“Be the Solution to the Problem You Want Solved” – Ozak Esu

“Be the Solution to the Problem You Want Solved” – Ozak Esu
4 min read

Ozak Esu is an award-winning Nigerian Electrical Engineer, and technical lead at the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Centre for Smart Homes and Buildings (CSHB).

Dr. Ozak Esu (Source: connectnigeria.com)

As a child, Ozak loved watching cartoons but was always interrupted by power shortages which irked her. She asked her dad, “who is in charge of electricity?” When he told her it was an Electrical Engineer, she decided she would become an Electrical Engineer too to change things for the better.

“The frequent power cuts which I had experienced made me decide to take a keen interest in Physics.”

Ozak eventually went on to complete her A-Level examinations in Mathematics, Physics and Geography in Lagos.

In 2008, she moved to the UK, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering. She then secured a £54,000 scholarship for postgraduate study, and earned her PhD in 2016, working on wind turbine blades. This study demonstrated the opportunities for instrumenting low-cost sensors in consumer electronics for vibration-based condition monitoring of wind turbine blades.

Dr. Ozak Esu (Source: Iboro.ac.uk)

Alongside publishing her work in scientific journals, Ozak presented at renewable energy and vibration testing international conferences across Europe and in the USA. In 2013 she presented at the Harnessing the Energy – Women’s Engineering Society conference.

Ozak joined Cundall Johnston and Partners in November 2014 as a graduate engineer whilst completing her PhD at Loughborough University. She contributed to the technical design, and supervised construction of over sixteen primary and secondary schools across the UK within her first two years at the company.

She was also part of the design team for the Energy Systems Catapult office in Birmingham, awarded the prestigious British Council for Offices ‘Fit Out of Workplace’ Midlands Regional Award 2017. In 2017 she was promoted to Electrical Engineer. In this role Ozak was responsible for leading, managing and coordinating the appraisal of existing electrical infrastructure, and the design of new electrical building services, as well as acting as a mentor for students.

In January 2019, Esu joined the BRE (Building Research Establishment) as technical lead at the BRE Centre for Smart Homes and Buildings (CSHB). The CSHB describes itself as “a collaborative hub for industry, academia and government. It works to accelerate the use of smart products and services within the built environment, to maximise the benefits for all and address common challenges in the Internet of Things (IoT) market”.

Ozak believes that if more people could have access to a consistent supply of electricity, they will be more empowered to even start their own businesses which can bring in revenue in their respective countries, and to develop other fields. She also believes that knowledge sharing is very important; “it is the way engineering and society can be advanced”.

Awards won:

Source: virtuedigest.com

In 2013, Ozak won the Inaugural Energy Young Entrepreneur Scheme (Energy YES) worth £2,000 whilst working within a team of four doctoral candidates from MEGS (Midlands Energy Graduate School).

Ozak was named one of “The Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35” list on 23 June 2017. She was the 2017 Institution of Engineering and Technology Young Woman Engineer of the Year.

In September 2017, she won the Institution of Engineering and Technology Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award for Young Professionals in recognition of her contributions to engineering and technology.

Just as Ozak became successful in her field, so too can other women. You just have to recognise a problem and work towards a solution.