Trailblazing Triumph: Nigerian Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua Makes History

Trailblazing Triumph: Nigerian Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua Makes History as World’s First Black Woman to Earn Ph.D. in Cybernetics

Pioneering Achievement in STEM

In a groundbreaking accomplishment, Nigerian Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua has etched her name in history by becoming the world’s first Black woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Cybernetics.

Hailing from Cross River, Nigeria, Ekeng-Itua’s passion for engineering and technology took root in her childhood, despite the cultural barriers that often discouraged women from pursuing such male-dominated fields.

“Every challenge became fuel for my determination. I realized that my success would not only open doors for myself but would serve as an example for other women and girls who might otherwise doubt their capabilities,” Ekeng-Itua shared in a recent interview.

Trailblazing Academic Pursuits

Ekeng-Itua’s thirst for knowledge and relentless pursuit of excellence led her to obtain a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), followed by a Master of Science in Mobile and Satellite Communications Engineering from the University of Surrey in England.

Driven by ambition and a desire to break boundaries, she went on to make history by earning her Ph.D. in Cybernetics from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, under the supervision of Prof. Kevin Warwick, the world’s first human cyborg.

Championing STEM Education in Africa

Ekeng-Itua is a pioneer educator, administrator, and engineer, championing leading roles in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) challenges in Africa and paving the way for the African youth, especially girls.

“I am human-centric in my approach to making positive change, hence the field of Cybernetics gave me that opportunity, as Cybernetics is centered on purposeful design of technologies for society and humans,” she explained, highlighting her passion for creating a positive impact.

Inspiring Future Generations

With over 20 years of experience in Engineering and STEM Education across the USA, Europe, and Africa, Ekeng-Itua has led the creation of innovative programs in STEM.

She currently serves as an Engineering Professor at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, and is the Founding Program Lead of the College’s Smart Manufacturing Technology Program, which recently collaborated with Tesla to upskill its workers.