This ‘Where Are They Now?’ series tracks alumni of Engineering for Change’s Fellowship Program to learn about their work in sustainable development engineering and the effect the fellowship had on their careers. Our alumni have high-impact careers that are meaningful to them and the communities where they work.
Through surveys, fellows report that the greatest benefit of the program is the professional skill they develop. For more, see this research collaboration with the Siegel Family Endowment that explores the benefits of an E4C Fellowship.
With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce Dr. Kingsley Ukoba.
E4C Fellowship Alumnus Dr. Kingsley Ukoba
Dr. King Ukoba is an alumnus of the 2022 E4C Fellowship, during which he advanced the development of the Climate Action Position Statement by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), E4C’s umbrella organization.
Since finishing his fellowship, Dr. Ukoba has taken a position as a lecturer and researcher in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He obtained a doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban in South Africa, graduating among the top 15 researchers. He coordinates the smart energy group for JENANO headed by a professor. He oversees a group of doctoral students, masters’ and undergraduate students.
Dr. Ukoba has won multiple individual and group grants, awards, and fellowships. Recent among them is the one million South Africa Rands grant by SASOL/NRF Collaborative Research grant for water treatment using Atomic Layer deposition in 2021.
He is a co-author of the African Integrated Assessment report by United Nations Environment Programme, African Union Commission, CCAC and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) joint publication. He has also authored book chapters and journal articles, presented in conferences and serves as a reviewer for high impact journals and conferences. And he acts as an academic and career mentor to students.
E4C: How would you describe your work, especially work related to engineering for sustainable development?:
KU: As a researcher, I work in the area of energy security and climate change focusing on availability and affordability of solar, wind and hydroturbines, and 3D printing. I am also applying emerging technologies such as 3D printing and machine learning to drive energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am now one of the volunteers for some arms of United Nations whose projects centre around Africa, youth, climate change and energy. Recent among them is a boot camp organized by UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) where I presented a technical paper, mentored a group of students, and served as a judge to appraise group presentation at the boot camp (https://www.uneca.org/eca-events/fourth-youth-innovators-design-bootcamp-2023).
E4C: How do the skills, experience and/or the network you gained during your E4C Fellowship help you in your work today?
KU: The E4C fellowship amplified my reach and gave the platform to showcase and contribute to sustainable development. It has given me access to more platform to impact knowledge and share experience. The fellowship introduced my work AutoDesk and Worldskills. I was among the invited speakers at the DIGITALSKILLSCAMP organized by Worldskill, Autodesk, Africa Union, AUDA-NEPAD and KnowledgePoint, Nov 8-9, 2022. Prior to the fellowship, I was involved with United Nations Environment Programme, Stockholm Environment Institute Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) (UNEP/SEI/CCAC) as an author for development of an African assessment report on air pollution and climate change.