Nigeria’s Dosunmu-Ogunbi is First Black Woman to Bag PhD in Robotics at Michigan University

Oluwami Dosunmu-Ogunbi, a Nigerian lady, is the first black woman to earn a PhD in robotics from the University of Michigan in the United States.

Robotics is the interdisciplinary science and practice of designing, building, operating, and using robots.

Dosunmu-Ogunbi recently addressed the university’s commencement ceremony.

During her speech, she stated that she began her programme without a clear notion of what she wanted to accomplish.

She stated that she plans to use her engineering knowledge to have 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 pursuing her PhD, she received an MVP award from the University of Illinois’ Pi Tau Sigma chapter.

The professor has been an active community builder in Robotics, receiving an MLK Spirit Award from the College of Engineering for mentorship and inspiration, as well as being selected an outreach ambassador by Robotics for three consecutive years (2021-23).

She has also been admitted to the Bouchet Society, which honours outstanding scientific performance and encourages diversity in graduate education and the professoriate.

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