First female construction professor in SA and Nigeria

By Leila Steed14 December 2020

Abimbola Windapo

Abimbola Windapo is the first female professor of construction management in South Africa and Nigeria

Abimbola Windapo has become the first woman in South Africa and Nigeria to hold a university professorship in the construction management field.

Nigerian-born Windapo, who has a PhD in Building, was recently awarded the position of full professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.

Describing Windapo as “ceiling-smashing”, the UCT said the promotion was, “particularly meaningful because it is recognition of her research, teaching, social responsiveness and administrative abilities.”

A former chairperson of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment’s (EBE) Transformation Committee, Windapo was recently recognised as the winner of the 2020 National Science and Technology Forum-South32 Award in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category.

According the UCT, the drive to transform the construction field “in and outside the university” has been a constant in Windapo’s career.

The academic institution said that Windapo recognised the importance of housing and infrastructure early on and “responded to the high failure rates of many construction companies, particularly in the small- to medium-enterprise sector, and the poor health and safety records.”

Windapo, who takes up her new position as professor of construction management in January 2021, began her professional career as a planning engineer at Bouygues Nigeria. She later went on to study for a Master’s degree in Construction Management at the University of Lagos, before becoming a builder with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.


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