The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering is very unique in the Faculty of Technology, which in itself occupies a significantly unique status in the University of Ibadan. The creation of the Department at the University of Ibadan is the conviction that improved agricultural production, processing and storage have to be substantially supported by technological inputs in order to face the realities of present day Nigeria. The Department is well related to practically every other Department in the Faculty; and it does not only maintain ‘walled laboratories’ but a ‘field laboratory’, in the form of ‘experimental and teaching farm’ where various fabricated implements and processes are put to test.
Although the Department formally came into existence in October 1975, the programme had been in existence since 1972, within the former ‘Institute of Applied Science and Technology’. The Wood Products Engineering programme was also domiciled in the Department. In 1978, as a result of some structural changes in the Faculty, two units were created within the Department: Civil Engineering and Engineering Management (later to be known as Industrial and Production Engineering). These were in addition to the Department’s programme in Agricultural Engineering and Forestry Engineering programmes, and the units offered service courses to all the other academic programmes in the Faculty.
In July 1980, the Faculty was again restructured into seven academic Departments. The Civil Engineering, and Engineering Management Units then acquired full Departmental status. In 2004, the Department moved into its present site, the Prof. Fola Aboaba Building, which houses all administrative staff and lecturers’ offices. Moreover, in 2006, the Department received permission from the Nigerian Universities Commission to effect a name and curriculum change into Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, while the Wood Products Engineering acquired full status as a Department in April 2017.
Over the years, several students who graduated through the programme have been known to show themselves as outstanding in all spheres. This is one of the core principles of training in the Department. For instance, in 1984, a certificate of honour was presented to a past president of the Agricultural Engineering Students Society (AESS) by the State Chairman of the National Youth Service Corps in Cross River State on account of outstanding performance. Similarly, in 1996/97, an alumnus of the Department also bagged a State Award of the National Youth Service Corps. In both cases, tributes were paid to their training and excellent performance in pioneering and leading the smooth take-off and success of NYSC farm and solar cooker fabrication for use in rural areas. In addition, a first class honours graduate of the Department in 1986, Dr. Amidu Oloso, is now a Chief Scientific Programmer Analyst Supervisor at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (NASA), USA. Another graduate of the Department, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat is the current Deputy Governor of Lagos State, having previously served as an Honourable Commissioner from 2005-2014 and he held portfolios in the Ministry of Science and Technology as well as that of Works and Infrastructure. Moreover, the current Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency, Engr. (Prof.) Babagana Umara Zulum, is an alumnus of the Department. A recent graduate of the Department, Mr. Abuchi Godswill Okeke, is a Senior Software Engineer at Walmart, USA. Engr. Idris Adeoye, a 2002 graduate, owns a multi-billion naira construction company. Many graduates of the Department are also working in the Federal and State Civil Service, oil companies as well as other multi-national companies such as Cadbury, Tractor and Equipment, Unilever etc.
The Department boasts of six highly distinguished Professors who have either served, or are currently serving as Vice-Chancellors in different Universities. Some of these are: Prof T.M.A. Olayanju (Philomath University, Abuja), Prof. J.O. Ojediran (Bells University, Ogun State) and Prof. J.A. Fuwape (Federal University of Technology, Akure). Available records also indicate the involvement of the early set of graduands in the setting up of Agricultural Engineering programmes in Federal and State Polytechnics and Universities. Currently, the Department has 24 staff members in active service comprising 12 academic staff, 4 technologists, 4 administrative staff, 3 artisans and a driver. Moreover, the Department has the honour of hosting the first Emeritus Professor in the history of the Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan.