These Four Nigerian Women Are #RaisingTheBar In Engineering
The science of engineering has been responsible for a large amount of development in our lives today. We now live easier lives in better homes using better means of transportation, to name a few developments.
Every year, on the 23rd of June, the world celebrates women in Engineering. Although engineering is largely seen as a male-dominated sector, it is far from it. International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an international awareness campaign that was launched by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 2014. It aims at raising the profile of women in engineering. The campaign celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world and encourages more young women to consider engineering as a career.
This year, with the #RaisingTheBar theme, the aim is to go even higher. We have curated a list of some spectacular Nigerian women who have made their mark in the world of engineering with some incredible achievements against all odds.
Funke Opeke obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University and Columbia University respectively. After this, she began her career in ICT in Verizon Communications in New York City. Then, in 2005, she joined MTN Nigeria. She also worked with Transcorp and NITEL for a brief period of time.
In 2008, the electrical engineer founded MainOne Cable Company, a leading communications service and network solutions provider in Nigeria, to combat low internet connectivity. The company built West Africa’s first privately-owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.
Juliet Ehimuan graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with first class honours in Computer Engineering. She then obtained a postgraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and then completed an MBA programme from London Business School.
Ehimuan’s career began in 1995 in the Shell Petroleum Development Company. She has also worked in Microsoft UK, MSN International, Charm Plc and, more recently, Google. She also started a firm called Strategic Insight Consulting Ltd. A Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society, Ehimuan’s contributions to technology and entrepreneurship have won her several awards and recognitions, including being listed as one of Forbes’ 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa.
In the early 70s, when engineering was still perceived as a profession for boys, Engr Mrs Mayen Adetiba was inspired to study Electrical Electronics and then Civil Engineering at Columbia University. She was one of the only two girls in her class and the only black female.
Now, 67-year-old Adetiba has become an icon who has led the engineering profession in Nigeria and beyond at different times. She sits on the board of a number of multinationals. The three-time Vice-President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has presided over the African regional body of the International Association of Consulting Engineers.
The energy problem in Nigeria inspired 27-year-old Dr Ozak Esu to study Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Loughborough University. Dr Esu joined Cundall as a graduate engineer while completing her PhD during which she researched low-cost electronics to monitor wind turbine blades.
Esu has worked on sustainable building designs for schools, offices, homes and leisure centres. She has spoken on the use of embedded technology and smart building design. The award-winning engineer was also listed by Telegraph in collaboration with WES as one of the Top 50 Women Under 35 in Engineering in 2017.