The field of engineering from time immemorial has been largely male dominated. However daring to change the narrative, power women all over the world are embracing their inner passions and doing great exploits, thereby paving way for generations to come.
Inducted into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame in 2007, for more than two decades with her Engineering prowess spearheading major projects including the world class NNPC Towers Complex in Abuja, DPR offices in Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, the New Atlas Cove Jetty and NNPC Floating Fuel Filling Stations, offering top notch, dedicated service for 27 whole years before retiring, proudly taking her place amongst trailblazing women is Engr Olatokunbo, the first Nigerian woman to gain a PhD in any engineering field.
After graduating top of class in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil / Structural Engineering from University of Lagos which she attended on scholarship, she proceeded to obtain a PhD in Civil Engineering from same school in 1978, thus becoming the first Nigerian woman to obtain a doctorate degree in any field of engineering.
Upon graduation she began her career as a lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology in the Civil Engineering Department, before proceeding to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 1982 as Assistant Chief Civil Engineer where she headed the Civil Engineering Unit of ETD, NNPC in 1990, Head, Special Projects in 1992 and Manager, Engineering in 1995. Always the first; in November 2003, she was appointed General Manager (Projects), and in February 2005 she became the first woman to Head the Engineering and Technology Division (ETD) of NNPC as the Group General Manager.
Engr. Olatokunbo Somolu in 2010 was honoured as one of the top 50 Nigerian women by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to mark the country’s 50th independence anniversary. In 2017 she was honoured for her pioneering professional achievement by the Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria (PEFON). She is a fellow of several professional bodies like Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Nigerian Society of Engineers and member, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).