By Gabriel Chy Alonta
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Awka chapter, has tasked female students, teachers and other women engineers on the need to contribute to technological development in Nigeria.
The engineers gave the charge during their maiden workshop and public lecture in Awka, the Anambra state capital.
Orient Daily gathered that the event, themed ‘Advancing Technology in Nigeria: The Role of Women Engineers’, was aimed at increasing awareness of the significance of women engineers in a developing society.
Speaking during the occasion, the first female rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra state, Engr. Francisca Nwafulugo, encouraged female engineering practitioners and students to always play a vital role in their immediate environment.
In a keynote address, the dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Awka, Engr. Philomena Igbokwe, represented by Dr. Uche Ekpunobi, acknowledged the positive impact and crucial role of women engineers in the task of advancing technology in Nigeria.
Also in a remark, a senior lecturer in the department of polymer and textile engineering, Unizik, and chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Polymer and Textile, Dr. Chizoba Obele, stressed the importance of women engineers in society, calling for their involvement in the technical and engineering space, an involvement which she said would ensure gender equality.
Earlier, the chairman at the occasion, Engr. Oluchi MaryJane Okoli, a senior electrical instructor at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, talked on etiquette, dressing and carriage among women and charged women engineers to be disciplined and ensure high professional standards.
Okoli, who doubles as the representative of the APWEN president, Engr. Dr. Felicia Agubata, enjoined participants, especially female students, to remain committed to the sciences, remarking that the era of perceiving engineering as male profession was over.
At the occasion, in solidarity with the women engineers, were Engr. Martin Agbili, the chairman of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Awka branch, Engr Edmund Nkalu, immediate past president NSE, among others.
Presentation of an award of honour to outstanding engineers, as well as certificate of participation to the female secondary school students at the workshop formed the high points of the occasion.
APWEN is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), a nongovernmental umbrella for all engineers in Nigeria. It has professional female engineers in all disciplines of engineering on its membership roll.
This newspaper also learnt that part of the APWEN’s vision was to be the catalyst for the advancement of women in the engineering profession as part of the drive towards national and global technological development.