The Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE), a professional body of engineers in Malawi, on May 17, 2017, launched its branch at the Malawi University of Science and Technology MUST) in Thyolo.
MUST offers three undergraduate engineering programmes in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and metallurgy and material engineering and its most senior engineering students are currently in their third year.
In his speech during the function, MIE vice president Wilson Chirwa said engineering is instrumental in driving socioeconomic development hence the need to inspire students to aim higher and develop professional and ethical standards needed for the profession.
“Malawi needs to regulate and enforce a code of ethics and professionalism through establishment of professional bodies in various disciplines. The coming of the Malawi University of Science and Technology as a member of MIE will help grow its current membership of 700 engineers,” he said.
Chirwa said MIE strives to remain relevant and beneficial to all its stakeholders in line with its vision and mission.
“It is for this reason that we [MIE] and the Board of Engineers will soon merge to form one engineering professional body, the MEI [Malawi Engineering Institution]. The new MEI bill has already been drafted and is expected to be taken to Parliament before the end of this year,” said Chirwa.
On his part, MUST head of engineering department, Edwin Khundi, said his chapter will strive to make a difference by implementing projects that will have an impact in the lives of Malawians.
“We need engineers that bring solutions to some of our current problems. For example, why is it that we have many traffic accidents at Chichiri Roundabout? Somebody need to study that and come up with preventive measures. We have so many other problems in our industry and the health sector where we can come in and offer help,” he said.
Khundi said the chapter will also offer young engineers a platform to interact with senior engineers and learn practical skills and modern knowledge.
On his part, Executive Dean of the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT) where the engineering department falls, Dr Davies Mweta, appealed to the MIE leadership to help MUST to link up with the industry in its quest to ensure that no engineering student graduates before experiencing real life situations in industries through internship.
“All we want is a place for internship; otherwise the students’ welfare during the internship will be our responsibility. We want our students to apply their theoretical skills to real and practical situations in the industry and we will be monitoring their performance and grade them accordingly,” said Dr Mweta.
During the function, MIE and MUST jointly awarded top performing engineering students from years one to three. The students received certificates of recognition.