Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility PROFILE - DR ROMULUS OKOTH OKWANY


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Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering and Technology
Directorate / Dept
Department of Agricultural Engineering
Soil and Water Engineering (Agricultural Water Management)
P. O. Box 536 20115 Egerton, Kenya

I am a results-driven water resources specialist with local to global experience in research, development and academic promotion of my professional expertise. As a Biological Systems Engineer I have extensive and intensive academic and profssional experiences that includes disciplinary basic sciences and research to their applications in multidisciplinary work areas such as extension education, project implementation, community mobilizatio and technology transfer. I have strong background in soil and water management practices and technologies, backed up with excellent communication skills, supervisory and personnel management and effective multidisciplinary awareness to support holistice engagement within and without my professional field.

I look forward to developing and applying my professional competencies towards multidisciplinary research skills and practical hands-on development in challenging environments to promote sustainable development of soil, water and energy resources within agricultural systems. Also aim to promote and propagate my knowledge and experiences in the development of my profession to the agricultural community at all levels of adoption and adaptation.

Google Scholar
  • PhD. Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering, December 2011. Dissertation: The impacts of sustained deficit irrigation management on mint and canola oil crops in the Columbia Basin, Pacific Northwest, USA. Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
  • MSc. Irrigation Engineering, Dec. 2006. Thesis: Leaching efficiency optimization as a function of water application rate in aggregated porous media. Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA
  • BSc. Agricultural Engineering, Nov. 2000. Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya
  • Irrigation and drainage systems design, evaluation management and maintenance
  • Soil-water-plant-energy interaction systems
  • Environmental management from agricultural systems pollution using natural and engineered systems
  • Integrated natural resources development and management
  • Development and management of human capital for the advancement of sustainable use of natural resources 
  1. Gender and Mainstreaming Training by the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies, Egerton University; June 21, 2018
  2. ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Awareness training, Egerton University; October 12, 2018
  3. Ethics, Integrity and Corruption Prevention Sensitization training, Integrity Promotion Office, Egerton University; October 18, 2018
  4. National Cohesion and National Values training, Coordination Office of National Cohesion and National Values, Egerton University; February 27, 2019
  5. Certificate of participation on workshop to sensitize stakeholders on the Recognition of Prior Learning in Kenya, Kenya National Qualifications Authority; June 29, 2020
  6. Certificate of participation on workshop to validate the Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) system in Kenya, Kenya National Qualifications Authority; July 14, 2020

Lecturer, Egerton University, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Njoro

Period: September 2017 – Present

  • Provision of upper level undergraduate and postgraduate courses in irrigation and drainage, soil and water conservation engineering and hydraulic structures
  • Guidance and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate student research activities
  • Provision of administrative and academic support to the Department of Agricultural Engineering management and academic body
  • AGEN Departmental and FET Postgraduate Representative at the Board of Postgraduate Studies (2018 – Present)
  • Member of the FET Board of Examiners (2017 – Present)
  • Chairperson for all postgraduate departmental and faculty proposal defenses
  • Internal Independent Examiner for postgraduate theses in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology
  • Appointment as Acting Chairman of the Department of Agricultural Engineering (September 17 – October 7, 2018)

International Researcher, Irrigation Engineer - Nepal; International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Period: July 2013 – June 2017

  • Designed and implemented competitively-funded research projects through USAID, CGIAR, and AusAID/DFAT programs
  • Carried out social-technical diagnosis of irrigated agriculture production systems and designed appropriate irrigation and agronomic interventions
  • Developed system approaches to water sources utilization for sustainable irrigation
  • Designed and piloted irrigation water management systems for agricultural production and environmental sustainability for up- and out-scaling
  • Undertook research on climate change impacts on irrigated agriculture productivity
  • Organized and facilitated project meetings and workshops, including trainings as project lead or project team member
  • Cultivated and maintained relationships with project partners and other stakeholders pursuing related work to ensure awareness, complementarity and knowledge dissemination
  • Reported research results through journal publications, briefing/policy papers, conference and poster presentations, workshops and stakeholder meetings
  • Planned, managed, facilitated and implemented training programs on pertinent research areas for both professional and stakeholder audiences

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Washington State University, Prosser, WA

Period: January 2012 – June 2013

  • Designed and conducted irrigation water management strategies for biofuel and forage (warm-season grasses, poplar trees and alfalfa) studies
  • Conducted field studies on runoff reduction in center pivots and linear move irrigation systems
  • Evaluated performance of Atmometers for alfalfa, grass and agricultural environments of Northwest USA
  • Collected and analyzed research data with respect to research objectives
  • Published, reported and presented study results in stakeholder and scientific conferences

Graduate Research Assistant, Washington State University, Prosser, WA

Period: July 2007- December 2011

  • Carried out research on irrigation system management and deficit irrigation studies for specialty oil crops (mint and canola) and biofuel feedstock (switch grass)
  • Managed the irrigation planning and scheduling for a research universal center pivot irrigation system for research plots of various crops
  • Prepared and presented extension materials in irrigation water and soil quality for sustainable agricultural production

Graduate Research Assistant, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Period: August 2003- May 2006

  • Assisted with laboratory and field studies in solute transport (salinity management) for irrigated agriculture
  • Designed and tested laboratory sensor probes for salinity measurements for leaching experiments
  • Prepared and presented research results at scientific conferences

Seed Production Assistant, Oil Crop Development Ltd. Nakuru, Kenya

Period: April 2001 – July 2003

  • Planned and implemented parental and commercial seed production programs
  • Provided technical backup to the seed sales teams to enhance customer satisfaction
  • Coordinated the agronomic management of seed crop plantations’ operations
  • Spear-headed the development of a staff-management feedback system
  • Created and taught one-week seminars for quality targeted seed crop production for farmers

Technical Assistant, HydroSystems Consultants, Nakuru – Kenya

Period: May 2000 – June 2003

  • Designed, marketed and installed small-scale drip and sprinkler irrigation systems for peri-urban horticulture, home-gardening and small holder enterprises resulting in increased adoptions and market base
  • Advised and trained community farmer groups in management and operation of sprinkler and flood irrigation systems with consequent food production stabilization
  1. Water in a nexus with agriculture; funded by Nordic Development Fund through the Orange Knowledge Programme; 2021-2022; implemented in Kenya (667000 EURO)
  2. Design and deployment of a remote wireless irrigation scheme management, control and automated system; funded by CESSAM; 2021-2022; implemented in Kenya (KES 1200000)
  3. Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING); funded by USAID through the Feed The Future initiative, 2011-2016; Implemented in Ethiopia (USD 1.5m)
  4. Assessment of water resources and demand for irrigation in nine districts within the Eastern Gangetic Plains; funded by the ACIAR, 2013-2014; Implemented in Nepal and India (AUD 150000)
  5. Watershed Hydrology Impact monitoring Research, implemented as part of the Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Ecoregions; funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Nordic Development Fund; 2015-2017; Implemented in Nepal (USD 800000)
  6. Water management interventions to cope with climate variability in Indo-Gangetic Plains, funded by the ACIAR, 2012-2014; implemented in Nepal, India and Bangladesh (AUD 250000)
  1. Development of Irrigation and drainage systems design, evaluation, management and maintenance
  2. Control and management of non-point source pollution from agricultural production systems using natural and engineered systems
  3. Soil-water-crop interaction systems (on-farm agricultural water management)
  4. Integrated natural resources management research and stakeholder mobilization processes
  5. Development and management of human capital in the advancement of natural resource management
  1. Nyokabi, E.W., Wambua, R.M. and Okwany, R.O. Assessment of rainfall, streamflow and reservoir level trends for Malewa River catchment, Naivasha, Kenya. Journal of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. doi: 10.11648/j.XXXX.2020XXXX.XX ISSN: 2637-3882 (Print); ISSN: 2637-3890
  2. Ndayitegeye, O., Onyando, J.O., Okwany, R.O. and Kwach, J.K. 2020. Evaluation of CROPWAT 8.0 model in predicting the yield of East Africa Highland banana under different sets of irrigation scheduling. Fundamental and Applied Agriculture, 5(3):344-352. https//
  3. Ndayitegeye, O., Onyando, J.O., Okwany, R.O. and Kwach, J.K. 2019. Vegetative growth of banana as influenced by deficit irrigation and irrigation interval. Fundamental and Applied Agriculture, 4(4):1047-1053.
  4. Thapa, B.R., Shrestha, S.R., Okwany, R.O. and Neupane, M. 2019. Shallow aquifer potential mapping in the foothills of Churia in eastern Gangetic Plain of Saptari District, Nepal. Applied Water Science. 9:92.
  5. Okwany, R.O., Prathapar, S. and Bastakoti, C.R. Renovating open shallow dug wells for off-season home gardening in Nepal Terai. Irrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering. 6(3): 191 doi: 10.4172/2168-9768.1000191
  6. Okwany, R.O. Small catchment water resource assessment as a driver for watershed management plans: Case study of Banlek and Shikharpur springsheds in Far West Nepal. Research Report on Watershed Hydrology Impact Monitoring Research. IWMI, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 40pgs.
  7. Okwany, R. O. Pond and groundwater resources for irrigation intensification - Research Report. ACIAR Dry season irrigation for marginal and tenant farmers (DSI4MTF) Project. IWMI. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 43pgs
  8. Okwany, R.O. Improving livelihoods for smallholder rural communities of Nepal through renovated shallow dug wells. Proceedings of the 2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting. Orlando, Florida, USA. July 17-20, 2016.
  9. Okwany, R.O., S. Prathapar, R.C. Bastakoti and M.K. Mondal. 2016. Shallow subsurface drainage for managing seasonal flooding in Ganges floodplain, Bangladesh. J. Irrig. and Drain., doi: 1002/ird.1990.
  10. Bastakoti,C., S.A. Prathapar and R.O. Okwany. 2016. Community pond rehabilitation to deal with climatic variability: A case study in Nepal Terai. Water Resources and Rural Development DOI: 10.1016/j.wrr.2016.01.001
  11. Bharati,, P. Chinnasamy, A. Khadka and R.O. Okwany. 2015 Watershed hydrology impact monitoring research. Inception Report. Project report of the Building Climate Resilient Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions (BCRWME). 73 pages.
  12. Prathapar,A., N. Rajmohan, R. Bastakoti and R. Okwany. 2014. Water management interventions to cope with climate variability in Indo-Gangetic Plains. Final Project Report. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  13. Girma,, R.O. Okwany, and S. Fransen. 2014. Soil nitrate following biofuel feedstock grasses and irrigation in the Pacific Northwest. Agron. J. 106(6):1-7. Doi: 10.2134/agronj3-0292
  14. Nakawuka, P.N.,O. Okwany, T.R. Peters, K. Desta and S.H. Sadeghi. 2014. Efficacy of boom systems in controlling runoff under center pivots and linear move irrigation systems. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 30(5):797-801. (doi: 10.13031/aea.30.10540)
  15. Nakawuka, P., T.R. Peters, K.R. Gallardo, D. Toro-Gonzalez, O. Okwany and D.B. Walsh. 2014. Effect of deficit irrigation on yield, quality and costs of the production of native spearmint. J. Irrig. Drain Eng. 140(5), 0501400 (2014);
  16. Okwany, R.O.,R. Peters, K.L. Ringer, and D.B. Walsh. 2012. Sustained deficit irrigation effects on Peppermint yield and oil quality in the semi-arid Pacific Northwest, USA. Journal of Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 28(4):551-558.
  17. Okwany, R.O., T.R. Peters, K.L. Ringer, D.B. Walsh and M.R. Londono. 2012. Impact of sustained deficit irrigation on spearmint (Mentha spicata) biomass production, oil yield and oil quality. Journal of Irrigation Science 30(3):213-213.
  1. Girma, K., O. Okwany, S. Fransen, T.R. Peters, W. Pan, M. Ottman, H. P. Collins and J. Davenport. 2012. Soil profile nitrogen under different biofuel feedstock grasses and irrigation regimes in the irrigated arid Pacific Northwest. ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings, Oct. 21-24, 2012, Cincinnati, OH.
  2. Okwany, R.O. and S. Fransen. 2012. Switchgrass as a bioenergy crop for the Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting. Oct. 21-24, 2012, Cincinnati, OH.
  3. Okwany, R.O., T.R. Peters, K.L. Ringer, D.B. Walsh, R. Stevens, A.N. Hang and J. Davenport. 2010. Evaluation of yield quantity and quality of two oil crops in the promotion of sustained deficit irrigation in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Proceedings of the 5Th Decennial National Irrigation Symposium. Phoenix AZ 5-8, 2010. ASABE, St. Joseph, MI.
  4. Okwany, R.O., T.R. Peters and K.L. Ringer. 2009. Effect of sustained deficit irrigation on hay and oil yield of native spearmint (Mentha spicata L.). USCID 5th International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage, Irrigation and Drainage for food, energy and the environment. Salt Lake City, Utah 3-6, 2009.
  5. Peters, T.R., O. Okwany, D.B. Walsh, R. Boydston, K.L. Ringer and R. Baker. 2009. Deficit irrigation of spearmint and peppermint. Washington Mint Commission: Mint growers’ research day and barbecue. June 1, 2010. IAREC - WSU, Prosser, WA
  6. Peters, T.R. and O. Okwany. 2010. Sustained deficit irrigation as a feasible management strategy for growing mint. Washington Mint Commission: Mint growers’ research day and barbecue. June 2, 2009. IAREC - WSU, Prosser, WA
  7. Okwany, R.O.,R. Peters and D.B. Walsh. 2008. Yield and water use efficiency response of mint and alfalfa to sustained deficit irrigation. Proceedings of the Pacific Northwest Section of ASABE. Sept. 9-12, 2008. Boise, ID
  8. Okwany, R.O., T.R. Peters, K.L. Ringer, D.B. Walsh, R.A. Boydston and R. Baker. 2008. Impact of sustained deficit irrigation on spearmint water usage and yield. Project report for the 2008 grant from the mint commission. Published in the proceedings of the U.S. Mint Commission Conference. Dec. 2008. Hawaii.
  9. Okwany, R.O. and S.C. Fransen. 2011. Water Use and Irrigation Management of Switch Grass, Silage Corn and Sorghum for Biofuel Feedstock in the Arid Pacific Northwest USA. SWCS 66th International Annual Conference, July 17-20, 2011. Washington DC.

Second Position Award; Graduate Student Poster Competition: Spring Runoff Conference, Utah State University, Logan Utah. March 27-28, 2006

First Runner-Up Award; Graduate Student Poster Award, Western Regional National Cooperative Soil Survey (WRCSS) / Western Society of Soil Science (WSSS) Conference, Park City, Utah. June 19-23, 2006.

MSc. – Two years’ academic merit scholarship sponsored by the African-Canadian Continuing Education Society

BSc. Six years 75% academic merit scholarship sponsored by the African-Canadian Continuing Education Society

  1. Irrigation systems, design and management
  2. Soil and water conservation and management
  3. Environmental Impact assessment
  4. Hydraulic structures
  5. Water resources development and engineering
  6. surface and groundwater hydrology
  7. Soil mechanics
  8. Personal mastery and soft skills
  9. Scientific writing and publishing
  10. Soil erosion and sedimentation
  11. Environmental engineering


  1. Elizabeth Nyokabi; MSc AGEN 2018 - On-going
  2. Priscilla Sesani; MSc. AGEN 2019- On-going
  3. Kamillo Macham Barach Atem MSc. AGEN 2018-On-going
  4. Fridah Mukami Muriithi; MSc. WREM 2019-On-going
  1. Olivier Ndayitegeye; PhD. WREM 2016-2021; Awaiting graduation
  2. Jairus Serede Imbenzi; PhD. AGEN 2016 - On-going
  1. American Society of Agronomy, Member
  2. Crop Science Society of America, member
  3. Soil Science Society of America, Member
  4. U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, Member
  5. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, Member
  6. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Member
  7. American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Member
  8. Irrigation Association, Member
  9. International Network on Participatory Irrigation Management – Nepal, Life Member
  10. Patron of Postgraduate Student Social Entrepreneurship Club, Egerton University
  11. Technical Committee Lead, Hygiene For All – Community Based Organisation based in Nakuru County
  12. Member, Arap Chumo Project Group – community based welfare group
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