In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is spotlighting members of our staff whose exemplary work furthers the mission of FE every day.
Dr. Olayinka Ogunsola is a Senior Program Manager for FE’s Office of Oil and Natural Gas. Before joining the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2000, Dr. Ogunsola was a National Research Council Senior Research Associate at FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, West Virginia. Before working for NETL, he worked at the Canadian Center for Minerals and Energy Technology and taught at universities, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
In his current role in FE, Dr. Ogunsola manages activities within the Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas (UOG) Research and Development Program. Drawing on his more than 35 years of experience working in the fuel and energy engineering fields, he provides the UOG program, DOE leadership, Congress, and other stakeholders advice and subject matter expertise in the areas of oil and gas extraction, characterization, processing, and utilization.
Dr. Ogunsola says it is important for people of all backgrounds to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) because these subjects are at the core of our everyday lives—regardless of where we come from or what kind of work we do.
“The wheels of development (at the individual, community, or national level) are turned by a thorough understanding and application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” he said. Because these subjects are so interconnected with one another, having an understanding of one leads to better understanding of another—helping us all to advance.
For young people interested in pursuing a career in STEM, Dr. Ogunsola advises them not to shy away from these subjects because they may seem overly complex.
“The concept of science and mathematics is not as difficult as many people think,” he said. “All it takes is interest, dedication, perseverance, and hard work. Be focused and do not give up.”
Helping young people pursue careers in science and energy has been part of Dr. Ogunsola’s experience working at DOE, as well. He has served as a mentor for a number of staff at DOE through the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program. The MLEF Program provides students with fellowship opportunities to gain hands-on experience doing research with FE—with the mission of developing the next generation of STEM professionals.