assets, be it power generation plants or medical devices for diagnosis and treatment.”  The next ENFMS Awards will take place in 2021.

Dr. Chemweno is currently an assistant professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.