PROF. FRANCISCA NNEKA OKEKE
NIGERIA’S QUEEN OF PHYSICS,
Francisca Nneka Okeke is a Professor of Physics, 2000 to date. Her areas of research interest include; Solid earth Geophysics, atmospheric Physics and climate variability. She is a Laureate of L’Oreal- UNESCO 2013, for WIS for the Physical Sciences. She is a fellow: (i) The World Academy of Science (FTWAS), (ii) African Academy of Sciences (FAAS) (iii) Nigerian Academy of Science (FAS), (iv) Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (FJSPS), (v) Nigerian Institute of Science (FNIP) (vi) Astronomical Society of Nigeria (FASN). CNN celebrated her in 2015, in African Voices for one week, for her numerous achievements, contributions to sciences and for her high profile records. The Nigerian Academia, in 2016 celebrated her as one of the 10 most influential Nigerian Women in Science. She is one of the Top 10 most outstanding lecturer in research and publications in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 2016; she was recognized and given this Award by University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Staff Award. She won the VC’s research Leadership award, 2016, in UNN.
Her dedicated and painstaking research over the past years has resulted in her significant and outstanding contributions in her area that immensely helped in simplifying the understanding of rather complex phenomena. She has successfully supervised well over 21 PhD and 36 MSc students. She is still supervising many PhD and MSc students. She published 110 papers in international reputable journals, 20 minor articles and 10 books. She has attended 44 overseas conferences and 30 national conferences, in all, she presented papers. A versatile academic that is prominent in her pursuit, out of her hard work and perseverance has won the following research visits: visiting research fellow, to University of Natal, Durban, South Africa in 1998, fellowship international Award; to University of Tokyo, Japan from 1999-2000, Visiting Assoc. to CPTEC Brazil, Research visits to: Harvard Smithsonian Centre, Cambridge, USA, 2004, Morgan State University, Baltimore, USA, 2003, etc.
She is the first female Head of Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2003 to 2006. First female Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, 2008 to 2010, she is now the Director of ICCSEE-UNN. The first woman Indigenous Professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the first Woman Professor of Physics in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Her two students won PG VC’s Award, 2010, 2016. She is member of several learned societies, she is a wonderful mentor and her mentees are all over the nation, as Professors, commissioner, lecturers etc. Her accomplishments notwithstanding, she is an avid listener, very humble, highly dedicated, committed, humane and respectful lady. Her unassuming personality makes her natural bridge-builder, team player, an astute and seasoned administrator with wealth of experience
She has contributed immensely to the development of Physics at both secondary and tertiary levels in Nigeria and has conducted many workshops. She has written a number of Physics text books and articles that have enhanced the teaching and learning of Physics at both secondary and tertiary levels in Nigeria. She has written many articles that have encouraged girls/Women in reading Physics in Nigeria/Africa at Large. She proved to the world that Physics is not only a male domain subject but also a female domain.