FUTIA intends to surpass MIT in aerospace engineering, among others

The Federal University of Technology, Ikot Abasi (FUTIA) believes it is on track to produce graduates who will break the age-old records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States in Aerospace Engineering and other sectors of technology.

The Vice Chancellor of the new University of Technology, Prof Leo Daniel, who made the promise when members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State, paid him a courtesy visit at the temporary campus in Ikot Abasi, disclosed that the institution has two facilities: Wine Tunnel and Aerodrome, which will put students of aerospace engineering in a vantage position to have practical knowledge and embark on research in their chosen

Daniel, an aerospace engineering professor at a Russian university and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, revealed that the facilities are not even available in some Nigerian airports, stating that students are fortunate to have them for practical studies.

Prof. Daniel said the institution, located in Akwa Ibom state, has purchased a wind tunnel and aerodrome for research and training of students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, with the goal of producing graduates in such fields who can compete with their colleagues in Western universities.

“Wind tunnel that we don’t even have in Akwa Ibom Airport will soon be here. We will have what we call Aerodrome, which will be part of the Aerospace Engineering facilities for training and research as well as other facilities that are coming in to equip this institution to ensure that graduates from FUTIA compete favourably with their counterparts in universities in the Western countries,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor said the National Universities Commission (NUC) has so far approved three schools of Engineering Technology, Applied Science and Computing Information Technology with 12 departments including other programmes such as Cyber Security and Naval Architecture among others.

“We are a technologically advanced institution with a mandate to build an institution that will bring in other programmes that have not been seen in the past. NUC has approved three schools with 12 programmes, we are expecting accreditation within the next three years and approval of more schools.

“We started with 550 students that were admitted and they just finished their first semester exams for the session. We have 3 schools with 12 programmes. Among them is the Department of Aerospace Engineering, which is my field of expertise.

“It is a research thrust area we want to build in the Federal University of Technology. Other programmes such as Cyber Security and Naval Architecture are parts of the programmes for the first in Nigeria,” Prof. Daniel explained.

He stated that the institution is funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Akwa Ibom State Government, who donated land in the Ikot Okpo Inua and Ette communities for the institution’s start-up.

Daniel, who boasted that FUTIA remains the best in South-South, explained that the institution has benefited from TETFund in a short period of time through intervention projects such as the supply of furniture, other equipment, and grants, adding that more infrastructure development is expected at the new university.

He divided TETFund initiatives in the institution into four categories: take-off grants, high impact grants, zonal interventions, and normal interventions.

He did, however, thank the Akwa Ibom State Government for the land and other logistics and suggested that an internal road network be built within the institution to alleviate challenges caused by the area’s coastal terrain.

The Vice-Chancellor stated that 90 academic staff with strong academic credentials have been recruited thus far, while 120 non-academic workers have been hired to launch the university, and that more will be hired as the institution grows.