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JKUAT Don Awarded First Professor Emeritus Title

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture (JKUAT) has issued the first award of Professor Emeritus to Prof Surindar Uppal.

Professor Surindar Uppal is a long-serving Professor of Mathematics who retired from JKUAT in December 2020 and has now been awarded the honorary title for his distinguished contribution to academic research and extensive philanthropy at JKUAT.

Prof Uppal achieved the milestone in his well-decorated career having also entered the institution’s history books by being the first Full Professor back in 1996.

Prof Uppal has made notable contributions to the field of Mathematics has been the author of eight books and publishing 37 scholarly articles in internationally ranked and peer-reviewed journals with 29 of them being on Mathematics and 8 of them on Mathematics Education.

As recognition of his crucial role in Kenya’s education sector, Prof Uppal was awarded Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear in 2011 by the then President of Kenya Emilio Mwai Kibaki. He has also been awarded the title, ‘Ambassador for Peace’ by the University Peace Federation.

His prominent students include five Vice Chancellors of Kenyan universities, three Chairperson of Hindu Council of Kenya, Director Bio-Tech Institute Dr Vishwa Dixit, Chairman Bidco Ltd Dr Vimal Sha, founder of Mount Kenya University Prof Simon Gicharu and the former Chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission and council member at JKUAT Mr Gabriel Lengoiboni.

Singing his praise was Chairperson of JKUAT Council Ambassador (Eng) Mahboub Maalim Mohamed who was full of praise for Prof Uppal, noting that his illustrious career is iconic of academic success.

While lauding the career of Prof Uppal, Amb. Maalim said that the university council fully supported the awarding of the Professor Emeritus Title.

“We appreciate people like you who work hard to give back to the community and we are happy that you are the first Professor Emeritus in the university,” said Amb Maalim.

On her part, Prof Victoria Wambui Ngumi characterized Prof Uppal as a man of high integrity.

She also said that the decision to award the prestigious title to him was informed by wide consultation and consensus by both the Council and the Senate.

The VC implored Prof Uppal to continue writing research papers and books to permanently mark his extensive knowledge in Mathematics.

Mr Lengoiboni bore witness to Prof Uppal’s dedication saying that his continued presence in the university is a valuable academic asset.

Prof Uppal who was delighted by the milestone said that the institution had laid upon him great responsibility and honour.

Reflecting on his career, Uppal that the key behind his success was making Mathematics fun by relating it to the life experiences of his students.

He said that even with retirement, he is still supporting many students like Rose Lengima from Samburu, a medical student at JKUAT who is set to graduate next month.

Uppal graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Pure and Applied Mathematics with Honours. This was followed by a Master of Arts in Mathematics, a Bachelor of Teaching in Mathematics Education and then a Doctorate in Mathematics specializing in Riemannian Geometry.

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