Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
THE pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State, Professor Babatunde Alabi has been laid to rest.
Prof. Alabi was FUPRE’s pioneer VC from 2007 to 2012 after retiring from the University of Ibadan where he had started his academic sojourn in 1980 as a Lecturer II in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
In his lying-in-state ceremony at the iconic Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, on Friday August 18, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, who led the ritual, delivered the oration in honour of the distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Members of the University Council, staff of the Faculty of Technology, UI, children and grandchildren as well as family members were at the colourful occasion.
Professor Alabi who passed at 73 on May 24, 2023, was born on March 22, 1950.
In a “forever missed” in his honour, Professor Alabi was described: “as fondly remembered as a great personal mentor to hundreds of his students as well as his positive influence on thousands of young people. He was an avid sports player who particularly excelled at draught, chess, and table-tennis. He served as a consultant to many industrial organisations and was highly recognised in the university community and beyond. He will also be remembered for his warmth, sense of humour, characteristic laughter, quiet nature, and how proud he was of his children.
“Professor Babatunde Alabi was a born-again Christian, who loved and served The Lord fervently. He was a member of The Redeemed Christian Church of God from 1995 and contributed to the expansion of GOD’s kingdom on earth.”
Below is the oration delivered by Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Adebowale:
ORATION DELIVERED BY THE VICE CHANCELLOR, PROFESSOR K. O. ADEBOWALE, mni, FAS, AT THE LYING-IN-STATE CEREMONY, IN HONOUR OF LATE PROFESSOR BABATUNDE ALABI, HELD IN TRENCHARD HALL, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ON FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST, 2023
“Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun,
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Registrar, University Librarian, Dean, Faculty of Technology, Ag. Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty members from the Faculty of Technology, Family members of Late Prof. Babatunde Alabi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Here lies the body of Babatunde Alabi, a distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Professor Babatunde Alabi was born on 22 March, 1950. He graduated from Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo in 1967. He attended University of Lagos where he studied Mechanical Engineering from 1970 – 1973 and graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) Degree in Mechanical Engineering Second Class Upper Division in 1973. In 1975. He proceeded to University of London, UK, where he bagged M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1976. He was awarded Diploma of Imperial College (D.I.C. in Acoustic and Vibration Technology) in 1977 by Imperial College, London and got his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of London, UK in 1979.
Professor Babatunde Alabi started his professional career as a Tutor in Computer Programming in Imperial College, University of London, 1978.
Professor Alabi however started his teaching and research career at the University of Ibadan in 1980 as a Lecturer II in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His appointment was confirmed to retiring age from 8 April, 1983.
Professor Alabi was promoted to the grade of Senior Lecturer on 01 October, 1984 and Professor with the effect from 01 October, 1993.
Professor Babatunde Alabi was awarded the prestigious commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan tenable in the United Kingdom in April 1993.
He taught Mechanical Engineering courses in the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 08 April, 1980 until 30 November, 2015 when he voluntarily retired from the services of the University of Ibadan having served the University of Ibadan for a period of 36 years.
His Inaugural Lecture delivered on 29 March, 2001 was titled “FROM VIBRATIONS TO FRACTALS: EXCITEMENT AT THE FRONTIERS OF KNOWLEDGE”.
The distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering served as a member of various committees within the University community during his service years. Within the University, he was Acting Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering (1988 -1990); Dean, Faculty of Technology (2000 – 2004) and Chairman, University Sports Council, University of Ibadan (1997 – 2000). He served as Chairman, Task Force on Plumbing Repairs in the University Halls (1996 – 1997); Chairman, Consultancy Services Unit, Faculty of Technology (1996 – 2000); Chairman, Appointments and Promotions Sub-Committee on the Review of Rules and Regulations Guiding the Promotion of Academic Staff (2000 – 2001) and Chairman, Management Board, Industrial Training Coordinating Center (2004).
He was Member, University of Ibadan Senate, 1980-2015. He was member, Senate Curriculum Committee; Member Senate Publications Committee and the Patron Chess Club, University of Ibadan
In a remarkable turn of events, he was once more entrusted with the position of Chairman of the University Sports Council for a tenure spanning three years, from 01 February, 2007.
However, his tenure in this role was short-lived as he stepped down from the position on 04 May 2007. This decision was driven by his acceptance of a momentous opportunity to serve as the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, where he dedicated his expertise and leadership from 2007 to 2012.
Professor Alabi was a COREN Registered Engineer. He also served as a Member of different Committees and Boards at state and national levels. He was a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Science Association of Nigeria, Society of Engineering Science, U.S.A. and New York Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
Prof. Babatunde Alabi taught courses mostly in areas of Applied Mechanics, including Mechanics of Machines, Applied Dynamics, and Continuum Mechanics and published numerous outstanding journal articles and wrote some books that are known globally in his area.
During his career at the University of Ibadan, he supervised many postgraduate students who became outstanding scholars. He also produced 1 M. Phil. and 1 Ph.D. graduate in his area.
Professor Alabi’s intellectual prowess earned him several scholarships and prizes. These include Federal Government undergraduate Scholarship, 1970; Petroleum Technology Development Fund Postgraduate Scholarship, 1975 and Federal Government of Nigeria Postgraduate Scholarship Award, 1977 among others.
Professor Babatunde Alabi will ever be remembered for his contributions to the advancement of the Faculty of Technology and the University of Ibadan.
Professor Babatunde Alabi was a family man. He was married to Dr. Abisoye Adebanke Alabi and they are blessed with three children namely Tolulope Oluwakemi Jeje, Omolola Oluwatosin Alabi-Adegbayi and Babajide Olatunde Alabi.
Adieu, a great teacher, mentor, researcher, and administrator.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, mni, FAS,
Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan.