By Tony Iwuoma
History is being made today in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where the University of Uyo is conferring its prestigious doctorate degree on Dr. (Engr.) Kevin Ejikeme Onuchukwu.
He started his engineering career at the University of Port Harcourt where he graduated with Bachelor of Engineering degree, B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering in 1995. His undying quest for knowledge spurred him to obtain a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Business Administration, MBA, from University of Calabar in 2012.
He has also attended several courses and schools in the country, the United States and United Kingdom on equipment designs, surface engineering/simulations; facilities surveillance; supervisors training, project management, oil and gas production operations; enterprise leadership programme, general and advanced leadership programme, health safety and environmental awareness negotiation and conflict resolution, etc.
A COREN-registered engineer, Onuchukwu is a member of the Nigerian Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE, and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, and the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria, ISPON.
An accomplished leader that believes in safety first, integrity and quality, he has had excellent and successful career in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, which he joined in 1997, as Facilities Engineer. His career in the oil giant has spanned over 20 years, during which period he traversed various departments, thus making him the hardnosed professional he has become today. He set out as facilities manager with oversight responsibilities for technical support and treating of several oil and gas facilities, debottlenecking studies. He later became Business Advisor to the Executive Director, Production. He became Supervisor, Facilities Engineering in 2006 and mentored/trained several engineers to realise their full abilities and potentials on facilities surveillance/process simulations, project management and oil and gas facilities debottlenecking.
On completion of this assignment, Onuchukwu relocated to Houston Texas, as Global Engineering Regional Lead for Africa, covering Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Chad where he led and deployed the facilities surveillance best practices to African region and Germany.
In 2010, he became the Global Operations Best Practices Advisor in Houston Texas, covering ExxonMobil Worldwide affiliates and led efforts in sharing oil and gas productions best practices, internal benchmarking, self-assessment, global network meetings, with short assignment in Sable Island, Canada, East.
He became Area Operations Manager, West, in 2011 and led the team that produced several thousand barrels of crude oil per day, several million cubic feet of gas per day, several million standard cubic feet of gas per day and several thousand barrels of NGL equivalent per day.
In March 2013, he was assigned to Upstream Nigeria Maintenance Execution Manager where he managed the asset field maintenance team, executing various safety, health and environment, SHE, integrity and reliability tasks across joint venture and deep water operations in Mobil Producing Nigeria assets. Earlier this year, precisely in January, he was assigned to Nigeria Projects Organisation, NPO, as Project Management and Construction Support Manager, covering deep water and onshore projects activities.
Onuchukwu strongly holds the principles of professional ethics, integrity and total quality management, TQM. A core member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, and the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria, ISPON, who has always upheld the values and ideals of education to all for greater Nigeria, as exemplified in the various scholarships he sponsored for less privileged Nigerians from secondary to university levels. He has served the NSE in several capacities both at the national, divisional and branch levels and was the Vice Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, LOC, for 2016 NSE National Conference and Annual General Meeting, AGM, held in Uyo.
A winner of multiple laurels, Onuchukwu bagged several awards and recognition for his excellent performance from Mobil Producing Nigeria leadership and ExxonMobil Production Company, Houston Texas. Recently, he was also recognised for his outstanding contributions to humanity and commitment to development and promotion of occupational health and safety practice by the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria, ISPON.
Today’s conferment with honorary doctorate (Engineering) by the University of Uyo is yet another garland for the thoroughbred professional, signposting greater honours still to come.
Onuchukwu is married and blessed with four children.