YES Programs



Empowering Engineering Students through Public Lectures

Alumnus posing with group of students in front of lecture hall

By Amadu Gbassay Kabia (YES 2010-2011, Sierra Leone, placed by AYUSA in Harper, TX)

In an era where research plays a pivotal role in academic and professional success, it is essential to equip engineering students with fundamental research skills. Recognizing this imperative, the Fourah Bay College - Engineering Society organized public lectures to provide engineering students with the essential skills and resources needed for success in research.

Fourah Bay College (FBC), renowned as the oldest university in West Africa, has a rich history and holds a prestigious place in the educational landscape of the region. Among its many faculties and departments, the engineering faculty stands out as one of the most crucial. The faculty comprises three main departments—Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Offering honor programs with a duration of five years, the engineering faculty mandates mini-projects and final year project dissertation research for all students at the culmination of each program. However, the faculty lacks essential resources such as a library, a well-equipped laboratory, and other research facilities, putting significant pressure on students who often lack basic research and writing skills.

Flyer for event feature photo of alumnus

As a former student of the university with a bachelor's degree in engineering with honors in civil engineering, former president of the esteemed Engineering Society and the YES-FBC Corner, who then went on to earn a master’s degree in road and transportation engineering, I was honored with an invitation to champion a research and writing skills session in February of 2023.

The primary objective of the public lectures was to empower engineering students with the necessary tools to conduct effective and meaningful research, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in classrooms and the practical skills essential for impactful research in engineering disciplines. During the session, participants were guided through the development of engineering research topics; searching for pertinent literature for reviews; paraphrasing; citing and crediting related research works; experimental design; processes of data collection and analysis; academic writing; and the effective use of online research tools and databases.

Alumnus presenting in front of large screen

At the end of each sub-session, participants had the opportunity to practice the skills they learned. By the end of all the sessions, participants had acquired a comprehensive understanding of basic research methodologies and techniques; knowledge of available resources for research within and beyond the university; and ways to enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills among engineering students, as well as the art of writing a dissertation project. The success of this event lays the groundwork for future initiatives aimed at fostering a culture of research excellence within the engineering community at Fourah Bay College.

In conclusion, the Vice President of the Engineering Society, Tamba Kassegbama, shared an insightful reflection: "This is regarded as a one-of-a-kind experience in gaining knowledge that will help all participants, especially the final year students, navigate their research work with ease. We hope the Engineering Society will continue organizing this type of session in the future."