This article is part of a series designed to showcase the diversity of people and roles in our industry. Please click here to view the full series.
Name: Ibiye Iyalla
Organisation: Robert Gordon University
How would you describe your job to a 10 year old?
I teach Engineering: helping people to know and understand things so they can make the world a better place.
What part of your job do you find most interesting?
Mentoring, developing strategies to achieve my organisation’s objectives and making presentations.
What part of your job do you least enjoy?
Marking assessments – I think this is every teacher’s dilemma.
What inspired you to choose your career?
I grew up in an academic environment (University campus) with an Uncle who was an academic and became a Vice Chancellor. Teaching is something that comes natural to me – I started teaching (informally) during my undergraduate days. My sister-in-law says my happiest moment is when I’m standing in front of a class with chalk (what will be markers now) in hand.
What or who has had the greatest influence on your career progression?
My uncle Prof Kelsey Harrison (Emeritus Professor) an academic of international repute – he has been a great source of encouragement and a model of leadership and academic excellence.
Name one practical thing we could do in the O&G industry to shift the dial on equality?
More is yet to be seen at executive levels. If the changes happen at top management level, it will be reflected in all other levels. I will say the focus should be more on equity (recognising individual circumstances and ensuring each individual has access to the exact resources and opportunities required for advancement) rather equality.
What is the last song you listened to? (be honest!)
I listen to gospel music all the time. The last was this morning in the car – Glimpses by Carrollton.
If there was a parallel universe with another version of ourselves, what job would you do there?
I will still be an Engineering teacher – helping people understand complex principles in simple terms to solve problems. That’s what Engineers do – we solve problems.
If you could solve one problem, what would it be and how would you solve it?
To create a much fairer and equitable society. By education and creating enabling environment – policies with clear implementation strategies, that ensures that people are not disadvantaged or discriminated against.
Tell us something about yourself that may surprise everyone?
My first name is 19 letters – IBIYEKARIWARIPIRIBO.