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2023 Awards: OurNigeria to bestow Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Development on Prof Fubara

2023 Awards: OurNigeria to bestow Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Development on Prof Fubara

By Jerry Adesewo

Renowned Scholar and Geodesist, Prof. Dagogo Michael Jim Fubara, a distinguished figure in the fields of geodesy, space science, and community development, is set to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Development at the OurNigeria Awards 2023, scheduled for November. This award recognizes his exceptional contributions to academia, scientific research, and his tireless efforts to improve communities across Nigeria.

Prof. Dagogo Fubara’s journey towards this esteemed accolade is marked by a remarkable legacy of excellence and dedication that spans several decades.

A Trailblazer in Geodesy

In 1976, Prof. Dagogo Fubara made history by becoming the first professor of geodesy of African descent worldwide. His academic prowess was evident from his early education at Government College, Umuahia, where he achieved the rank of Company Sergeant Major in the Nigerian Cadet Force and served as a College Prefect and House Captain for three years.

As a recipient of the Shell-BP scholarship, he obtained his M.Sc. in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, in 1967. In 1969, he earned the distinction of being the first person of black descent globally to receive a Ph.D. in Geodesy, awarded by the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Contributions to Space Geodesy

Prof. Dagogo Fubara’s career began at the Topographical Department of the Exploration Division of former Shell-BP (now SPDC), where he spent five years. During this period, he played a pivotal role in surveying the route alignment for the first Trans-Niger crude oil pipeline from Uzere in Delta State to Bonny, Rivers State, including necessary hydrographic surveys.

His service extended to the United States, where he served as the Principal Geodesist in the Space Programme and Transportation Division of the renowned Battelle Columbus Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, from 1970 to 1975. In this capacity, he contributed his expertise to NASA, serving as a consultant in Space Geodesy applications to Earth and Ocean Physics.

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For the historic NASA Skylab mission in 1973, Prof. Dagogo Fubara conducted the Geodetic calibration of the world’s first satellite altimeter for global mapping of ocean surface topography and dynamics, significantly aiding Earth gravity model determination and weather forecasting.

Currently serving as the Nigerian Coordinator of NASA and Nigeria’s National Space Development and Research Agency (NASDRA) Collaboration programme, Prof. Dagogo Fubara continues to push the boundaries of space science. His work at the Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, Toro, Bauchi State, focuses on improving the determination of the Earth’s gravity model and its variations, Earth Orientation

Parameters, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, and more. These efforts have profound implications for spacecraft missions, national security, socio-economic activities, and navigation and mapping.

Community Development and Advocacy

Beyond his distinguished career in academia and geodesy, Prof. Dagogo Fubara is a passionate advocate for community development in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region. His tireless efforts have significantly contributed to addressing the challenges faced by these communities.

In 1983, he delivered a landmark Convocation Lecture at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, titled “The Conquest of the Niger Delta.” At the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, he presented a report, “The Endangered Niger Delta Environment,” which garnered international attention and influenced policy decisions. Notably, this report played a pivotal role in the crafting of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Bill.

Prof. Dagogo Fubara’s dedication to regional development is further exemplified by his role as Chairman and Co-founder of TECHDEV Energy Plc., an EPC and Oil/Gas Development Company. TECHDEV Energy Plc. played a pivotal role in developing the conceptual Master plan for the Niger Delta Energy Corridor, a strategic initiative to promote integrated regional industrial development.

Legacy and Recognitions

Prof. Dagogo Fubara’s legacy extends beyond his professional achievements. He is a dedicated family man, a Christian, and a recipient of numerous accolades and honors throughout his career. In 2010, he was recognized as one of the first 12 of “Our Heroes our Pride” in the Rivers State Calendar and Diary.

His outstanding contributions to academia, geodesy, space science, and community development make him a deserving recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Development at the OurNigeria Awards 2023. His life’s work has left an indelible mark on Nigeria and the world, and we eagerly anticipate celebrating his remarkable achievements at the upcoming awards ceremony in November.

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