My life has been heavily freckled with a sense of adventure and research; a life that seeks to find the meaning of anything and will not stop till it gets to the depth of everything. This, perhaps, was responsible for damaging several electrical appliances when, as a boy, I was trying to discover what made everything that was not made in Nigeria work. It was this desire to discover things and break new grounds that spurred me into pursuing a career in the field I knew would best satisfy my curiosity.
Although I was a top student in high school, I was not always sure about the best career path to take. At that time, physics, basic electronics and mathematics were subjects I enjoyed and maintained distinctions in. During my final year in high school, I designed and constructed a burglar-detector system as a basic electronics project; an electronic speaker was the output device, and it was triggered by a switch which would turn on as soon as a door was opened. The project earned me a distinction, and I was very excited about my success. I knew my career would have to entail my best subjects. After much research about undergraduate courses which required knowledge of physics, mathematics and basic electronics, I chose to study electrical & electronics engineering because I was overawed by its vast applications, and I felt it would be a challenge to study a course with such extensive relevance.
My first year in the university was preliminary; my results were used to decide whether or not I was intellectually capable of coping with the degree requirements; I proved my capacity for success by maintaining good grades. One evening, during my second year in the university, I began reading a book titled Fundamentals of Electric Circuits by C. K Alexander and M. N. O Sadiku. In a chapter, I came across a quote by G.F.C Rogers which explains that Engineering is a practice of organizing the design, construction and operation of any artifice so as to transform the world around us to meet a well-recognized need. After pondering over this, it dawned on me that the primary goal of an engineer is to meet a well-recognized need. This epiphany had a butterfly effect on me that triggered a deep interest in power systems engineering.
Some weeks later, I read a story in the local newspapers about a family of four, found dead in their home, on their beds. The post-mortem report poses the cause of the death was carbon monoxide poisoning from the generator they used overnight. Though the tragedy was partly due to some carelessness on their part (the generator should have been placed far away from their sleeping area), I could not help but wonder how the tragedy would have been avoided if there was constant power supply in the country. I wondered why the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the agency in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria, could not curb the menace of electricity shortage. Electricity had become a...