H.E. Prof Bart Nnaji
Chairman and Founder
Geometric Power, Nigeria
Professor Bart O. Nnaji is the Chairman/CEO of Geometric Power Limited. He is a respected scientist and a talented Engineer of world renown.
In his career, he broke several barriers and created many records. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering at the age of 26 and became a Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at 37. He got his first B.Sc. degree in Physics with distinction. He won every prize in the field: best graduating student award of St John’s University, New York, and became the first black person in the institutions 102 year of history, 1988 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering; 1992 Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer Award; 1995 US Secretary of State Distinguished Public Service Award; 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award by the World Bank; to cite just a few.
He served as a Distinguished Professor of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Robotics in the Department of Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst until 1996. He was the ALCOA Foundation Professor in Manufacturing Engineering at University of Pittsburgh. ALCOA, the Aluminium Company of America, which endowed his professorship, is the world’s largest producer of aluminium products with annual revenue of over US$23 billion. He also served as the William Kepler Whiteford Professor at the University. He spearheaded the creation of the US National Science Foundation Center of Excellence for e-Design as a multi-campus Center of Excellence in the United States, and served as its first Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Prof Nnaji achieved a landmark in 1995, when he became the first foreigner to deliver the highly prestigious United States (US) Secretary of State Distinguished Public Service Lecture. In 1994, one of his books “Computers Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering’’ won the world’s best text book prize for manufacturing engineering.
Prof Nnaji developed an innovative and internationally accepted concept of using geometric reasoning to establish the relationship between geometry and manufacturing of products. He also established a complicated chart process for his innovation. He was subsequently awarded the Baker Distinguished Research Award in 2001, (which is similar to the Noble prize) for hard-core engineering scientists like him.
Although his primary area of interest is the hard sciences, Prof. Nnaji’s main concern has been how to forge a link between science and man. He believes in developing concepts that have major social implications. Thus, he was part of the team that produced robots for the U.S Army during the first Gulf War. These robots were programmed to go into battlefield to remove injured soldiers and bring them out for medical treatments. He established Geometric Power as the first indigenously owned private sector power generation company in Nigeria, and has developed the multi-million US Dollar Aba Integrated Power Project to supply power to the Industrial city of Aba in Nigeria. To Prof. Nnaji, Geometric Power is a long cherished dream to bring to reality his vision of harnessing the power of science for the service of humanity and the deployment of engineering in the solution of everyday problems.
Prof. Bart Nnaji’s service to Nigeria has been equally momentous. His first ministerial appointment was in 1993 when he served as the Federal Minister of Science and Technology at the age of 37. During his tenure, he initiated a blue print for the diversification of the nation’s economy to a manufacturing based sector and re-established the Ministry of Science & Technology in Nigeria.
He also served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council in March 2010. He was subsequently appointed the Special Adviser to the President on Power and simultaneously the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power. He thus assumed ultimate responsibility for the knotty issue of reforming the Power Sector in Nigeria. Rising to the challenge, he conceived and developed a much acclaimed blue print known as the “Roadmap for Power Reform in Nigeria.” It is a fail-safe pathway designed to revolutionize and hasten the pace of power development in Nigeria after decades of policy confusion and stagnation.
Partly in appreciation of his effort and his transparency and partly to enable him fully implement the “Roadmap,” President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him the Honorable Minister of Power in July 2011. His single-minded effort to improve power supply in Nigeria and his transparent implementation of the “Roadmap” yielded the globally acclaimed positive results for the country and has attracted global investors to the Nigerian Power Sector.
Prof. Nnaji was conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) –Nigeria’s highest intellectual merit award in 2001 by the Nigerian President, and the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2010 amongst others.
He holds the Honorary Doctor of Science and Technology from five different Nigerian Universities. He is a Fellow of many Academies including the Nigerian Academy of Science, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. He serves in various Governing Boards in Nigeria.
Prof Nnaji has published 5 books and more than 100 technical articles. His book Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering won the 1994 world best textbook prize for Manufacturing Engineering.
Prof. Nnaji completed his primary and secondary education in Enugu State, Nigeria, before he won a scholarship to study at St. John’s University where he won his B.Sc. He proceeded to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the State University of Virginia. He obtained the certificate of Post-Doctoral Studies in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts. He has trained hundreds of engineers and supervised scores of Ph.D. students from all over the world.
He has been recognized and conferred many traditional titles in Nigeria including a distinguished traditional chieftaincy title of ‘Aka ji oku' of Igbo land, for his achievements in the power sector which was conferred on him by His Majesty, (Engineer) Onyesoh, the Eze Nri, representing the most ancient of Igbo potentates.