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Kenyan Professor Appointed Head of Department at Prestigious UK College

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu, has congratulated his countryman and top scholar, Prof Washington Yotto Ochieng, on his appointment as the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the prestigious Imperial College in the United Kingdom.

The London-based Esipisu tweeted on Saturday evening, 15th May: “A very warm congratulations to Kenyan Prof Washington Yotto Ochieng, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, on being appointed Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the famous Imperial College.”

Before his latest appointment, Ochieng, 57, served as the Head of the Centre for Transport Studies in the same university. He is also the Director of the Engineering Geomatics Group and chairperson of Positioning and Navigation Systems.

According to the information on the college’s official website, Ochieng has made significant contributions to major international projects, including the design of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and GALILEO, measurement error modelling in Global Navigation Satellite Systems, specification of aircraft trajectory management tools for the Single European Sky’s ATM Research (SESAR) programme, and integrated positioning and navigation systems for many applications including intelligent transport systems.

He joined Imperial back in 1997, having previously spent time at the University of Nottingham, where he completed a PhD in Space Geodesy and worked as a Research Associate, and Racal Electronics (Thales), where, as the Principal Engineer (Navigation Specialist), he participated in various international consortia developing satellite navigation systems and products.

In 2013, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in recognition of his exceptional contribution to engineering, and in 2019, he was bestowed with the Harold Spencer Jones Gold Medal, the highest award from the Royal Institute of Navigation.

Ochieng, who did his Advanced Level studies at Kisumu High School, earned a BSc degree in Surveying and Photogrammetry (First Class honours) from the University of Nairobi, in 1988, before moving to the United Kingdom for his graduate studies. He studied satellite geodesy at the University of Nottingham, where he was awarded a PhD in 1993 for research on Differential GPS (DGPS) and fiducial network design.

The exemplary scholar was born in October 1964 in Kendu Bay on the shores of Lake Victoria in Homa Bay County.

He is recognised as a noteworthy civil engineering educator and motivator and researcher and is known to have a strong sense of responsibility towards family and humanity. Ochieng is married to Abosede Adetohun Adeola Salako, a scientist, and they have two children, Grace Louise Kerina and Michael Sunday Yotto.

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