Engr. Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade was born in Abeokuta. He had his primary and secondary education at Nawair-ud-Deen Primary and Nawair-ud-Deen High School, Oke-Ijeun, Abeokuta, respectively. He got admission to read Mathematics at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, which he rejected because f his determination to become an engineer and chose to accept admission to study Civil Engineering at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro (FPI) in 1990.
He had National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic in the years 1993 and 1996, respectively. Before he completed his HND programme, he was offered admission to study Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. He managed to complete his HND and equally bagged his Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) in Civil Engineering with Second Class Upper Division (2-1) about 19 years ago.
He worked briefly for the National Centre for Economic Management and Administration (NCEMA), a parastatal of the National Planning Commission under the Presidency, as a Higher Technical Officer to represent the Centre during the development of its permanent site in Sheda Abuja.
For the flair has for scholarship and teaching, dr. Olonade resigned from the juicy job and pursued MSc degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Ibadan. Fortunately for him he got appointment as Lecturer III in the Department of Civil Engineering of FPI. He completed his MSc degree in 2005. Thereafter, he proceeded to the University of Lagos for his PhD degree with interest in Materials/Structure.
Dr. Olonade stayed in FPI for about 8 years as lecturer and rose to the rank of Lecturer I before he resigned to join the service of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in the Department of Civil Engineering in 2010. He served the university meritoriously for about 8 years again before he left (for family reasons) to join the University of Lagos, where he is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Over the years, he has been utilizing various wastes (agricultural and industrial) for the production of high performance cement-based products, reducing construction costs for affordable housing and ensuring sustainable construction in sub-Saharan Africa. He has supervised more than forty- five BSc thesis and 3 MSc thesis in these areas.
He has to his credit about 40 academic papers published in reputable journals and peer review conference proceedings, locally and internationally as well as 10 technical reports. He is a recipient of several awards.
He was the best mathematics student in Egba District in 1989 and 1990. He is the first recipient of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Research Grant.
Recently, he was awarded with the prestigious German-African Innovation Incentive Award on the use of cassava wastes for production of concrete. He pioneers the use of cassava peel ash as replacement for cement worldwide. Very soon, a pilot structure, using cassava concrete, will be built on the campus of University of Lagos, courtesy of the Award.
Professionally, Olonade is certified to practice civil engineering by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). He is a corporate member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM), respectively. He is equally a member of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers as well as American Concrete Institute.
Dr Olonade flair for services extended also to research and policy. He is a very active member of the Technical Committee on Sulphate Resistance Testing (TC-SRT), Technical Committee on Carbonation of Supplementary Cementitious Materials (TC-CCC) and Technical Committee on the Use of Agro-Based Materials as Cementitious Additions in Concrete and Cement-Based Materials (TC-AMC) of RILEM.
He has served as structural engineering consultant to a number of private and public institutions including FUNAAB and Crescent University. Importantly, he was a member of the team of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on hydropower feasibility study at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Due to his love for the profession, Dr Olonade has been active in professional circle and also committed his time, resources and energy into serving engineering community. He has been serving the Nigerian Society of Engineers in different capacity.
At Abeokuta Branch, he was the Assistant Technical Secretary between 2007 and 2009, Technical Secretary between 2009 and 2013, and General Secretary in 2014/2015. He just completed his 2-year term as Vice-Chairman of the Branch before he was elected as the Chairman of the distinguished Branch Abeokuta Branch of NSE.
At Division level, he is currently concluding his term as the Chairman of Ogun Chapter of Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers. At National level, he was a member of welfare committee between 2013 and 2015 and a member of the Technical and Publication Committee since 2018 to date. He was also a member of the pioneer National Executive of Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers.
Engr. Dr. Olonade is a community leader, National President of the Nawair-ud-deen High School Old Students Association. He is an Imaam of Jumah mosque and a proprietor of an Arabic College. He is happily married to Dr. Mrs. Sariyu Ibiyemi Olonade and Mrs. Nimota Kehinde Olonade. Their union is blessed with nine children (7 boys and 2 girls).