Oludare Sokoya visited British Columbia on business 12 years ago and was so impressed that he vowed to one day call Canada home. In late 2019, his dream became a reality. Oludare, along with his wife and their three sons, moved from South Africa to Calgary. It was a leap of faith because Oludare didn’t have a job in sight – only a few friends in Alberta.
What Oludare did have was an extensive education and 10 years of teaching experience. He grew up in Nigeria, where he completed his first degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering before moving to South Africa for post-graduate studies. Oludare went on to complete both a master’s degree and a PhD in Engineering, in addition to Project Management Professional certification.
Last year, Oludare landed a teaching position at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, B.C.
“Teaching and mentoring students has become a passion for me,” he explains. “It allows me to assist students in realizing their full potential and helping them to contribute to their communities”.
Today, Oludare is at the heart of a Digital Technology Supercluster project called Autonomous Systems Technician. The Internet of things, machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the way resource companies operate remote facilities, with real-time sensors and systems monitoring equipment to increase productivity and ensure employee safety.
In response, this new program offered by the College of the Rockies in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Teck Resources Ltd. is equipping students in smaller communities with the digital skills to install and maintain remote telecommunications systems, while also preparing them to work with other innovative technologies.
Most of the pilot led by Oludare is online, with some face-to-face labs in a modified and physically distanced classroom in Cranbrook. The plan is to expand the reach of the program this fall and include international students.
Oludare says, “Training tech-inclined people locally enables them to stay close to home while supporting sustainable community development and reducing travel expenses.”
Learn more about Autonomous Systems Technician here.