Prof. Ing. Dr. Samuel Innocent Kofi Ampadu
Prof. Ampadu was born on 30th November 1956 at Kwahu Mpraeso in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He attended Mpraeso Roman Catholic Elementary School. In 1970 he started his Secondary Education at St. Peter’s Secondary School in Nkwatia Kwahu but after one year he moved to Pope John Secondary School in Koforidua where he completed his O’level studies. He returned to St. Peter’s Secondary School for his A’level studies in 1975. He is therefore an old boy of both Pope John Secondary School and St. Peter’s Secondary School.
He entered KNUST to read Civil Engineering in 1977 and graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering in 1981. In recognition of his potential for further academic work he was invited to do his National Service with the Civil Engineering Department. After that he stayed on as a Teaching Assistant, became an Assistant Lecturer and then a lecturer in 1985. In 1986 he entered the prestigious Tokyo University studying in the University’s advanced Institute of Industrial Science to pursue his post graduate studies. He successfully completed his MSc. studies in 1988 and went on to read his PhD at the same University. His PhD studies focused on the behavior of kaolin clay in torsional simple shear for which he conducted pioneering studies into very small strain measurements in clayey material in the laboratory. His studies have application in the evaluation of the response of engineering structures to working load deformations. After obtaining his doctorate in 1991 he joined a Japanese construction company in Tokyo as a post-doctoral intern for a year before returning to resume his lecturership at KNUST.
Upon his return, he continued to apply his expertise in advanced material testing and further developed his interest in construction methods. Between 1993 and 1994, Prof Ampadu’s interest and expertise in construction methods received further boost when he undertook a course in labour-based methods of construction at the International Institute of Infrastructure, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), in Delft, in the Netherlands. Immediately after that he was invited as a Research Fellow for a six month post-doctoral research at the Institute of Industrial Safety of the Ministry of Labour in Tokyo Japan.
In KNUST, he has taught soil mechanics, foundation engineering and geotechnical engineering as well as development engineering to undergraduate and postgraduate Civil, Geomatic and Geological Engineering Students. He has supervised over 20 post graduate student thesis and over 150 undergraduate student thesis. He has served as examinations officer for the Civil Engineering Department for several years and recently served as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. In 2004 he brought his expertise in project management to bear in leading a team to develop the Road and Transportation Engineering Project, a World Bank supported project to train high level personnel for the transportation industry, and served as its founding Project Manager for four years, shepherding it to become one of the flagships of the Civil Engineering Department with the ultimate objective of becoming a centre of excellence in transportation in the sub-region. At KNUST he served as Chairman of the Senior Members Housing Committee for several years and also served on the board of the University Construction Company. He has chaired several committees for the introduction of new programmes into the University.
Prof Ampadu’s research interest is in soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering as well as in labour-based road engineering. In the area of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering he has investigated into how the strength and deformation characteristics of local soils are affected by water. These studies are important in understanding how earth structures including road pavement subgrade strengths change with the seasons and therefore how to protect the huge investments made in the construction of roads. He has also investigated into how to extend the application of the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer to assist in estimation of bearing capacities for the design of simple structures, in compaction verification and in the prediction of the resilient moduli for design of road pavements. In labour-based road engineering, he has investigated into technical and cost comparison of using equipment and labour-based method for feeder road construction. He has published his research findings in over forty refereed journals and Conference Proceedings.
In recognition of his contribution to engineering practice in the country, he was promoted to the class of fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineers in 2006. Currently he is serving his second term as Vice President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers and chairs the Institution’s education committee. In his characteristic desire for excellence in professional practice, he worked to re-organized the Ghana Geotechnical Society which is a member of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and is currently the National President. In recognition of his expertise in geotechnical engineering, at the international level he has recently been appointed Chairman of the Technical Committee of the ISSMGE on Laterites and Lateritic soils (TC-107), one of only two Technical committees domiciled in Africa.
Prof. Ampadu’s expertise in Geotechnical and in Development engineering has been tapped for various projects in the country. In the sub-region his expertise has been used by several Development Partners including the EU, GTZ and InWent in the rebuilding of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Prof Ampadu’s interest in using construction to reduce poverty led him to develop a research project to support the widespread application of labour-based methods for rural road construction under the sponsorship of the International Labour Office and the Department of Feeder Roads of the Ministry of Roads and Highways. This project allowed him to travel extensively across the country. He is one of the focal points for the incorporation of labour-based approaches into tertiary engineering education in Africa.
Prof. Ampadu is a Catholic.. He has held many leadership positions in the Catholic Church starting with the Youth Movement of Pax Romana, and rising through chairmanship of various Parish committees to being the Vice Chairman and ultimately the Chairman of the Parish Council of the Catholic Chaplaincy of KNUST. In 2000, on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the establishment of the Diocese of Kumasi and the Re-dedication of the St Peter’s Cathedral in Kumasi he and his family received a special Apostolic Blessing from Pope John Paul II. This was followed in 2005, by the award of “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” by Pope Benedict XVI for his contribution to the development of the Catholic church in Ghana.
Prof Ampadu likes reading, music and football. He is married to Cecilia and has five sons.
On the 1st of October, 2010, Professor William Otoo Ellis was appointed as Vice Chancellor for a four year term to steer the affairs of this great institution by the Council of this University. He was inducted into office on the 2nd of October, 2010 and swore the oath of service and was formally outdoored to the University Community and to the rest of the general public.