PhD in Civil Engineering
Current position: Senior Lecturer at University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Research focus: concrete durability, service life prediction, steel corrosion in reinforced concrete structures, and repair and rehabilitation of concrete structures
With this background, Mike has worked as a civil engineer for several consulting and engineering firms in Kenya and Australia, and is lecturer in construction materials, including strength of materials, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2010 Carnegie scholarship to his PhD in South Africa
CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2010):
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Research focus: sustainable cement and concrete materials
Mike Otieno began his academic career at the University of Nairobi in his native Kenya where he earned a First Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, before his studies took him to South Africa. He has currently been awarded a Carnigie scholarship towards his PhD at the University of Cape Town.
At the University of Cape Town, he completed his Master’s Degree – also in Civil Engineering – and is now working towards a PhD in the same field. Mr Otieno was recently awarded a university research associateship in recognition of his excellent research efforts as an up-coming scientist. He also participates in environmental awareness programmes such as tree planting and has worked as an engineer for several consulting engineering firms in Kenya and Australia.
Mr Otieno’s current research focuses on the development of a model that will help engineers predict the rate of corrosion-induced deterioration in reinforced concrete structures. This will allow them to develop effective and efficient, sustainable maintenance and repair strategies. Construction of concrete-built infrastructure has been the subject of some debate, both in developed and developing countries. This is because traditionally, only technical and economic aspects were considered in the design of concrete construction. But they are often energy intensive, environmentally destructive and ignore the fulfilment of societal demands. Mr Otieno’s work strives to remedy this by creating clear guidelines that take these factors into account, and which can be used by design engineers.
The jury noted that Mr Otieno’s research on maintenance and conservation of concrete structures addresses an important issue in the field of sustainable economics. Long-term usability of the material and curbing CO2 emissions associated with the production of concrete materials are key to climate-friendly and sustainable management of resources.
For Mr Otieno the Green Talents Forum offers new possibilities: “A number of research institutions and universities in Germany are already carrying out a lot of research in sustainable concrete development,” Mr Otieno says. “And an opportunity to interact with the experts will be an eye-opener for my future career.”