UNILAG Don Advocates Special Funds for STEM

Professor Olumuyiwa Asaolu of the Department of Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos has advocated special funds for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria. This, according to him, is borne out of the need to fasten the rapid industrialization which Nigeria needs in the quest for national development.

This formed part of his recommendations while presenting the eighteenth (18th) inaugural lecture in the 2021/2022 academic session of the University on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium.

Titled: “Automata and intelligent agents: engineered systems that make life easier”, Professor Asaoludecried the preference of Nigerians for foreign and imported products at the expense of locally made technologies, a development which he said, undermines local innovation, creativity and ingenuity.

The Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) who challenged Nigerians to encourage Nigerian Engineers by patronizing and using ‘Made in Nigeria’ goods and services, also urged System Engineers to assume the management and oversight of complex engineering projects by ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs).

Professor Asaolu’s inaugural lecture offered a simplified approach to automation (Automata) and Artificial Intelligence (AI); Automata and AI agents as a special class of man-made or engineered systems, deployed for the ease of living; as well as how systems are made to serve specific purposes showing man as an intelligent being operating in a universe that is more automated than random.

The Lecture also outlined his contributions over the last two decades to the modeling, development and deployment of such systems in the classroom, the society, and specific industries.

In her remarks before and after the lecture, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, congratulated Professor Olumuyiwa Asaolu for giving a good account of himself as a brilliant researcher, a research collaborator and a teacher of repute.

Professor Ogunsola who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, expressed optimism that relevant bodies would key into the recommendations made by Inaugural Lecturer, and explore its potential benefits with a view to actualizing the desired national development.

Born on June 22, 1969, Professor Asaolu who is of Ijesha parentage was raised in Ibadan. He is a thorough bred alumnus of UNILAG where he obtained a B.Sc. Honours’ Degree in Civil Engineering in 1991, Masters’ Degree in Engineering Analysis in 1995 and Ph.D. in Engineering Analysis in 2002.

Professor Asaolu was a Trainee Engineer with Zentech Nigeria Limited before joining the Faculty of Engineering of this university in November 1995. He rose through the ranks of the university to become a Professor of Systems Engineering (Artificial Intelligence) on October 1, 2021.

The renowned Professor is a registered Engineer with the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), and a Fellow of the Nigerian Young Academy and Institute for Operational Research and Management Science of Nigeria. His research team recently obtained a patent for laughter as a biometric, which was his original conception.

Professor Asaolu is married and blessed with children. 

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