Nigerians At It Again! Celebrating Another Milestone Achievement In Robotics Engineering

Today, we’re inspired by Oluwami Dosunmu-Ogunbi, PhD, University of Michigan’s first black woman to earn a PhD in Robotics. Wami specializes in stair climbing algorithms for bipedal robots and holds numerous awards and distinctions including the GEM Fellowship, Rackham Merit Fellowship, and the MLK Spirit Award. Wami holds a Ph.D. and two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Committed to mentoring future engineers, she aims to become a professor. Recently, she spoke at the commencement ceremony where she shared how her PhD journey began, stating that the hat-a hexagonal velvet beret with a golden tassel-sold her on dedicating half a decade or so to the research enterprise after wearing her bachelor’s mortarboard. But now, as she graduates, she sees opportunities to use her engineering knowledge to improve the lives of other people. Ogunbi has been an active community builder in robotics, earning an MLK Spirit Award from the College of Engineering for mentoring and inspiration as well as being named an outreach ambassador by Robotics for three years running, 2021-23.

And she is a passionate communicator, named a runner-up in the College of Engineering’s 3-minute-thesis competition. Beyond U-M, she has been inducted into the Bouchet Society, which recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity in graduate education and the professoriate. We’re proud of Wami for taking that step that has now put her in a position to make a positive impact in the lives of millions of people.

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