The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in conjunction with ETH Zürich (Switzerland) has organised the maiden Summer School on Sustainable Solid Waste Management on Saturday 4th September to Friday 17th September 2021.
The 2021 KNUST-ETH Summer School, which was held under the theme "Rethinking Waste: Sustainable Solid Waste Management," provided participants with a one-of-a-kind learning experience that will include scientific presentations, workshops, and group work.
The Summer School combines input by lecturers from KNUST and ETH Zürich with insights from local experts, NGOs, and workers in waste management industry. A diverse programme with workshops and group work based on design thinking as well as several excursions to set students on the course of finding problems in solid waste management and thinking of ideas together with local teammates in-person, and international teammates virtually.
Dr. David A. Quansah, Senior Lecturer at KNUST's Department of Mechanical Engineering, said the Summer School, which was proposed two years ago after a visit to KNUST in 2019 by a team from ETH Zürich led by Rector Professor Sarah Springman, has come to fruition after numerous challenges posed by COVID-19. According to him, the Summer School is part of KNUST and ETH Zürich's contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr. Quansah revealed that the management of waste is one of the major challenges that confront developing nations including Ghana. This challenge, he said, is complex and multifaceted, hence it requires a viable and sustainable solution and the ability to integrate from a variety of disciplines.
He mentioned that this year’s event took place simultaneously at ETH Zürich campus and KNUST to provide participants the opportunity to interact, build and develop intercultural skills.
Dr. Quansah also noted that the School would allow participants to understand the scope and complexities of the challenges that confronts humanity and actively engage their creative thinking and talents to propose solutions that will transform the way Ghana manages its waste and ultimately make the world a better place.
The Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Professor George Yaw Obeng, in his closing remarks congratulated participants for the zeal and enthusiasm demonstrated during the workshop and was confident that participants have acquired new knowledge and skills to enable them tackle complex waste management challenges in Ghana. "We are excited that you have been able to develop various ideas, concepts and prototypes that seek to address waste management challenges and to see opportunities inherent in it", he said.
Professor Obeng hoped that participants would maintain the networks they have built with colleagues in Zürich and KNUST. He assured that KNUST would continue to develop partnerships such as the one with Zürich for the good of the society and the mutual benefits of partner institutions.
He also expressed appreciation to the facilitators, Professor Nana Kofi Adjei, Dr. Mrs. Dorothy Agyapong and Dr. Wilfred Elegba and the various tutors for their commitment in ensuring that participants are enriched with the needed knowledge.