Rebirth, Start of PG Programme
In the 1975/76 academic year the Department was renamed the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in recognition of the increasing growth of the Electronics discipline. Subsequently, in 1981, Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering became separate Departments, with Electrical Engineering concentrating in the areas of Electromagnetic Field Theory, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Power Electronics and Automatic Control while Computer Organization, Instrumentation, Communications and Electronic Circuits remained essential supplementary courses.
In the 1983/85 academic year, the Department introduced the postgraduate programme in four specialist areas, namely, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Power Electronics and Automatic Control systems. Improvement in the quality and number of both students and staff has been growing from year to year resulting in steady improvement of the quality of teaching and research in the Department.
One could regard this period of history of the department as a golden era. There ravages of the civil war was over, then the department gave birth to a brand new department, that is there department of electronics engineering and reached an academic milestone of starting its own post graduate studies. During this period,some graduates of the department who were selected and sent abroad for further academic training came back to join and strengthen the department. Such people included, Dr.M.U.Agu (1981/82 session) and Dr.A. N. Anwah (1985/1986). [earlier on, the department’s first, first class graduate, Mr. C.C.Osuagwu had trained abroad for his PhD and joined the department in 1978, but he subsequently joined the newly created department of electronics, in 1981.] . In addition, there were expatriate academic lecturers in the department (and in fact, throughout the engineering faculty) that gave an air of international centre of excellence. These, expatriates included Mr.G.Panov from Bulgaria (head of department, 1987-1998), Dr . Annan from Ghana and Dr . Karuna Karana from Sri Lanka. Prof.L.A.Agu (HOD, 1974 – 1984) and subsequently, Engr. Dr.G.C.Ejebe (HOD, 1984-1986) headed the department during this period. There were a lot of academic and technical vibrancy in the department.
Another Trying Period
However, this golden era could not last. The ravaging and despoiling of the Nigerian polity that were the hallmark of politics eventually started to have a toll in the academic arena. The harsh economic and most especially political situation in the country made many expatriate lecturers and subsequently some Nigerian lecturers to leave the department in droves. Starting by the latter half of the 1980s to the mid 1990s many lecturers left and only a handful of lecturers were manning the department. These included, Prof. L. A.Agu, Dr.M.U. Agu (HoD, 1988-1992), Dr. A.N Anwah (HoD, 1992 – 1994), Engr. T. C. Madueme (1994 to 1998) and Engr. L. U.Anih (who later became HOD in 2000-2003). This small band of lecturers, together with a dedicated technical staff led by Mr. K.C. Onyema and Mr.P.U.Okafor held the department together during this trying period.
Further difficulties arose when in 1995 the departmental laboratory building that housed the junior lab, control lab, the power electronics lab and the power systems lab burnt down in a fire incident and the equipment and devices used to conduct experiment in the laboratory courses were virtually destroyed. This put the department in a very difficult situation in terms of conducting practical courses. After over ten years, the laboratory was eventually rebuilt by 2009, only for the main departmental building (Prefab) that housed the office of the head, the general office, the fourth year, final year and PG classrooms were destroyed by fire in October 2010. Hence, the department is currently housed in the rebuilt laboratory building and therefore have need for a befitting Departmental Building
State of Affairs
In recent times, Chevron Nigeria Ltd donated some laboratory equipment to the department and Mirai Denchi Nigeria Ltd, a Lagos-based subsidiary of Mirai Denchi Inc., Japan, together with their Japanese associate companies, sponsored the Department’s 10kW solar energy initiative, which is an ongoing project. This Project was formally commissioned by Prof. Nebo, the then Minister of Power, in June, 2014. Recent major projects of interest that are on-going in the department include the designing of new types of electric motors, design of an electric vehicle, wind energy and solar-related projects. In addition, in view of the recent trend in power solutions, the department has recently established a new laboratory called the Industrial Electronics, Power Devices and New Energy Systems Laboratory. However, there is urgent need to upgrade all the laboratories in the department, especially, the high voltage lab, the machines lab, the power systems lab, the control and instrumentation lab and the communications lab.
The department has recently (in 2014 and this year) participated in the Enugu International Trade Fair. This is in an effort to sell to the general public some of the numerous projects that are relevant to the power solutions required in the present power crises in Nigeria. One set of solution that has reached a commercial level of development include inverters, UPS and transform-less stabilizers. The department has recently registered the trademark, LION ELECTRIC, in preparation of the commercialization of products developed and produced in our departmental workshop.
As at present, the department has five full Professors, namely, Prof. E.C.Ejiogu (Head of Department since August 2013), Prof. M.U Agu,(coordinator of the Industrial Electronics, Power Semi-conductor Devices and New Energy Systems Research Group), Prof. T.C. Madueme (coordinator, Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering Research Group, and immediate past Dean of the faculty of Engineering ), Prof. E.S. Obe (coordinator of the Electromechanical Devices and Drives System Group, and Director of Computer and Communications Centre of UNN, and Prof. L.U.Anih ( Coordinator, SIWES, UNN). It is interesting to note that all the professors are alumni of the department, either or the undergraduate or post-graduate level. In addition we have one Visiting Professor from the UK , Prof. A.O. Ekwue, also an alumnus of the department, one Associate Professor (Dr. N.M.Nwohu) on sabbatical. There are four Senior Lecturers, three Lecturer I, one Lecturer II (on oversea training for PhD), and three graduate assistants, two of whom are on overseas training for their PhD, while one is currently finishing his M. Eng degree in the department. The 11 technical staff and 4 administrative staff ably compliment the academic and research activities in the department.The current student population in the department is 440 students.
In the last COREN professional accreditation exercise in January 2013, under the headship of the immediate past head of department, Engr. Dr. B.O.Anyaka, the department passed in flying colours, with the highest points of 76.5 among the departments in the faculty. However, in the NUC accreditation exercise that took place in December 2014, the department could only get interim accreditation, mainly on account of the large student-academic staff ratio. The department will therefore face another NUC accreditation exercise in the 2016/2017 academic year. Hence, there is urgent need to strengthen the department in all areas so that we obtain full NUC accreditation.
In full recognition of the universal criteria for appraising the quality of teaching and research in the Electrical Engineering discipline, the Department will continue to upgrade and strengthen its teaching and research facilities and practices to be of world standard. The Department’s research and teaching activities will, therefore, always be geared towards producing highly skilled, knowledgeable and disciplined human capital and efficient methods/machines for solving real life societal problems. Our basic philosophy still remains that of the founding fathers:
To seek truth
To teach truth
To preserve truth