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BUST Honours Dr. Norbert Pintsch

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It was the sixth convocation of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology. The air was full, everyone was alert as the College of Professors and Doctors filled past to the ceremonial grounds.


It all began with an ecumenical service conducted by the Muslim , Presbyterian , Catholic and Baptist clergy. The grandaunts were called upon to have trust in God because their graduating today is because they had their trust in God. And that God who had empowered them this far will continue to empower them to the end.

Speaking on behalf of the University of Buea, with whom BUST has affiliations, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. V.K. Titanji told the Administration and graduates that UB will always keep its promises within the rules regulating higher education in Cameroon and that BUST has become one of the best higher institutions. Even despite the odds, BUST has effectively maintained the ideals of its founding father Rt Hon. John Ngu Foncha. Prof. Titanji revealed that BUST and UB signed a partnership in 2004 and UB is expected to always mentor BUST and present the later students at state examinations. For this reason, Diplomas are printed abroad to ensure higher quality. Prof. Titanji also stressed that the students graduating have received solid training and have received the stringent measures as stated by higher education Minister.

The Vice Chancellor of BUST Prof. Joseph B. Suh also noted that BUST has a long standing affiliation with UB that inter-alia guarantees their degrees, diplomas and certificates. He noted that BUST was graduating over 200 new lawyers and in twelve years of her existence has produced a total of 630 graduates. He equally stated that the issue of BUST is not numbers per sec but quality which remains their overriding and burning passion. Prof. Suh was also delighted to announce that their August visitor and benefactor over the years, Professor Doctor Norbert Pintsch of Free University Berlin, Germany was present and slated to be the proud recipient of BUST honorary degree which they will kindly bestow in recognition of his many contributions I the field of Appropriate Technology in Cameroon in general and the North West Region in particular.

The high point of the graduation was the award of an honorary Doctorate Degree to Prof. Norbert Pintsch the German born architect. The Vice Chancellor rose cap and addressed the Chancellor “Mr. Chancellor, candidate has been nominated by the Board of Governors of I n d u s t r i a l Development and Education Company (INDECO) for the honorary Doctorate Degree of Science and has been found worthy by the Senate.

Therefore, call upon the Dean of Post graduate studies to present the candidate Prof. Pintsch was presented and the Chancellor rose and received him saying “By the authority conferred on me, I confer on you the honorary degree of Doctors of Science”.

It was then that the Vice Chancellor assisted the Chancellor to rose and cap Prof. Pintsch. Before dressing up Prof. Pintsch, this is what the Vice Chancellor Prof. Suh said of Prof. Pintsch. Our candidate for the award of the first Bust Honorary Doctor of Science was born in Germany in the 1940’s. He is a professional architect who completed a building project at the age of 18, but later became a mud enthusiast by choice.

He is Norbert Pintsch, a remarkable global actor, as you would soon learn from his education and excerpt of his professional profile. Given that our candidate does not like publicity, may I refer you to what many have written and published about him on the web. I will therefore be very brief.

Professor Dr. Norbert Pintsch earned three master’s degree in Civil engineering, Architecture and Business Administration and two Ph. D. degrees respectively, in History of Arts from the University of Maryland, USA and in Philosophy - Sociology from the Germany University of Hagen. He was an outstanding Professor and Teacher at the Free University, Berlin.

His work profile reveals that he got into high steel construction from 1962-1965 and later combined research, lecturing, consultancy and national development plans, project design and building projects in his own country. Since 1973, he has worked on 133 different projects in Europe. He extended his global outreach to Pakistan, Cameroon and Columbia as a volunteer director in appropriate technology. In fact, he was one of the first leaders in mud architecture; a great resource which focuses on architectural construction with a variety of mud forms.

One of the best starting points for Prof. Dr. Pintsch is the mud building that stands in the Peerzada Festival area, the Green Acre of Lahore in Pakistan. Professor Dr. Pintsch had his first contact with BUST in 1995 and has since then, maintained regular visits to the institution. Since 2001, Professor Pintsch has also worked very closely with CAT-Cameroon, an appropriate technology centre in Bamenda. The main thrust of his current efforts combine self help projects with NGO concepts and university programs. From this, one can now understand the significance and potential gain from this BUST award. Like the late Founding Chairman of INDECO Ltd, His Right Honorable Dr. John Ngu Foncha, Prof. Pintsch holds that “It is essential to teach and encourage students to practice construction with local materials”.

Some of Prof. Dr. Pintsch’s work on appropriate technology includes working with children to evaluate the effects of climate change, building agricultural driers from solar energy, preparing small biogas units, building solar water heaters, constructing dry closet toilets, constructing wind mills and figuring out how to use appropriate technology to assess traffic data. These are all technological applications which are very useful to Cameroonians in general and the rural Cameroonian in particular. Consequently, BUST with the assistance of Prof. Dr. Pintsch is ready to start a school of Appropriate Technology during the 2012-2013 academic year. This will enable, not only Cameroonians but all young men and women within the Sub Region to be trained in the different appropriate technologies, in order that the products of such trainings can be made available to more users. Our Right Honorable Chancellor Sir, this is a very brief profile of your Doctoral Candidate. Prof. Pintsch is quite ready to start a school of Appropriate Technology at BUST with the collaboration of Centre for Appropriate Technology, CAT Cameroon. Prof. Pintsch has been working with CAT Cameroon for over 15 years.

Shortly after the honorary recognition, Prof. Pintsch went back to the Head Office of CAT Cameroon where students of CRTV Youth Forum were receiving lectures on Appropriate Technology. Over the years, CAT Cameroon has been collaborating with schools, organizing free passive solar active technology training workshops for students. It has also been organizing open days or public exhibitions on some Appropriate Technologies as solutions to climate change and adaptation. During such, some site attractions like cooking, baking, drying, boiling, lighting with solar energy have often taken pride of place. It should be noted that the Director and CEO of CAT Cameroon, have made CAT to excel in the field of Appropriate Technology with a ten year experience.
Impressions from Life Time Newspaper where this article appeared first.


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