HomeSocial EngineeringEngineersVanguard Awards: Mayen Adetiba, a STEM pioneer and public servant

Vanguard Awards: Mayen Adetiba, a STEM pioneer and public servant


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By Morenike Taire,

WHILE her contemporaries were contented with traditionally feminine vocations, Mayen Adetiba was already pursuing an Ivy League education in the United States. After meandering this way and on account of the Nigerian Civil War, the pursuit culminated in the acquisition of a structural engineering degree. Mayen Adetiba originally hailed from Akwa Ibom, but has spent the better part of her life in Western Nigeria and the United States.

Mayen Modupeola Adetiba, born on April 17, 1951, in Ilorin to Akwa Ibom parents, attended Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls’ High School, Yaba (1964–68). She graduated from the prestigious Columbia University School of Engineering, New York City, and has a Master of Engineering in Civil (MEC) from the equally prestigious Cornell University School of Engineering, Ithaca, New York.

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Now Principal Partner of Delkem Associates, a Consulting Engineering outfit, and Chairman/Managing Director of Mayad Limited, she is a Fellow, and three times Past Vice President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers as well as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management – NIM. She married Dele Adetiba, an advertising guru and former CEO, Lintas. Mrs. Mayen Adetiba is the Chartered Secretary-General of the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN) and the first female engineer to be elected to the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ Executive Committee. She is the first female graduate engineer from the entire South-South Zone of Nigeria.

Delkem Associates’ principal partner has served as the social secretary of the Nigerian Student Union of New York State, as a Council Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and as a member of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria, ACEN. She was also a Member, Board of Directors, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited; National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, two time Vice President, Nigerian Society of Engineers; First Female Vice Chairman, Group of African Members; Member of the Presidential National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure (a blueprint for Industrialization in Nigeria) in1994; Member, Presidential Probe Panel on Projects above 30M in Abuja ; Member of the Commission for the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State University of Science and Technology, now Akwa Ibom State University, and President, Zonta Int’l Club of Lagos II. In November 1999, the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, at its Fifth Convocation conferred on her the Fellowship of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, for her “immeasurable contributions to the establishment, growth, and development of academic excellence in Nigeria.” Mayen is the president of the Ibeno Women’s Forum, whose mission is to empower women in the 27 coastal Ibeno villages that stretch from Cross River to Rivers States.

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A silent achiever, Mrs. Adetiba has used her expertise in the service of the nation in various capacities, including but not limited to the membership, Board of Directors of such paranatal as the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Nigerian Telecommunication Limited, Qua Steel Products Nigeria Limited in Akwa Ibom State and the National Science & Technology Fund, NSTF. She was a member of the Presidential National Committee on Engineering Infrastructures, – Prepared the blueprint for industrialization in Nigeria – 1994; the Presidential Task Force Committee on Refineries in 2011; the Nigerian National Award for Professionals – Nigerian National Order of Merit – NNOM, Presidential Implementation Committee on Clean Development Mechanism, PICCDM, as well as Chairman, Roads & Bridges, SURE-P, Federal Ministry of Works .

After decades of work and service, Mayen Adetiba continues to inspire generations of girls, particularly, but not exclusively, through the Mayen Adetiba Foundation for Girls in STEM. She loves arts, dogs, travel, and entertainment, as well as her grandchildren and family, including her two sons and one daughter, who happens to be recently married to one of Nigeria’s most beloved contemporary film producers. It is not accidental that her children are so productively artistic, with her son being an international celebrity photographer.

Mayen herself had, between 1969 and 1970, dabbled into journalism and freelance broadcasting, appearing in the original cast of The Village Headmaster. Mayen modelled products for some of the topmost advertising agencies in Nigeria and also acted in the first professional English movie directed by Wole Soyinka, Kongi’s Harvest in 1969. (Vanguard)

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