Nigerian Defence Academy Produces Army’s First Professor

The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) has conferred the title of a professor on Abubakar-Surajo Imam, a lieutenant-colonel and Head of Department of Mechatronics Engineering at the institution.

Mr Imam is now is now Professor of Mechatronics Engineering. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that combines mechanical engineering, electronics, computer science, and control engineering.

He is said to be the first professor from among serving personnel in the history of the Nigerian Army.

The Registrar of the Academy, A.M Tukur, a brigadier-general, announced the promotion in a statement on Friday in Kaduna, the Kaduna State capital, North-west Nigeria.

He said that the promotion was ratified during the NDA Council Meeting in September, and took effect from 1 October 2022.

The registrar said that the council’s decision was a reflection of the confidence and recognition of the contributions of Mr Imam to the Department of Mechatronics Engineering of the Academy.

He said that the new professor has provided exemplary services and upheld the standards of excellence expected in his field.

“This recognition not only honours Professor Imam but also highlights the commitment of the Nigerian Defence Academy to acknowledging and rewarding outstanding contributions within its academic community,” he added.

Mr Tukur further said, “On behalf of the Commandant and staff of the Academy, I sincerely congratulate you on your well-deserved promotion.

“It is expected that you will continue to work hard to justify the confidence.”


Mr Imam, who hails from Kankia in Katsina State, has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bayero University, Kano, Kano State.

He also holds a master’s degree in Mechatronics from Newcastle University, United Kingdom, and PhD in Mechatronics and Robotics from the same university.

Mr Imam joined the Nigerian Army as a member of Short Service Combatant Course 32, and was assigned to the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

He later converted to Regular Commission, and served in numerous units including 1 Base Workshop, Technical Group EME, HQ Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps, and DICON.

Mr Imam is an Examiner and Member Central Selection Committee for Master’s and PhD candidates being sponsored by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.

He is also a researcher with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), the Defence Research and Development Bureau, Abuja, Command Engineering Depot, Buffalo Engineering Technology, and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Mr Imam is also a researcher with the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology in Wudil, Kano State.

The new professor has attended over 40 international workshops and numerous seminars and presented papers at several conferences in the United Kingdom, Spain, Egypt and the United States of America.

He currently doubles as Head, Department of Mechatronics Engineering and Director Centre for Innovation and Creativity, at the NDA.

At the NDA, Mr Imam has through his Research and Development efforts enormously contributed to enhancing the visibility of the Academy among Nigerian Universities.

He spearheaded the founding of the NDA Department of Mechatronic Engineering, and the establishment of the Centre for Innovation and Creativity.

The centre’s serves as platform for the realisation of Nigeria’s Military Industrial Complex through promotion of innovation and creativity in cutting-edge technologies related to novel military and civil hardware and software solutions, thereby reducing Nigeria’s dependence on foreign technical solutions.

His published books cover Mechatronics; PIC Microcontrollers; Embedded Systems Design; Sensors and Actuators for Embedded Systems; Coding, Robotics and Drone Technology for Kids; and Field Manual for Drone Technology, among others.


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