CIBSE Role Models - Emeka Efe Osaji

The CIBSE Role Model series is intended to shine a spotlight on members of our building services community from under-represented groups and backgrounds to inspire and promote diversity amongst future engineers. 

As part of our Role Model series this month, we speak to Emeka Efe Osaji a Teaching Fellow in Architectural Technology at the University of Salford, and Treasurer of the CIBSE Energy Performance Group.

My name is Emeka Efe Osaji. Personally, I am a son, brother, husband, dad, uncle, nephew, cousin, in-law, and friend. Professionally, I am a Teaching Fellow in Architectural Technology at the University of Salford. I am lucky to be a 2nd-generation Academic, Researcher and Consultant. The steps taken by my parents and others have helped provide me with the right support network and prerequisite direction and clarity. I have kindly received recognition for my humble contributions, including in areas, such as: (1) Energy Certification Compliance Knowledge Transfer; (2) Teaching Excellence; (3) School Governance; (4) Sustainability Ambassadorial Excellence; (5) Sustainability in Energy and Buildings; and (6) Energy Efficiency Methodology.

CIBSE Journal’s December 2017 issue described my work as "the first independent synthesis of UK central government compliance with Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports …”. I have been elected: (1) Fellow of Leeds Sustainability Institute; (2) Academician of Academy of Urbanism (AoU); (3) Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA); (4) The 1st-Ever Energy Globe Ambassador to UK; (5) Fellow of Forum for Built Environment (FFB); (6) Chartered Scientist (CSci); and (7) Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv).

What first interested you in becoming an engineer?

In 2002, I earned degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture, which provided me with insight into the science of designing, building, and operating built environments that perform efficiently and do not impact negatively on occupants and the natural environment. However, much earlier at a younger age, I was fascinated by the components and assemblage of my toys, and I was usually eager to deconstruct for understanding and reconstruct for ingenuity. It makes me smile when I see similar curiosity in my children.

There are times in my career that I have perceived challenges in ensuring my voice is heard. However, there are times I have perceived that my voice is indeed heard and appreciated.

What has been the proudest moment of your career to date or the best project that you have worked on?

I am honoured to serve in roles that include: (1) COP26 Universities Network Climate Change Expert; (2) RIBA North West Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Member; (3) CIBSE Energy Performance Group Treasurer, and Director (Editor) of Carbon Bites; (4) CIBSE ASHRAE Group Vice-Chair; (5) CIBSE Resilient Cities Group Committee Member; (6) Leeds Sustainability Institute Fellow, and Session Chair and Scientific Committee Member for Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) Conferences; and (7) Editorial Board Memberships, including Editorial Board Member of Infrastructure Asset Management.

I am excited to be pioneering Energy Certification Compliance. I am also excited to have been a recipient of the Research, Innovation, Sustainability, Enterprise (RISE) Awards 2019 Highly Commended Certificate for Knowledge Transfer, which is in recognition of my initiative.

Who has been your biggest professional role model and why? What impact have they had on your professional journey?

My biggest professional role models are my support network. I am an apprentice to greats, such as my Dad and Mum that fulfil (or have fulfilled) important roles and responsibilities as Professor and Head of Department, and as Senior Nursing Sister.

I am also an apprentice to greats, such as my family, friends, colleagues, and collaborators.

My support network has supported me in my personal and professional journeys. My support network’s peer review, feedback, advice, insight, and collaboration have been (and are) important in my personal and professional journeys.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

If ever possible, I would give my younger self advice and reassurance in the form of a poem about time:

Time might only have four letters as part of its feature, but it is integral to our past, present, and future. “Time can only tell”, we might sometimes say, but time seems to tick away every day without any delay. If you are young, perhaps time will make you better as you get older. If you are inexperienced, perhaps time will help improve your expertise and make you incredibly bolder. Life can sometimes be rough and tough, but perhaps time will be enough to help us deal with such challenging stuff. Time might only have four letters as part of its feature, but time is more interesting than just four letters in nature. Time is integral to our very existence because time records our birth, life, and presence. Time also tests our patience but also helps celebrate our competence. Time can lead us to becoming much better, and time can help us become role models to serve as an exemplar.


If you'd like to take part in our Role Model series, please contact 

Find out more about the work CIBSE is doing to improve Inclusivity and Diversity in the building services industry.


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