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The department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Ibadan is the oldest such department in Nigeria.  Formally established in 1971 as one of the foundation departments of the Faculty of Technology at the University of Ibadan, it has trained hundreds of Petroleum Engineers for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and beyond. More than 50% of the Petroleum Engineering workforce in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry derived their initial professional training from the University of Ibadan.

The programs of the department are internationally competitive. Indeed the activities of the many alumni of this department, local and in diaspora, have consistently showed that graduates of the department are some of the best anywhere in the world.  This would explain why the department was a recipient of the 2005 World Oil Award for excellence.  Earlier in 2002, the department was selected to host the Schlumberger “Ambassador University” program in Africa, South of the Sahara.  Earlier on, Shell Development Company of Nigeria as well as the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) have endowed Professorial Chairs in Petroleum Engineering in the Department, and designed it as a “Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Engineering.”

The commitment of members of staff and several member of the alumni have in many ways, been responsible for making all the above possible. Furthermore, the above achievements have been possible because in 1972 when the department started, it was very well equipped by the Canadian Agency for International Development (CIDA) so that it could perform its functions as a frontline educational department.  However, since CIDA folded up its program in Nigeria in 1975 (or there about), there had been no additional facilities or enhancements to keep these assets in reasonable working order until the current intervention efforts of PTDF.

In the Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Ibadan, we have had substantial success stories in the last few years in the initial drive to build up the physical facilities with the completion of the following:

  • The UI-Schlumberger Learning Center, completed in 2002
  • The Shell Chair Building complex, completed 2004
  • The PTDF building complex, to be completed within the next few months
  • Donation of Audio-Visual Equipment for use in our lectures – Alumni in      ChevronTexaco Oil Company.
  • Donation of Internet connectivities facilities and equipment to connect the      department to worldwide web – Alumni in Schlumberger Oil Services.
  • Donation of many units of computers for students and staff uses by SPDC


With all these physical facilities completed and in place, the University of Ibadan Department of Petroleum Engineering will perhaps soon become the best equipped such department in Africa.

Current Status

The Petroleum Engineering Department of the University of Ibadan has grown and developed over the years. The Ibadan program was the first in Nigeria to be approved by COREN (Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria) in 1979.  This accreditation was again renewed by COREN in 1989, and 2000. The department was first accredited by NUC in 1991.  During the 1999/2000 NUC re-accreditations, the program passed in two of the three major ones.  It scored 32 as against 28 minimum in academic content, 10 as against 13 as minimum in staffing and 19 as against 18 points in physical facilities.  The department was given an interim accreditation status because of physical facilities.

Since then, a number of improvements have been undertaken with aspects to staffing, academic content and physical facilities. The department now has three endowed Professorial Chairs that have allowed interaction with the industry. With a number of well-qualified academic staff and three well-equipped laboratories, the department is poised to maintain academic excellence in the new millennium.

The idea of an Institute of Applied Science and Technology in the University of Ibadan was first muted in 1967. The National Universities Commission (NUC) had directed that 70% of the total student enrolment in Nigerian Universities should be in Science and Technology. In accordance with this policy, the Commission gave approval for the establishment of the institute which was supposed to be inter-disciplinary in structure and mandated to facilitate grater integration between academic studies and the industrial, social and economic needs of Nigeria by generating technology for the nation's industrial development and technological advancement.

The recognition of the need for a wider variety of trained personnel in technology than was available from the then existing faculties of engineering in the country informed the proposal that the Institute should offer both first degree and post-graduate diploma programmes in the areas of agricultural products processing, including food and fibre, mineral technology, chemical and plastics technology etc.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was approached for technical assistance. CIDA agreed to provide equipment and some specialised teaching staff in the initial three to five-year period and engage in counterpart training whereby Nigerians can be trained to fill specialised teaching posts as Canadian experts terminate their duty cycles.  

The 1972/73 session saw the arrival of the first teaching staff and students. Of the twelve senior staff members, five were supplied by CIDA. The fifty pioneering students were drawn mainly from the Faculties of Science, Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science. These were admitted to the first and second years of the degree and diploma programmes.

At inception, the Institute operated seven programmes, namely, Agricultural Engineering Forestry Engineering, Wood Processing, Machine Design Engineering, Instrumenation Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and Food Technology.
With the transformation of the Institute to the Faculty of Technology in July 1975, the Seven programmes were regrouped into four academic departments:
(i)Department of Agricultural Engineering offering programmes in Agricultural Engineering and Forestry Engineering.
(ii)Department of Design and Production Engineering offe1ing programmes in Machine Design Engineering, Instrumentation Engineering and food Engineering.
(iii) Department of Food Technology.
(iv) Department of Petroleum Engineering.


In addition, two supporting units were established under the Dean of the Faculty's Office.
These were:
(i) The Industrial Co-ordination Unit which organised the students industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) for all the students of the faculty until 1996 when it was transformed into the Industrial Training and Co-ordination Centre, cat~ to the needs of the entire University.
(ii) The Technical Suppot1 Unit which provides workshop and related S«vices for the academic programmes. 

In July 1978, further changes were effected in the structure of the Faculty. The Department of Design and production Engineering was changed to the Department of Mechanical Engineering which was to offer Degree programmes in both Mechanical and Wood Processing Engineering. Also, a Civil Engineering Unit was created which was temporarily based in the department of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering. During the 1978/79 session, an Engineering Manage Unit was again established within the latter Department. These two academic units offered service courses to all the programmes within the Faculty.
Based on further recommendations from the National Universities Commission, part of which had also earlier been made by both the then Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (now known as the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria) (COREN) and the Committee of Deans of Engineering / Technology of Nigerian Universities, the Faculty was restructured again in July 1980 into its current form with respect to the academic departments.

The names of some of the Departments as well as the programmes offered have since
undergone some changes, leading to what we have today:-
(i) Department of Agricultural Engineering offering both Agricultural Engineering and Wood Products Engineering.
(ii) Department of Civil Engineering
(iii) Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
(iv) Department of Industrial & Production Engineering
(v) Department of Food Technology
(vi) Department of Mechanical Engineering and. in Department of Petroleum Engineering

The pioneering students in the Departments of Civil and Electrical Engineering (as it was then called) were admitted during the 1981/82 session, The programme in Architecture, started during 1983/84 session, was discontinued shortly after commencement. Also on the drawing board are arrangements for the creation of the Departments of Wood Products Engineering (to be carved out of the existing Department of Agricultural Engineering) and Textiles Technology/Engineering, as well as the re-introduction of the programme in Architecture.