It was indeed a remarkable day at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI) as the young university held its first inaugural lecture. Staff and students turned out en masse to witness the lecture with great delight as one of their own, Professor of Engineering Physics Micheal Ugwu Onuu gave the inaugural lecture on “Engineering Physics: Reconstructing and Complementing Engineering for Greater Impact”.

Procession of Professors into the main auditorium, venue of event.

 In her welcome address, the chairman Inaugural and Public Lectures Committee, Professor Rosemary Igbo, pointed out that inaugural lectures are occasions of high significance in the university system and in the career of university teaching staff worldwide, which afford professors, especially the newly appointed ones, the opportunity to inform colleagues, university community and the general public about their work on teaching, research, community engagements and future academic intentions. “The drive is usually to commemorate the Inaugural lecturer’s appointment to full professorship and to generate a platform that enables the lecturer to elucidate the body of knowledge and research that constitute the focus of his academic career. We appreciate the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba who has provided excellent leadership with his support for various dimensions of excellence in the academia” she added.

Prof. Rosemary Igbo, Chairman Public and Inaugural Lecture Committee presenting welcome address

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba in his opening remarks, noted that history was being established in AE-FUNAI, as the young university held its first inaugural lecture. He noted that the practice is that a full professor in the Nigerian university subsystem may do this only once in his career, upon promotion to the professorial chair. He further commented on the purpose of inaugural lecture as being practiced worldwide citing examples of the practice in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. He acknowledged professors who had delivered inaugural lectures in their previous universities before joining AE-FUNAI.

Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, VC, making opening remarks.

Professor Nwajiuba noted that “Our circumstance as a young university and appreciating the sacrifice some colleagues have made by joining our university, recommended that persons who were already professors prior to joining AE-FUNAI  will be able to deliver this lecture, if the so indicate. In any case, there is no professor for all universities. A professor is of a specific university. As we also know, when a full professor from another university desires joining AE-FUNAI, a limited process of evaluation of the qualifications vis-a-viz AE-FUNAI guidelines is conducted”. He congratulated Prof. Micheal Onuu for being in the historical moment as the first inaugural lecturer of the university and thanked the inaugural lecture committee for being able to deliver on the assignment.

The inaugural lecturer Professor Micheal Ugwu Onuu at the beginning of his lecture recalled when the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Nwajiuba promised members of AE-FUNAI community on the commencement of inaugural lectures during his tenure and how the promise was being fulfilled. “With humility, I consider it an honor, a great one for that matter for me to be chosen as the first to give inaugural lecture since the inception of this university in 2011, eight years ago. By this singular act of the VC, AE-FUNAI can now openly and ceremoniously, with fanfare, be admitted into the full professorial cadre, through this platform that has been created for ‘Academic Baptism’ instead of ‘nicodemously’ joining them. It is my prayer and hope that this inaugural lecture will be sustained in years to come. My three main areas of research and Professorial competence namely Condensed Matter Physics, Acoustics and Telecommunications, form the basis for this lecture” he said.

Prof. Michael Onuu, presenting his inaugural lecture

The inaugural lecture came to an end with closing remarks presented by the Registrar’s representative,Dr. Mrs Gloria Okorie who thanked the entire university community for turning up in such a large number noting that the lecture signifies the beginning of something new in the university. She thanked well-wishers and visitors of the University for coming from far and wide to witness the auspicious event. She announced the next inaugural lecturer to be Professor O.O Ugwu who is Dean, Faculty of Engineering.

Cross-section of participants at the inaugural lecture.

Cross-section of participants at the inaugural lecture.

Highlight of the inaugural lecture was award presentation to the lecturer, Prof. Michael Onuu as Pioneer Inaugural Lecturer of AE-FUNAI by the Vice-Chancellor supported by Professors who have delivered inaugural lectures.

VC, Prof. Nwajiuba, decorating Prof. Onuu in the new robe.

VC raises the new cap for the pioneer inaugural lecturer…who the cap fits…

VC, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba in group photograph with the Prof. Onuu, Prof. Rosemary Igbo and other guest professors


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