I am committed to take AWTi to greater height: Dr Abdella

Dr Abdella Kemal, who recently anointed Scientific Director, of newly carved out (revitalized) Arba Minch Water Technology Institute, has overwhelming mandate ahead. At the face value, it might look a Himalayan task, but with rich experience under his belt, he said, ‘‘I will make it possible.’’

This new Scientific Director, who enjoys the status of Vice President, said, his priority will be to make this institute a centre of excellence in Ethiopia and across Africa. And AMU churning out tens of thousands professionals in water sector testify the reputation it has had.

On imminent priority, he said, first I will ensure the quality education and try to imbue teachers in getting involved in water-related research, developing projects and engaging in problem-solving community service to fulfill our designated agenda.

Further, he adds, being the founding institute from where evolved Arba Minch University and since 2004, its potential graduates are part of big-ticket projects like GERD, Gilgel Gibe-III, Kuraz Sugar Factory, consultancy firm and many are teachers across European nations.

Unraveling new structure, he said, AWTi Scientific Director will directly report to President. As of now, AWTi and Institute of Technology will operate from Main Campus; both have their own academic wings with Academic Affairs directors at the helm will function under one managing Director. It will have deans and each have different chair under them and similar courses.

Going down memory lane, he said, the above system was proposed by Ministry of Education 10 years ago, but it is implemented now that will further pave the way for both institutes in future fully getting metamorphosed into full-fledged university as it had happened across Ethiopia.

AWTi will have four faculties, Hydraulic and Water Resource Engineering, Water Resource and Irrigation Engineering, Water Resource and Environment Engineering and Hydrology & Meteorology. With 11-to-12 chairs and each faculty will have at least three chairs depending on the number of similar courses that probably will differ from chair to chair, he maintained.

Further, he informed that in future, AWTi likely to have its own infrastructure and campus; from the next year it will have separate budgetary provision for better upkeep.

He hails from Addis Ababa and obtained his first and second degrees from AMU itself in 2005 and 2007 in Hydraulic Engineering and Hydraulic & Hydro-Power Engineering. His first job was with AMU as Assistant Lecturer from July 2005 to August 2007. And from August 2007 to April 2010, he was Hydraulic Engineering Department Head and lecturer; thereafter, he headed to Munich University, Germany, for PhD studies in Water Resource Engineering.

In 2013, he started again as lecturer with AMU’s School of Post-Graduate Studies; and was later promoted Assistant Professor in December 2013. In August 2014, he was given the reins of Water Resource Research Centre as director before being elevated to present position.

He coordinated and served as director for Netherland Government’s NICHE project and also worked with South Water Works Construction Design and Supervision Enterprise on Weito project on surface water as Project Modeler.

Dr Abdella was instrumental in forging ties with Rift Valley Lake Basin Authority, and move is afoot to collaborate with Munich University in water sector. On striking balance, he said, I am committed to take AWTi to greater height in education, research and community service. And when, I am free, I also take classes.

On challenges, he said, getting highly potential professionals and researchers and shortage of qualified staff will be challenge indeed. However, we are devising a mechanism to handle them; still, I am optimistic that support will pour in from all across to make it happen, he signed off.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)