Cecilia Apawu graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Expertise (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, in 1989, with a BSc diploma in Mining and Mineral Engineering. She was the primary lady to realize this diploma at a time when the variety of girls learning engineering was not more than 5 in a category of 2 hundred. Like all ultimate 12 months college students, Cecilia spent a lot of the 12 months on a sensible analysis venture, and he or she selected to work with the Suame Intermediate Expertise Switch Unit (ITTU) learning the work of conventional aluminium pot casters. The data that she gained, and the enhancements she devised, helped her to play a number one position within the growth of the grassroots foundry trade in different elements of Ghana.
The casting of huge spherical aluminium cooking pots is claimed to have began in Bolgatanga within the Higher East Area of Ghana, but it surely has unfold to a number of different elements of the nation, together with Suame Journal in Kumasi, Ghana’s largest casual industrial space and the house on the flip of the twenty-first century of greater than 100,000 artisans. Cecilia first met the aluminium pot casters in Suame however in her first skilled task she labored on the Tema ITTU, upgrading the work of the grassroots foundry males of Ashiaman, Tema’s twin city.
The pot makers use as a sample an imported iron pot minimize in two halves alongside the Greenwich meridian. The mould is product of sand. Scrap aluminium of every type is melted down in a charcoal-fired furnace and poured into the mould. After cooling, the mould is opened to extract the solid pot. When Cecilia started her work at Ashiaman, the artisans have been attaining a 70 p.c success charge. Cecilia got down to discover why the opposite 30 p.c of castings failed, and the way the success charge could possibly be improved.
With the assistance of Charles Ashun, a veteran technician of the Tema-based Volta Aluminium Firm of Kaiser Engineering, Cecilia studied each facet of the aluminium casting. As is all the time the case in such conditions, it was some months earlier than the Tema ITTU foundry might show a better success charge than the casual sector artisans, however when that time was reached a coaching programme was established and the artisans have been proven how they may obtain extra constant outcomes. One essential issue was the right number of the aluminium scrap as some varieties are usually not appropriate for re-casting. Different enhancements associated to the choice and preparation of the sand and the mould, and management of the pouring temperature of the molten aluminium.
Cecilia proved that Ghanaian girls can engineer in addition to males when given an equal alternative. Her presence within the ITTUs, and the nice work she achieved, did a lot to encourage different girls and alter the attitudes of males. She performed a number one position in Ghana’s ‘Ladies in Engineering Programme’ of the mid-Nineties. This transient account of her early work is printed within the hope that it’ll assist encourage different younger girls to contemplate a profession in engineering and apply their expertise within the financial growth of their nation, upwards from the grassroots.