Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a kid? As a young girl Dr. Ozak Esu dreamt of being an electronic and electrical engineer. Today, at under 30-years old, she is an award-winning engineer and technical lead at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Smart Homes and Buildings. 

Dr. Esu was born in Nigeria and was inspired to study electrical engineering because of the country’s pressing energy problems. An interview with Stemettes, a zine and program for young women and nonbinary people to explore their career options, reveals that Dr. Esu grew up without electricity at times before moving to the United Kingdom as a teenager in 2008. 

At age 17, hoping to help discover solutions to her country’s problems, she enrolled as an international student at Loughborough University studying Electronic and Electrical Engineering. In 2011, she accomplished her childhood dream when she graduated with First Class Honors and received her undergraduate degree, according to Delft University of Technology. She continued reaching for the stars, furthering her studies in the Loughborough Ph.D. program researching wind energy, embedded technology and advanced signal processing.

From 2014 to 2016, while finishing her Ph.D., she worked as a graduate engineer for Cundall, a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy. In just two years she helped design equipment and systems for over two dozen schools according to On The Dot Woman Podcast. Upon graduating in 2017, she was promoted to Electrical Engineer and received The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award (Mike Sargent Career Achievement Medal for Young Professionals) and one of Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering Under 35. 

She says she enjoys overcoming the challenges that arise in her tasks as an engineer.

“Life as a working engineer is practical, dynamic but also with challenges,” she said in Stemettes. “I initially dread the challenges, but the moment I scale them, I love the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction I get until my next challenge.”

Dr. Esu continues her journey to bring urban development to Nigeria and works to prove that many of their issues can be solved through engineering.