Adeola Deborah Olubamiji is a Nigerian-Canadian technologist who specializes in metal and plastic additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. In 2017, she became the first black person to obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the 112-year-old University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her remarkable journey from hawking pepper on the streets of Ibadan, Nigeria, to becoming a global leader in her field is a testament to her resilience, determination and passion for science.
Olubamiji was born on April 3, 1985, in Nigeria, a native of Ijare area, Ondo state. She was raised in Ibadan where she attended Alafia Public Primary School and St Gabriel Secondary School, Mokola. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Physics (with Electronics) from Olabisi Onabanjo University, and later went on to obtain her master’s degree at Tampere University of Technology, Finland. She received her Doctorate degree from University of Saskatchewan, becoming the first black person to obtain a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University.
During her PhD, she utilized 3D printing for recovery of damaged articular cartilage, a tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints and allows smooth movement. She also developed 3D-printed cartilage-mimetic scaffolds that could potentially be used for cartilage tissue engineering. She used synchrotron imaging techniques to visualize and assess the quality of her 3D-printed constructs. She published several peer-reviewed papers and gave a TEDx talk on her research.
After completing her PhD, she worked as an advanced manufacturing technical advisor at Cummins Inc., Indiana, as an additive manufacturing subject matter expert. She was instrumental in the development of additive manufacturing technology roadmap and improving Cummins’ laser printed 316L stainless steel. She then joined Burloak Technologies as the lead metallurgist and material engineer, where she also acted as the principal liaison officer for all Burloak’s and Multiscale Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
She is currently the director of additive manufacturing solutions at Desktop Metal, a company that provides end-to-end metal 3D printing solutions. She is responsible for developing and executing strategies for additive manufacturing applications across various industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical and energy.
Olubamiji is not only a successful technologist but also a passionate advocate for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and empowerment. She is the founder of STEMHub Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that provides mentorship, scholarships and workshops to students and early career professionals in STEM fields. She is also the chief consultant at D-Tech Centrix, an education and career consulting company that helps individuals achieve their academic and professional goals.
She has received numerous awards and recognition for her achievements and contributions to society. She was recognized as one of the 150 black women making Canada better in 2017. She was named one of the 10 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree Canada in 2019. She was also named as one of 27 influential women in manufacturing honoree in the USA in 2019. In 2020, she was awarded as one of 130 STEP Ahead Honoree and female manufacturing leaders by the Manufacturing Institute, USA. She was selected as an awardee of Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2020, under the Life Science and Technology category.
Olubamiji’s story is an inspiration to many young people who aspire to pursue their dreams despite the challenges they face. She is a role model for women and girls who want to break barriers and excel in STEM fields. She is a trailblazer who has shown that with hard work, perseverance and passion, anything is possible.
We at Rising Africa are proud to share the inspiring story of Adeola, who has shown us that with determination, hard work, and perseverance, nothing is impossible. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of blacks and Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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