Electronic Engineering – History

BRIEF HISTORY

The Department of Electronic Engineering was created in 1981 by splitting the existing department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering into two distinct departments. The creation of the two departments had the approval of the NUC. The department of Electronic Engineering was created to harness the explosion of knowledge in the field of electronics to satisfy deep national needs for skilled engineers in the vital areas of telecommunication, control, instrumentation, digital and computer engineering.

The department produced the first batch of graduates in 1985. In 1984 the department started postgraduate (PG) programme for M. Eng. and Ph.D. Degrees aimed at producing specialists for industry and universities. The PG programme was intended to foster collaborative researches between the department, other related departments in other universities and industries locally and internationally. As the oldest department of Electronic Engineering in Nigeria, the department has always been keenly aware of its leadership role in spreading awareness of the importance of Electronic Engineering in the industrial development of the nation. In 1985, it organized a highly successful national workshop on microprocessors. And in 1989, it organized an international conference on developing countries and the new information age.

The Department’s vigorous strive for academic and professional excellence for both its students and staff culminated into a number of teaching and research collaborations with other national and international institutions.

  1. There is collaboration with the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Abuja at national level. DBI is an International Centre for Professional Training in Telecommunications and ICT. It was established in 2004 by the National Communications Commission (NCC). This collaboration involves bilateral/multilateral training and research linkages with both national and multinational telecom and ICT industries. Through this, UNN-DBI Training– To–Placement Programme was designed to bridge the gap between the prevailing academic curricula of our national universities and the manpower needs of the emerging telecommunication and information technology industries in the country.
  2. The international linkage of the department includes teaching, research and exchange collaborations with the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka signed an MOU with Delft University of Technology on behalf of the Department of Electronic Engineering and other departments (Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering) of the university to establish a Centre of Excellence in Microsystems and Nanoelectronics at UNN. Currently, two of our academic staff are in TU Delft on exchange programme. Two years ago, the UNN received two TU Delft students on the same programme.
  3. At the International and national levels, the University and consequently the department formed collaborations under NetTel@Africa – an international postgraduate programme in ICT Policy and Regulations. The programme was basically a transnational network for capacity building and knowledge sharing in the information and communication technologies (ICT) and telecommunications (telecoms) policy, regulation and applications. The collaboration was with three other National Universities (UNILAG, OAU, UNIJOS) and nineteen international universities (twelve in Africa, two in Europe and five in North Africa). The network included, some international ICT Regulatory Organizations/Authorities in Africa (TRASA, ARICEA, WATRA AND EARPTO), and America, USA (NARUC, FCC), and some international Resource/Donor Organizations (CTO, ITU, SIDA, CATIA, DFID, GSA, USAID)

The department has recorded many significant milestones. Since its inception in 1981, the Department has produced the highest number of first class graduates than any other departments in the university. It has also produced many overall best graduating students more than any department in the university; it has produced overall university bests for three consecutive academic sessions in 1995/1996, 1996/1997 and 1997/1998. The 1996/1997 university best, Osita Onuma, in 1998/1999 produced best ever recorded result (aggregate of 98.85 on a 100-point scale – 98.85%) in the 124 year-history of taught postgraduate programme at Imperial College and the entire University of London. The department earned two national designations (honours) as a Centre of Excellence in Electronics and in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in 1986 and 2001 an Education Trust Fund (ETF) Center Of Excellence in ICT and Telecommunication Networks.