Last month, the Kenya Education Network (KENET) held the 2024 Joint Special Interest Group (SIG) Research Forum at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi. The forum brought together the FY 2022 / 2023 (or 2022) grantees who had completed their one-year projects as well the FY 2023/2024 (or 2023) grantees who were starting their projects for some induction sessions. It was an opportunity for the attendees to meet the KENET research services team, the independent grant reviewers, selected PhD supervisors in Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS), Engineering and Computational Modelling and Material Science (CMMS) areas. During the forum, the discussion also focused on many other issues related to advancing research in the KENET SIG areas.

The Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) was represented by Dr. Mathew Egessa and Aggrey Shitsukane, who are recipients of the KENET 2023 CSIS grant of Kshs. 1,500,000 titled: “Towards a Machine Learning-Based Early Warning System for Fish Kills in Cage Fish Culture”. The project is in collaboration with Dr. Paul Orina from Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and Prof. Kelvin Omieno from Kaimosi Friends University (KAFU). Dr. Eric Jobunga, a TUM faculty member who is also an independent grant reviewer for KENET, was also present to offer feedback and mentorship to the grantees.

Beyond formal presentations, the forum also facilitated informal networking opportunities, allowing faculty members to forge new collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships. Engaging in lively discussions over coffee breaks and networking sessions, participants exchanged ideas, shared best practices, and explored potential avenues for future research collaborations.