May 7, 2024

Engineering Professor Becomes The World’s First Black Woman To Hold A PhD In Cybernetics

Professor Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua has become the world’s first Black woman to hold a PhD in Cybernetics, according to The Citizen.

A PhD In Cybernetics

Ekeng-Itua earned a degree in Cybernetics from the University of Reading in the UK under the supervision of her first PhD supervisor, Prof. Kevin Warwick, also known as Captain Cyborg.

Cybernetics is the science of how information is communicated in machines and pieces of electronic equipment, compared with how information is communicated in the brain and nervous system.

“Every challenge became fuel for my determination,” she said in an interview. “I realised 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.”

From Nigeria to the USA and Europe

Originally from Nigeria, Ekeng-Otua advocates for prominent positions for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields across Africa.

After discovering her love for engineering and technology growing up in Nigeria, she noticed the culture didn’t encourage much education for women, especially in such male-dominated spaces as engineering.

However, she used this to fuel her mission and gained several degrees, including a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

With a career spanning over two decades in engineering and STEM education, her expertise extends across the USA and Europe.

She has a track record of leading and developing academia, industry, and government workforce development partnerships and collaborations.

Ekeng-Itua is currently an Engineering Professor at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. 

She is also the Founding Program Lead of the College’s Smart Manufacturing Technology Program, which collaborated with Tesla in January to expand the electric automaker’s Employee Education Assistance (EEA) program.

Feature Image Credit: Ohlone College

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.