A Nigerian woman identified as Oluwami Dosunmu-Ogunbi has made history as the first black woman to bag a PhD degree in Robotics at the University of Michigan, United States.


Robotics is the interdisciplinary study and practice of the design, construction, operation, and use of robots.

Dosunmu-Ogunbi recently spoke at the university’s commencement ceremony.

During her address, she said she started her programme without having a clear idea of what she wanted to achieve.


She said she would use her knowledge in the engineering field to make a “positive impact on the world”.

“A Michigan Engineer is one who does not just provide scientific and technological leadership,” she said.

“But is also one who is intellectually curious, socially conscious, creates collaborative solutions to societal problems, and promotes an inclusive and innovative community of service for the common good.


“We each have a solemn duty to make positive contributions to the world. Well, my reasons for becoming an engineer were initially frivolous, but they eventually moved into something more meaningful. I want to have a positive impact on the world.”

Dosunmu-Ogunbi is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. Prior to her PhD, she earned an MVP award from the University of Illinois’, Pi Tau Sigma chapter.

The academic has been an active community builder in Robotics, earning an MLK Spirit Award from the College of Engineering for mentoring and inspiration as well as being named an outreach ambassador by Robotics for three years running — 2021-23.

She has also been inducted into the Bouchet Society, which recognises outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity in graduate education and the professoriate.


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