NIGERIAN electrical engineer Joel Adams has broken a 102 year tradition by becoming the first non-UK born person to be commissioned into the British Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aero systems engineer with the rank of Flying Officer.
Flying Officer Adams, a native of Abejukolo in the Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State, graduated with a first-class degree in Electrical Engineering from the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State. Following his commissioning into the RAF as an aero systems specialist engineer, he was immediately granted British citizenship.
Clearly possessing skills the RAF badly needs, Flying Officer Adams holds a PhD in industrial systems and manufacturing engineering from the University of Cambridge. He holds a master’s degree in Control Systems from the Imperial College London.
Honoured by the queen yesterday, Flying Officer Adams was a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship for Innovation and Development under the administration of former Nigerian president Dr Goodluck Jonathan. He is the first non-British to be commissioned as an aero-systems specialist engineer to the rank of a Flying Officer in the RAF since its formation in 1918.
Flying Officer Adams said: “I was emotional this evening as I reflect on my journey, the humble beginning, the sacrifices, the grace of God and the accomplishments. It is not so much about the accomplishment as it is about where I’m coming from. Only those of my background will understand.”