Engineer Dr. Lilian Kaale scoops the prestigious Mama Mhandisi Award

Wed, 30.Aug.2023 22.18

By Dotto Kuhenga, CMU

The University of Dar es Salaam College of Agriculture and Food Science  (CoAF) academician Dr. Lilian Kaale has scooped the prestigious Female Engineer (Mama Mhandisi) Award (MMA-2023), offered by the Institution of Engineers Tanzania–Women Chapter (IET-WC).

According to the information communicated earlier to Dr. Kaale, the award, which was presented to her early this August 2023, has been offered to this UDSM’s senior lecturer honouring her accomplishments along with other exceptional contestants of MMA.

“We are delighted to inform you that you have been selected as one of the winners for the prestigious Mama Mhandisi Awards (MMA-2023)! Congratulations on this remarkable achievement and recognition of your outstanding contribution in the field of engineering”, stated the said information.

IET-WC is one of the chapters established in 2002 under the Institution of Engineers Tanzania (IET) to foster professional excellence and provide responsive services for women in engineering. IET-WC works towards reducing the gender gap by promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education starting at the secondary school level.

The organisation operates with more than 1000 members from different engineering disciplines. It also provides opportunities for engineering students to learn and participate in its activities of the chapter.

Mama Mhandisi Awards

According to IET-WC, it established the Mama Mhandisi Awards in 2021 in recognition of women contribution in the engineering field and are awarded during the Tanzania Women Engineers Convention and Exhibitions (TAWECE) day which is held annually.

“These awards are for celebrating and recognizing female engineers from the level of diploma to degree who have demonstrated their capabilities in the criteria stated for the categories namely Female Engineer Contractor of the year; Female Engineer Leader of the year; and Female Engineer Innovator of the year”, describes IET-WC.

IET-WC added: “All women technicians and engineers who feel they meet the criteria are encouraged to apply. As well we are welcomed to nominate those we know are qualifying under given categories”.

Dr. Kaale, who has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Chemical and Process Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Food Engineering, has accumulated a decade of experience as a Senior Lecturer in the field of engineering. She has been Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam's since 2016.

UDSM Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Prof. Hannibal J. Bwire congratulated Dr. Kaale on this achievement and said the University was very proud of her marvellous efforts related to innovation and community service.  

Dedication to academic achievements

Dr. Kaale has demonstrated academic excellence throughout her career by supervising Ph.D. and master's students and making a substantial contribution in food science through research, dissemination and publications in national and international journals.

She is currently leading six projects as principal investigator with a total worth of 1.3 billion Tanzanian Shillings. Funders of three of these projects are World Bank-through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, UNESCO-IDRC and the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology. Corresponding projects funded, respectively, are “On Farm Produce Safe Handling and Postharvest Technology”, “Extraction and Evaluation of Natural Antifungal Compounds from Plants and their Effectiveness on Prevention of Mycotoxins in Cereals and Groundnuts in Tanzania” and “Online Detection of Parameters Causing Aflatoxins in Foods”.

The three remaining projects are funded by UDSM, including “Designing and Fabricating of Superheated Steam Dryer for Drying Sardines: A case study of Mafia”, “Active Food Packaging Based on Bio-Nanomaterials and Non-Woven Textile Fabrics” and “Commercialization of Bamboo Wine Produced Locally from Bamboo Beverage in Tanzania” all worth 350 million Tanzanian Shillings.

Dr. Kaale has 840 citations and 40 publications in both national and international journals. She has won multiple certificates of excellence in recognition of her great work both inside and outside the country, demonstrating how her commitment and contributions to the profession have been valued. As one of 20 Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics in the Developing Countries, she was awarded a US$50,000 grant for the academic year 2018-2019 to carry on her study on mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins.