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Challenging Stereotypes: Jemima Opokua's Endeavor in a Male-Dominated Field

The field of engineering is typically physical and male-dominated. While emerging female scientists from the NSMQ often pursue medical sciences, Ms. Jemima Opokua Obeng challenges the status quo and paves the way for other young women to venture into engineering. This week on the Live Chat, Jemima will share her experiences as a young civil engineer and discuss her life after NSMQ.

Ms. Jemima Opokua Obeng is a talented and accomplished civil engineer, with a passion for problem-solving and a strong commitment to excellence. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Jemima has demonstrated high technical expertise and proficiency in civil engineering.

In 2018, Jemima put up an exhilarating performance at the NSMQ, propelling Krobo Girls' SHS to their first-ever Semi-final Stage qualification over St. Margaret Mary SHS and Holy Child School.  In the Semi-final contest, Krobo Girls' SHS met Prempeh College and West Africa SHS in a thrilling competition that saw West Africa SHS progress to the Final Stage. The highbrow performance exhibited by Jemima and Harriet Fiagbor in 2018, especially in their Quarter-final contest, will always be remembered. Scores of NSMQ fans solidly rallied behind Krobo Girls' SHS with the hope of seeing the first-ever all-female school lift the NSMQ trophy. Although this campaign was unsuccessful, Jemima's efforts were highly praised and was adjudged the "Best Female Contestant" at the 2018 edition of the NSMQ.

Jemima has always been driven by a desire to positively impact society through her work. As a graduate trainee at Associated Consultants Limited in Accra, Jemima has worked on a number of projects, including a 34km national road project, where she reviewed design documents and designed drainage systems. She also examined existing culverts for improvements and supervised site works. Moreover, Jemima gained experience in environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and turning moment count using the Synchro Traffic Engineering software. Her meticulous attention to detail, strong analytical skills, and ability to work collaboratively with others were essential to the success of this project.

Jemima's internship experience at Associated Consultants Limited and Modern Planners and Construction Limited has provided her with valuable hands-on experience in civil engineering, including designing culverts, designing road geometry and reading structural and architectural drawings.

Jemima is also passionate about research and has worked on several research projects throughout her academic and professional career. Her final year research project focused on assessing and evaluating the drainage systems in the Bomso Community, where she conducted a desk study, a site reconnaissance study, and proposed engineering solutions to the problems identified. She also assisted engineers in conducting research on the use of major roads in Ghana for the purpose of rehabilitation or reconstruction. 

In addition to her professional work, Jemima is an active volunteer with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Ghana, where she has contributed to the planning and execution of the Water Distribution project at Ullo, Ghana, in partnership with EWB Iowa State University. She also assists in training and preparing members of the Krobo Girls' SHS NSMQ team.

Jemima has been recognized for her outstanding academic performance and received the Christ Apostolic Students Scholarship for Brilliant Students during her undergraduate and senior high school years. She was also awarded the Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu Award for the Most Outstanding Female Contestant at NSMQ 2018.

Jemima possesses a wide range of technical skills, including proficiency in Autodesk Civil 3D, Autodesk Storm and Sewer Design, Hydrology Culvert Studio, Microsoft Project, Synchro Traffic Software, MATLAB, and Microsoft Office Suite. She is also fluent in English and has a basic understanding of French.

Outside of her work as a civil engineer, Jemima is an avid writer, researcher and public speaker. She enjoys teaching and mentoring young people, cooking, and participating in theatre arts.

Jemima's dedication to her work and her desire to constantly improve and learn new skills make her a rising star in the field of civil engineering.

The #NSMQLiveChat is a LIVE virtual conversation featuring some of the most notable names on the NSMQ Stage since its inception. Every fortnight on Thursdays, we spotlight and interact with the myriad of brilliant minds who have made the NSMQ the programme we all love and enjoy.

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