…the First Female Nigerian Doctorate Degree Holder in the Field of Engineering
Olatokunbo Arinola Somolu (Engr. Dr.), is the first female Nigerian doctorate degree holder in any field of engineering. She was born in Lagos State on 11th of October, 1950.
She had her primary education at Anglican Girl’s School, Lagos (1957-1962) and her secondary education at Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos, which she finished in 1967 with eight distinctions.
She further completed her A’ Levels in the same school in 1969, after which she was admitted into the University of Lagos where she graduated top of her class with a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering in 1973.
She obtained her Ph.D degree in Civil Engineering (Structures) in 1978, thus becoming the first Nigerian woman to hold a Ph.D in any field of Engineering.
Dr. Somolu started her professional career as Pupil Engineer with Sokoto Waterworks in 1973. She was a Senior Lecturer and also the Head of Department, Civil Engineering, Yaba College of Technology between 1977 and 1982.
She joined NNPC in 1982 as Assistant Chief Civil Engineer. She was Head, Civil Engineering Unit of ETD, NNPC in 1990, Head, Special Projects in 1992 and Manager, Engineering in 1995. 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.
Her engineering prowess can be appreciated through the major projects she supervised. These include: The world class NNPC Towers Complex in Abuja, DPR offices in Kofo Abayomi, V/Island, the New Atlas Cove Jetty and NNPC Floating Fuel Filling Stations. She voluntarily retired from NNPC in 2009 after 27 years of active and dedicated services
Dr. Somolu has undertaken several national assignments. She was a member of the Boards of Federal Emergency Road Management Agency (FERMA) and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA). She was inducted into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame in 2007 as the first Nigerian Female to hold a Ph.D. in Engineering.
She has received several honours and awards for her professional excellence. She is a COREN Registered Engineer, Fellow, The Nigerian Society of Engineers and Member, Nigerian Institute of Management.