PhD Presentation by Mercy Nyambura

Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology

Photo: Mercy Nyambura Presenting her PhD Progress report at INST

Mercy Nyambura presented progress report on her PhD research on 3rd March 2014. Her research is aimed at establishing “Relationship between Fertility, Nutrient Status and Mineralogical Composition in African Soils: Applications of X-Ray Diffraction and Associated Analytical Methods”. Mercy Nyambura is a PhD student at the University of Nairobi, Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology and works at ICRAF.


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Msc Students performing Schmidt rebound hammer NDT practicals

The Schmidt rebound hammer test measures the hardness of a concrete surface through the use of the rebound principle. The rebound principle states that the distance that an elastic mass rebounds after impact depends on the hardness of the surface against which the mass strikes­

 The results of the rebound hammer test are used for the following purposes:

  • To assess uniformity of in-situ concrete.
  • To outline regions of poor quality or deteriorated concrete in structures.
  • To indicate strength development in concrete.

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The University of Nairobi Lighting Laboratory (UON-LL) ISO 17025 Compliance

ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. The University of Nairobi Lighting Laboratory (UON-LL) is now compliant with the requirements of this standard. The latest development include the training of a pool of Internal auditors for UON-LL by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Certificates of competence were issued to the trained Auditors on 4th July 2014 at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology Conference room. The Certificates were officially issued by the head of National Quality Institute (NQI), KEBS Mr. Cyrus Wambari. The lighting laboratory is in the final stages of getting accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

The University of Nairobi Lighting Laboratory (UON-LL) was established to test solar portable lights, using Lighting Africa initial screening method to distinguish between substandard and quality products. The laboratory conducts the tests as a commercial service.

This is the first laboratory of its kind, where local manufacturers and distributors of lighting products in Kenya and the East Africa region, as well as NGOs and government agencies can bring in their lamps for a quick screening that will be able to determine good quality products.

In the past, substandard solar lanterns have infiltrated the market, eroding consumer confidence in solar lighting technology. Consumers have fallen victim to overrated product claims and would purchase solar torches, task lamps or room lamps in an attempt to cut down on kerosene use, only to realize that the products do not live up to their expectations.

So far, the laboratory at the University of Nairobi has tested products for system level performance, component performance, durability and manufacturing quality.

With a turnaround of four to six weeks, and a cost of approximately 750US$, Lighting Africa initial screening method is faster and cheaper than other methodologies to determine the potential of lighting products. Those products which pass this initial screening also become members of Lighting Africa and as a consequence stand to benefit from a range of business support services.

Three international laboratories in Germany, China and the United States are accredited to conduct the more extensive Quality Test Method.

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Mr. Michael Mangala of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya, visited the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering , University of Zagreb, Croatia from 4th to 8th November 2013. The goal of the scientific visit as the IAEA Project Counterpart Coordinator was to:

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A stakeholders’ workshop in curriculum development for a BSc programme in Petroleum Engineering

A stakeholders’ workshop in curriculum development for a BSc programme in Petroleum Engineering was held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies on Monday 30th June 2014. The workshop participants were addressed by the Principal, College of Architecture and Engineering, Prof. B.N.K. Njoroge. It was chaired by Prof. Patts M. A. Odira, Dean School of Engineering and was organized by Mr. D. M. Maina, Director Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology for the curriculum development committee on behalf of the College Academic Board. The programme is to be hosted by the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. In attendance were professors and lecturers from the school. Present also were the Dean  School of Physical Sciences, Prof. L. W. Njenga and Dean School of The Built Environment, Prof. T.J.C. Anyamba. The School of Mathematics was represented by Dr. C. Nyandwi. Prof. E. Mwangi represented Institution of Engineers of Kenya while Prof. F.J. Gichaga represented the Engineers Board Kenya. There were stakeholders from the Oil industry as well as some students, the majority from INST. The meeting set the stage for the launch of the programme, in the near future, after necessary approvals from the University.

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IAEA (AFRA) Coordinators' Meeting

Mr. Matini attended a Mid-Term Coordinators' Meeting in Cairo, Egypt as the Coordinator of Project "AFRA/0/041 "Sharing Best Practices in Preventive Maintenance of Nuclear Equipment". This is an Interanational Atomic Energy Agency Project of which Mr. Matini is the coordinator in Kenya. The meeting discussed issues pertaining to both scientific and medical equipent, in African context, in terms of funding of personnel training, locally and regionally.

NDT Training of Mr. Kairu in Morocco

Msc. student Mr. Wilson Kairu attended a three months NDT training in CNESTEN Morocco. He obtained level 2 licence in Radiographic Testing, Ultrasonic Testing, Magnetic Testing and Dye Penetrant Testing. The training was sponsored by the IAEA as part of the TC project on The Establishment of a Non Destructive Testing Laboratory at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Nairobi. The NDT laboratory is for teaching, research and for provision of Non Destructive services in Industry.

Conference on Mountains and Climate Change, ‘HIGH SUMMIT’

Dr. Gatari attended The International Conference on Mountains and Climate Change, ‘HIGH SUMMIT’ in Lecco, Italy, 23-25 October 2013. He was sponsored by Ev-K2-CNR and International Science Programme, Sweden. The presentation title was: Mt Kenya Ecosystem and Impact of Black Carbon: Implication to poverty and social economic dynamics in Kenya.

AFRA Projects Coordinators' Workshop

Dr. Michael Gatari and Mr. Anzelmus Matini attended a Workshop organized by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Africa Regional Agreement (AFRA) Project Coordinators at the Laico Regency Hotel on Friday 20th June 2014. The Institute attended this workshop as Project Coordinators. The Workshop was to sensitize stakeholders on the importance of nuclear science and technology in Agriculture, Industry, Energy, Health, Water Resources, Radiation Protection. The workshop was opened by the NACOSTI CEO Dr. Rugutt.

 Dr. Gatari coordinates a project on the training of radiation protection officers, while Mr. Matini coordinates a project on preventive maintenance of nuclear equipment.

NDT Training

An NDT seminar was held on Thursday, 5 June 2014  at the conference room, Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Nairobi. The training covered Introduction to NDT, Industrial Radiography, Ultrasonic Inspection, Eddy Current Inspection, Magnetic Particle Testing, Penetrant Testing and Visual Inspection.

CAE Holds a Web Champions Training Exercise

College Registrar, Mr. Charles K. Njuguna(right) and Chief ICT Officer, Patricia Gitonga (left), during the launch of the training.

The College of Architecture and Engineering (CAE), held a web champions training on Wednesday, 28th May 2014, that took place at the Civil Engineering Laboratory. While officiating the exercise, the college Registrar, Mr. Charles K. Njuguna, welcomed all attendants and emphasized, that the training was paramount, as it significantly contributed to better performance in the webometrics rankings.

The training is meant enlighten the web champions, on ways and means of how to improve the four key indicators that webometrics uses to rank the university websites. They include visibility, excellence, presence and openness.

The vision and aim of all the CAE website team members, is to eventually make CAE the best college website at the University of Nairobi

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Susan Karuga Research Work in Sweden: Proton Conducting Oxides for Clean Energy Applications

Even if fossil fuel reserves will last a few more decades with the current rate of production, their conversion to useable energy is neither efficient nor pollution free.

Fuel cell technology has been thought to be an efficient way of transforming chemical energy of hydrogen and hydrogen rich compounds to electrical energy.

Different types of fuel cells work on the basis of different electrochemical reactions occurring at different temperatures and utilize different electrodes, electrolytes and fuels.

Susan Karuga is investigating ways to increase Solid Oxide Fuel Cell efficiency, increase potential for a wide range of applications and increase service life by reducing wearing out of the materials.

Her research work is a collaborative project by International Science Programme, Uppsala University, Sweden, Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi

Air Sampler

Photo: From left... Anne Mutahi, Cavin Omondi, kamau, Martin, Leonard Maina. Squatting: Njoroge and Mwania.

A team of researchers from University of Nairobi and Stockholm University have installed an air sampling equipment at UON Engineering premises. The equipment is being used in the collection of samples for air quality analysis. The delegation from Sweden included Martin and August. The Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology has been involved in Environmental Studies for decades.

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The 5th University of Nairobi Open Day took place from May 8th - 10th,
2014 at the Great Court, Main Campus.

The event, accorded academic units, Faculties, Schools, Institutes,
departments and Centres an opportunity to showcase their products to
various stakeholders, among them prospective students, parents, alumni,
sponsors, government and members of the public who are interested in
getting information on programmes and services offered by the University.
This is in addition to opening up the University to public scrutiny and
providing a channel for public feedback.  Select organizations, interested
in using the occasion to market their products,services, career
advice and opportunities were also present.

The Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology showcased various renewable energy  and nuclear technologies and research being pursued at the centre.

Research on Renewable Energy

In this photo Wycliffe Nyariki, an Master's student at Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology is installing a solar hot water heater in Nairobi.

Nyariki's current research is the Design and Characterization of a Hybrid Flat Plate Active Photovoltaic-Thermal System.

Inspection of Energy Products at the Lighting Laboratory

Brief History

The Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INST) is in the College of Architecture and Engineering at the University of Nairobi . It was started in 1979 as the Centre for Nuclear Science Techniques within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. This was as a result of a combined initiative of the Kenya Government through the National Council for Science and Technology, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the University of Nairobi . It later was elevated to an Institute of Nuclear Science, as and when its activities increased. With expanded scope and mandate into areas of Renewable Energy and other future developments, the Institute came to be known as Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology.


To be a centre for development of knowledge in nuclear sciences and technology and their application for enhancement of life in our society.


To train local manpower in the applications and peaceful utilization of nuclear science and technology and promote intellectual service to our country through teaching, research and outreach.

Core Values

  • *  Pursuit of excellence
  • *  Free and open exchange of ideas
  • *  Professionalism
  • *  Team-work
  • *  Honesty and Integrity
  • *  Devotion to Service
  • *  Promotion of Environmental Conservation and Sustainability
  • *  Mentorship