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OAU Electrical Electronic Engineering: History In Brief

By Adejumo Kabir

The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering was carved out of the then Department of Physics and Applied Physics. The Applied Physics Section has now been replaced by Engineering Physics.

The founding head of the Department was the late Professor Victor A. Williams.

The department is running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the four areas of specialization, awarding Bachelor of  Science, Master of Science, Master Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy.

Incidentally, quite a number of the current teaching staff bagged their postgraduate degrees from the department, indicating a high retention ratio.

The first set of graduates, (June, 1971) of a 4-year engineering course from the department were 26 in number. The set recorded four 4 First Class graduates 10 Second Class Upper, seven 7 Second Class Lower, 3 Third Class and 2 in Pass division.

Notable among the set are Professor L. O. Kehinde, a one-time Dean of the Faculty of Technology and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) who remains the longest-serving alumnus in the department, having been employed as a Graduate Assistant in October 1, 1971 others  are Associate Professor A.B. Borishade a former Federal Minister of Education, Rt. Revd. Prof. A.D. Akinde, the Lord Bishop of the Cathedral of Saint Jude, Ebute-Metta and one of the founding fathers of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, OAU, Ile-Ife.

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Subsequent graduates of the department now occupy positions of authority all over the world. Among them are Professor G.A. Adegboyega, a former Dean of the Faculty of Technology, OAU, Professor Tayo Akinwande, department of electrical engineering and computer science, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,USA); Professor Kofi A. Makinwa (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands); Professor Philip Ogunbona (University of Wollongong, Australia); Tokunbo Ogunfunmi, Santa Clara University, USA; Earnest Ndukwe (former Executive Director of the Nigerian Communications Commission); Jide Adeniran (Mirics, UK); Olumide Akinsanmi (a Consultant in the UK); Succeeding General Managers of the National Control Centre, PHCN, Osogbo, from Engr. Steve Okitika (now Olumuyiwa) to the present one, Engr. Ndiagwalukwe, to mention some.

The first Ph.D awarded by the Department was in January, 1988 to Dr  Oladipo Osasona, who is now a Professor as well as the current Head of Department.

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The department had a very long and useful collaboration with the Ministry of Defence in the training of Nigerian Military Personnel since 1974, when the Nigerian Army Signal Officers started the Diploma Programme in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

By 1977/78 academic session, other military officers from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the Nigerian Army: Armour, Artillery, Engineering and Intelligence joined the programme. The Nigerian Navy (NN) came on board in 1983. The Diploma programme was upgraded to a B.Sc. Degree programme in 1979. The programme ended in 1999 when the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was upgraded to degree-awarding institution after over 330 officers have been trained.

However, the programme was replaced with the Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) and Master of Technology (M.Tech) in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering in 2002.

All these programmes have proved to be very successful in the training of middle and senior manpower for the ministry of defence in particular, cost-effective when compared to similar overseas training courses.

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The university graduates included Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Flag Officer Commanding, Major Generals, Air Vice Marshalls and Rear Admirals, to mention a few.

Though, the department was one of the first two in the Faculty of Technology, boasting of producing the first African Dean of the Faculty, it is yet to be housed in its own building. The building was abandoned at the foundation level early in the 80s.