• PhDs in Focus: Profiting from concrete research networks

    Jon Spaull

Sugar cane is one of Kenya’s most important cash crops. Currently, most of the pulp, or ‘bagasse’, left after the cane’s juice is extracted goes to waste. In this film, John Mwero, an engineer at the University of Nairobi, talks about his PhD research on adding the ash left after burning bagasse to cement. Not only does doing so recycle this readily available by-product, but it also strengthens concrete.
Mwero’s PhD was made possible through a scholarship with AMSEN (the African Materials Science and Engineering Network). AMSEN is part of RISE (the Regional Initiative in Science and Education), a programme designed to strengthen higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mwero argues that without the access to other universities’ equipment and the networking opportunities with other African academics that the scholarship provided, it would have been impossible to obtain his PhD in Kenya. 

This is part of the Africa’s PhD Renaissance series funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.