An Interview with Dr Urenna Onyewuchi

By pearl - October 03, 2018

Today's Interview is with someone who inspired me very early on in my career in Tech. I met Urenna on one of my super challenging semesters at Georgia Tech. She was a mentor to one of the scholarships I was a recipient of. It was truly god-sent to have someone just like me from the same continent, probably facing the same challenges I was facing but doing even bigger things. This made me believe I could do it too. I hope her story inspires you to do the same. 

Having Specialized in asset management of power systems and infrastructure, Dr. Urenna Onyewuchi talks on her passion for power in Nigeria and African Development.

Urenna Onyewuchi, Ph.D. hails from the Imo State of Southeast Nigeria. After graduating from secondary school in Nigeria, she moved to the U.S to further her studies. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University and an M.S. and PhD. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Her most recent industry job was a Global Energy Manager and Senior Electrical Engineer for Corning Incorporateda multinational tech company in the U.S.  

What will you say was the most challenging part of your Journey to becoming an Engineer?

Getting a taste for Verbal and Honors English/Communications classes. In undergrad, I lacked the literary creativity to make A's in the classes. I was stuck with B+'s till I realized that English and Literature were not necessarily about logic but looking beyond the obvious. I figured it out my senior year. The required Math/Physics/Engineering classes were fun for me. So I wouldn't add them to my list of challenges just yet.

What is a day in Urenna's life like?

It always has to do with thinking about what people need (world problems) and the skill-set I have to develop to meet this need, and commercialize solutions. This is in addition to my regular work for the day. With Corning, my day was spent responding to emails and sending new ones; making calls, developing models to simulate processes or understanding the impact of uncertainties on key outputs, and guiding co-workers on energy management, among other things.

Can you tell us about your passion for Power in Nigeria?

It is what drove me into Electrical Engineering in addition to my acute understanding of Calculus and Physics. I wondered what was so difficult about electricity that would prevent the Federal Government from fixing it all of my young life. So I decided I needed training in the field. Too many people die daily because they lack reliable power supply in Nigeria.

What advise will you give to a young student starting today

Find mentors, peers, and experts in your areas of interest to guide you on your journey of life, academics, and career. It makes a world of difference.

What does Urenna do for fun?

I love mentoring young people into leadership. I also enjoy traveling, watching good movies, reading good books, and eating great food. It is more fun when I do them with people I care about. 

Opportunities to meet me or hear from Urenna.

I am available as a paid speaker to events or conferences to discuss African development, power in Africa, diversity in engineering, women in engineering, mental health in the workplace, the importance of work-life balance, and the like. For information on this, please feel free to contact me through my LinkedIn profile.

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