Professor Returns from Tanzania Following Work As Fulbright Scholar
Florida A&M University (FAMU) Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Primus V. Mtenga spent 10-months at the University of Dar-es-Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania as 2011-2012 Fulbright Scholar grantee. In these 10-months Dr. Mtenga taught courses in structural engineering. In addition, he conducted research on bridge maintenance with the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) in collaboration with Dr. Ladislaus Luambuka, a Senior Lecturer at UDSM, and three students from the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Dr. Mtenga and his collaborators studied the Dar-es-Salaam to Chalinze transportation corridor investigating the condition of the bridges in the corridor, in which a condition index was assigned for each bridge and the cost of restoring it to its pristine condition was established. The condition index, the estimated maintenance cost and associated user costs were then used to establish the maintenance prioritization of the bridges in the transportation corridor. Tanzania has a very limited roadway network. This network serves Tanzania as well as the neighboring countries which include the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia, Burundi, Ruanda and Uganda. In most instances, a considerable length of some of the arteries of this roadway network has no reliable detour when incidents make them necessary. For example, for a number of months the major road out of the port of Dar-es-Salaam (which goes through the corridor studied by Dr. Mtenga), had a segment reduced to one lane (for a two-way traffic) due to a compromised bridge between Mlandizi and Chalinze. This affected transportation of goods and services to all the neighboring countries listed above, as well as most of Tanzania hinterland.
"The opportunity afforded to me by the Fulbright program together with the sabbatical leave granted by FAMU, was very rewarding to my academic career," said Dr. Mtenga. "I was able to interact and brought new ideas to my Tanzanian colleagues and I learned a lot from them."
The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 286,500 people – 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each other's political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.
Dr. Mtenga joined the faculty of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering as an assistant professor of civil engineering. Since his arrival at the College more than twenty-one years ago, he has taught courses in the different areas of civil engineering including courses in engineering mechanics, design courses in wood, steel and concrete, structural analysis courses and numerical methods. His research interests include structural systems reliability, structural condition assessment and retrofit design, forensic engineering, wood and composite structures and engineering mechanics.
Dr. Mtenga has been published in prestigious journals and conferences in his profession. He is the recipient of a number of honors and awards including the Florida Society of Engineers Faculty Member of the Year for 2009.