CELEBRATING WOMEN WITH EXCEPTIONAL ATTAINMENTS
Not too long ago, we celebrated the news of a Nigerian; though also an American, by virtue of his dual nationality on his exploits in the United States, where Nigerian professionals, as in other parts of the world are making the waves. We reported the news of the Nigerian born Dr. Osatohanmwen Osemwengie, currently an integral member of the American armed forces, building drones for the United States Army. These drones are used for surveillance to gather important information, as well as take out terrorist camps. Dr. Osatohanmwen Osemwengie, who comes from Benin, Edo state, joins the list of Nigerians making a difference around the world. He holds seven (7) Masters Degrees and three (3) Doctoral Degrees in different disciplines. Osato Osemwengie is the founder of the Open Robotics University; a tuition-free engineering degree-granting university that allows people to further exercise their talents and expand their knowledge into all fields related to engineering.
WHAT A MAN CAN DO, A WOMAN CAN ALSO DO: As the saying goes, what a man can do; a woman can also do, even sometimes better. TERRIFIC HEADLINES stumbled on the very interesting expose on Engr. Prof. (Mrs.) Ongoebi Maureen Orubide Etebu, the current Vice-Chancellor of the National Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State. She is the first female Professor of Mechanical Engineering produced by Nigeria Prof. O.M.O Etebu has one hundred and one (101) National and International Awards. She is married and blessed with four Children. Let’s go through her intimidating credentials that show four (4) Masters Degrees and Three (3) Doctoral Degrees.
- B. Sc – CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PITT, USA
- PGD – MECHANICAL ENGINEERING UNIPORT, NIG.
- B.Sc– CHEMICAL ENGINEERING UNIPORT, NIG
- B.Sc- MECHANICAL ENGINEERING UNIPORT, NIG
- MBA – MANAGEMENT UNIPORT, NIG
- B.Sc – INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING PITT, USA
- Ph.D – INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FUTO, NIG.
- Ph.D – MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (THERMOFLUID) RSU, NIG.
- Ph.D – MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (ENERGY AND POWER) CRANFIELD, UK
ONGOEBI MAUREEN ORUBIDE ETEBU, is the first female Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Nigerian history. Until her appointment as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Nigeria Maritime University, Delta State, she was had traversed the engineering field, particularly Mechanical Engineering as Head of Department, Associate Dean, Director, Institute of Technology Engineering and Management, a Professorial Chair occupant of El-Rufai Professorial Chair in Engineering Management and then Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
EDUCATION: Ongoebi completed her primary school education in 1968, with a distinction in her First School Leaving Certificate Examinations. She later came out in Division II in the West African School Certificate, WAEC, in 1975. Not done, Maureen Orubide Etebu proceeded to the Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and later, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, both in the United States for her tertiary education. She commenced her streaks of successes with earning a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.
Her other educational attainments came in rapid succession, earning an M.SE. Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a post-graduate diploma in Mechanical Engineering with distinction, and a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering. Next, this amazon obtained a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering specializing in thermofluids, specializing in investigating power plants. ONGOEBI MAUREEN ORUBIDE ETEBU bagged a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria, the very first Ph.D. produced in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at FUTO.
MORE LAURELS: Not satisfied with her academic attainments, she went on to earn, a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (with particular respect to Thermofluids), from the Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Port Harcourt and Ph.D. in Energy and Power Engineering from Canfield University in the U.K. In all, Maureen bagged one B.SE, one PGD, four Master’s Degrees (M.SE Industrial Engineering, M.Sc Chemical Engineering, M.Sc Mechanical Engineering, MBA Management) and three Ph.D’s. (Ph.D. Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. Energy and Power).
PROFESSIONAL ATTAINMENTS: She belongs to several Professional Organizations such as Nigeria Institute of Management, Nigerian Society of Engineers as a Fellow, Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) etc. Professor Etebu’s work experience is wide-ranging, even in the rough outline. In 1983, she worked in the Medical Research Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. She returned to Nigeria and was engaged as a Supervisory Councilor, Yenagoa local government council in 1986 and later appointed into the Governing Council of Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST). In August of the following year, she filled a yawning vacancy at the National Directorate of Employment, Port Harcourt, serving as Senior Inspector of Programmes. She held that office till February 1993 when she was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Port Harcourt.
IN POLITICS: In December 1999, she was invited to head the Directorate of Special Projects in the Government of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. Her zeal, enthusiasm and inherent potentials earned her recognition In June 2001, when Maureen she formally appointed a State Commissioner in the newly created Bayelsa State Ministry of Special Projects. In that capacity, she recorded several landmark achievements in Projects Implementation and Completion by that Administration. One of the infrastructural Projects worthy of mention is the construction of the Niger Delta University Campus at Amassoma in Wilberforce Island. Two years later, in May 2003, she became Commissioner in the Ministry of Public Utilities where she served until January 2006.
RETURNED TO THE ACADEMIA: In March 2006, she returned to her professional base, taught hardcore Engineering courses supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate students Projects and also functioned as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Port Harcourt, until October 2008, when she was appointed as Director, Science and Engineering Workshop, University of Port Harcourt. She served in that capacity for two years, after which she was promoted to the rank of full-fledged Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 2010.
AS VICE-CHANCELLOR: PROF. ONGOEBI MAUREEN ORUBIDE ETEBU was appointed pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in 2017, a position she still holds, with very high commitment and dedication to her chosen goals of making the university a world-class facility. The Nigerian Maritime Authority commenced with three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering, and Environmental Management. The Faculty of Transport has four departments, namely: Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Marine Economics and Finance, and Ports Management. The Faculty of Engineering has five departments: Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum and Gas Engineering, and the Faculty of Environmental Management has four departments: Environmental Management and Pollution, Meteorology and Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Marine Geology. (Source: Records of the University)
YOU CAN DO IT: Young ladies, if Maureen could do it, you could also do better in this computer age that makes things easier for you than what Maureen experienced. Dedication is a choice, and not a gift. Instead of rapping all the time and looking out for the joints of wild parties and blue films to view, you could put your time to profitable use and excel more than this great Nigerian has done. Instead of planning how to jump out of Nigeria illegally, plan your life and engage in a vocation in addition to your university degrees. Resolve never to allow any member of the opposite sex to destroy your future. If you think you have missed the road, remember there is no damaged bridge beyond repair. Young gentleman, the choice is yours. You could make a mar your future. Reflect deeply and make the choice today. Parents, allow your daughters to attain the highest heights possible. Male and female children bring the same measure of joy to parents. Please ensure that you would never toy with the lives of your female offspring. Let us give women the chance to prove themselves.
Work and pray! It shall be well with Nigeria in the name of Jesus Christ.