BY ERNEST NZOR
The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife is set to celebrate 50 years of its establishment.
As part of the activities to commemorate this historic milestone, the department, in collaboration with her alumni all over the world has concluded arrangement to hold a virtual roundtable on Thursday, November 26, 2020. This virtual event, occasioned as a result of COVID19 restrictions is expected to attract stakeholders in the field of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, distinguished academics, scholars and alumni of the department from different parts of the world.
Some of the speakers expected at the discourse include former deputy vice chancellor (academic) of OAU, Professor Obafemi Ajibola, former vice chancellor of OAU, Professor Michael Faborode, former president, Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Professor Fola Lasisi, former Managing Director, Standard Flour Mills, Engineer Cyril Attang and the current head of Biosystems Engineering, Auburn University, Alabama, USA, Prof Oladiran Fasina
With the theme “Agricultural Engineering in OAU, The Past, Present and the Future”, the discourse at the event will focus on the following topics: Innovation and Mentorship in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Networking and Faculty Exchange Programme as an impetus for Faculty Development-Role of Alumni, Leveraging Alumni Collaborations for Greater Relevance and Growth of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering in OAU, and Building a Virile Academia-Industry Linkage Repositioning the Department for Current and Emerging Trends in the Profession.
The event, which kicks off 3 pm WAT; 8 am CST and 2 pm GMT will be chaired by a distinguished Nigerian and academic of repute, Emeritus Professor G. A. Makanjuola NNOM.
It would be recalled that the department was one of the first that was created upon the setting up of the university. Till date, the department parades one of the highest number of professors in the great citadel of learning with some of its alumni responsible for establishing departments of engineering (notably Civil, Mechanical, Food, Agricultural and Biosystems) in other institutions of learning across the country.
Recently, the department was renamed Agricultural and Environment Engineering to reflect current realities of 21st century engineering in agriculture and in tandem with emerging trends around the world.
Speaking on the significance of the milestone, the head of department, Professor Babs Ogunsina remarked that “this milestone is very historic and worthy of celebration beyond covid-19 restrictions. This is especially because most of our founding fathers are still alive and strong. Fifty (50) years of a department or institution that has produced great men and women across various areas of human endeavour calls for celebration. There is no better way to celebrate than carry out an appraisal of what the department has achieved over the years, current realities and the prospects that the future holds. This is our story and we hope that many other things that will evolve hereafter.”