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Meet Godfrey Rwakafunjo

Graduate Civil Engineer

There are as may reasons for joining University as the number of students, some join because it is simply the next stage of their education, others joins to simply keep up with their peers but amidst all those are students who are driven by the strong desire to get educated so as they can be problem solvers in their communities. Today we caught up with Godfrey Rwakafunjo, a Graduate Civil Engineer who after seeing the bad road network in his village was motivated to study Civil Engineering for purpose of aquiring knowledge and going back to his community to help solve that pressing need. This is what we asked 

So in simple terms, who is Godfrey Rwakafunjo?

He is a self motivated , hard working individual who aspires to grow in the fields of Civil Engineering

How would you define Civil Engineering and its respective areas of specialization?

Civil Engineering is derived from the opposite of "Miltary Engineering" . So whatever is in built environment is part of Civil engineering. The areas of specialization include
1 - Road Construction Works
2 - Buildings and Bridges
3 - Power Dams and Water Dams
4 - Water and Waste Water Management (Sanitary Engineering)
5 - Solid waste Management( Construction of land fills)

So in a nutshell, how is civil engineering different from construction management?

Civil Engineering mainly involves DESIGN of elements (buildings, water schemes, roads ..etc ) while Construction Management is entirely about managing and supervision of a project as the name suggests. eg A Civil Engineer draws plans of a building and the Construction Manager makes sure that construction is carried out as planed by managing workers , supervising works, cost review, material, and time .In other words they work together.

With over 500 courses to choose from at the different tertiary institutions,what was your motivation to choose Civil Engineering, Any key people who influenced you to pursue this career?

The desire to have impact on society by building them a road especially in my village where all roads were very poor. No key person really influenced apart from my classmates that had the same dream and combination

What is a typical day at work like while working as a Civil Engineer?

I start by getting drawings from an engineer which i then study and "take off" ( measuring areas ) using softwares. I then proceed to obtain prices of several variables and develop a price report .I occasionally visit construction sites and take actual site measurements of work done ( however you could stay on site longer ). I too execute any other duty as assigned by my supervisor

What are those particular skills that you bring to your work place and how important are they?

1. Design skills and use of new softwares which speed up work 
2. Communication skills are key and they are vital in every stage.

What are those cool things about your job?

Seeing a project come to life eg a building that you planned being finished brings a sense of satisfaction.

Any challenges ?

1. Sometimes you have to work past the normal time to beat deadlines (happens everywhere )
2. Clients who keep changing designs , this makes the whole process longer and demotivating

What subjects did you take in school and how have they influenced your career path (Share how they are relevant in your day to day work) ?

I chose PCM/ Fine Art
Physics and Maths are vital in Design of Roads or Buildings or any works so they help me to understand what to apply where.They also aid in understanding the softwares being used in Design .
Chemistry - Helps in understanding the properties of different materials being used , Eg what type of paint will work on a building and how it will react in different situations,..etc ( Though it can be got from building codes/books) so chemistry is 20% applied in the field

Share with us your experience just after campus leading to your current job ?

I was anxious, i was wondering who would employ me since most engineering jobs want people with experience . I also didn't know a lot of people in the Engineering field .I thought of starting a company , but I had no money and experience.
Luckily a friend got a job and they told him to recommend a friend who could be reliable and hardworking . Thats how I got my first job So its always good to keep a good relationship with your mates, In engineering most jobs are by referrals so keep a good attitude towards people .

What is your Education to date and from which University did you attain it from?

I have a Bachelors of Science in Civil engineering From Makerere University

Where there any additional studies you underwent to better your skills for this current role you are in?

None at the moment

What aspects of your education journey have proven most important for as you work?

I learnt to adopt to new environment and get along with any worker ( inter personal skills ) I also learnt new software which are key in the engineering field.

What trends are you seeing in your career field?

I see Information Technology playing a very important role . More software are being developed which make work easier and also you have to keep up to date by adopting such new software.

What have been the most rewarding events / moments in your career so far?

When I completed Surveying works on a 95km road . This was done in 3 months.

Godfrey at one of the road construction projects

As a student, how did you cope up with the pressure to succeed / excel in class?

That was really hard, but discipline was and still everything .I define descipline as writing down what you want to achieve, How you want to achieve it and purpose to be consistent for consistency is they Key .In that regard i consistently did the following
1. I drafted a time table and followed it like my life depended on it. I borrowed the phrase " There is Time for Everything" from the Bible .
2. I also had a discussion group of 3 people whom we would discus often ( So walk with those on the same mission as you , remember United you stand , divided you fall) .
3.  I also read and would consult teachers where I could not understand
4.  Finally i would pray after all there is "power in prayer" you need divine knowledge to be consistency and separate what is good and bad. - avoid bad groups and time wasters

What outside class activities did you engage in and how have they proved beneficial for you in your core line of work today ?

I was the Chairperson Science Club , that taught me some leadership skills and presentation skills that I still cling on up today. I was also part of Youth Alive club and it exposed me to several other communities which boosted my confidence.

Any parting remarks?

As a student you can be volatile , bad groups can deter you from your purpose at school. Get a teacher as a friend and always contact them , ask them about careers and they can guide you very well to make the right choice. Keep the good works , work with friends and you will make it in Life .

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