Training The Next Generation of Scientists: Geothermal Technology

AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project is a Joint Initiative involving JKUAT, PAUSTI and JICA.  In line with one of the project’s goals ‘ to develop human resources for industry development in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation’, the project undertakes long term training for JKUAT staff in Japanese universities, through the JICA long term PhD fellowships. The project was a response to the recognition that scientific and technological knowledge was crucial to socio-economic transformation of African economies.

Ms. Sachiko Oda, the Project coordinator at AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, talked with Mr. Justus Maithya, a beneficiary of JICA long term training in Japan in the field of Geothermal Energy, on his work leading to attain a PhD in Kyushu University.

 Ms. Sachiko: What motivated you to study a PhD? 

 Mr. Maithya: I wanted to become an expert in geothermal energy and be able to analyze complex data in order to draw clear and simple conclusions. To gain knowledge and expertise to be in a position to offer solutions to problems which may hinder the progress of this source of renewable energy.

Why did you decide to apply for PHD program in Japan?

I was motivated by the high regard for named researcher’s work, the availability of research materials, laboratory resources and the good reputation of Japan in the area of geothermal energy.

How do you find studying in Kyushu University? How is it different from studying in Kenya?  (In terms of school environment, teaching method, etc.)

It is an honour and privilege to be in Kyushu university. Studying in this university has been a truly life-changing experience for me because have gained new skills and techniques on how to analyze data and make concrete deductions. It has also given me the opportunity to attend several international symposiums where I have met top most scholars in the field of geothermal field. This has equipped me with wealth of knowledge in this field. Due to availability of facilities, studies are practical hence make one to be a specialist in his or her area of study as opposed to our Kenyan system whereby a lot is theoretical.

What is your goal after completing your PHD program?  

To disseminate knowledge and skills acquired in my area of study and assist my country to progress in renewable energy generation to spur industrial development hence the elimination of typical societal problems.

Justus Maithya during MT Data Analysis