Distinguished Engineering Educator

Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua, Ph.D.

Ohlone College

For influence and passion extending far beyond the classroom; for vision, leadership, and mentoring that attracts and retains young women; and for advancing engineering as an instrument for social change.

Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua, Ph.D., is a professor of engineering at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. She is also a TED-Ed author with more than 20 years of experience in engineering and STEM education. At Ohlone College, she is principal investigator for the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Grant for Smart Advanced Manufacturing Education in the Silicon Valley. She also leads various apprenticeship/internship initiatives for engineering and advanced manufacturing in the Silicon Valley region.

She deeply believes in humanitarian engineering as a force for social change. She created a culturally responsive pedagogy that has increased retention of women and other historically underrepresented engineering students, and her efforts were instrumental in more than doubling enrollment in Ohlone’s engineering department within her first two years at the college.

Dr. Ekeng-Itua’s strong commitment to students’ socioeconomic upward mobility motivated her to launch several academia-collaborative projects with Fortune 500 companies, including Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Tesla, and other companies such as Scottish Energy, London Underground, Thames Water, and Ericsson. These projects resulted in and ensured a 100% student graduate employability.

A thought leader in engineering and engineering technology education, Dr. Ekeng-Itua shares best practices at conferences, speaker events, and workshops. She has also been a two-time visiting research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where she led research and investigations on factors influencing manufacturing productivity and Smart Microgrids in the U.S. and in emerging economies.

Dr. Ekeng-Itua is widely recognized for her work in engineering education and advocacy for women, including, among others, by SWE’s 2018 Advocating Women in Engineering Award, the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Teaching Award; and the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation 2022 Courage in Leadership Award.

Within SWE, Dr. Ekeng-Itua has served as an FY21 special director on the board of directors, FY21 Africa task force board liaison, FY20 president of the Mt. Diablo Section, founding lead for the African American affinity group, and founding faculty advisor for one of the first SWE collegiate interest groups. Currently, she is founding co-lead for the community college affinity group and an advisor on the SWE Africa advisory board.

In her community, Dr. Ekeng-Itua is a commissioner on the economic development advisory board for the city of Fremont, California, and an appointee of the California State Senate Rules Committee for the Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee.

Dr. Ekeng-Itua holds a B.S. in engineering with honors in electrical and electronic engineering from Federal University of Technology Owerri in Nigeria; an M.S. in mobile and satellite communications engineering from the University of Surrey, U.K.; and a Ph.D. in cybernetics from the University of Reading in the U.K. She enjoys traveling, painting, reading, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.