The Federal University of Technology, Owerri was formally inaugurated in 1981 on a temporary site, the Lake Nwaebere Campus, which was originally meant for the Federal Government Girls’ College, Owerri. Under the then School of Natural and Applied Sciences (SNAS), each programme area was under a Director who was responsible to the Dean of the School. The Department of Physics was one of the first programmes to be established under the Physical Sciences programmes area with Prof. A. Nduka as the Director. Lectures started in this school in October 1981. The Schools at this time constituted the basic operating units of the University’s academic organization and planning. Each School had different programme areas, each of which had a number of specific degree programmes.
Lectures in the Physics Programmes commenced in the year 1981/82 with 2 students (who later graduated in the 1985/86 Session with B.Tech. degree in Industrial Physics) and a few academic staff: Professor A. Nduka, Dr M. Munroe, Dr J. C. Osuwa, Dr B. N. Onwuagba, Dr M. N. Agu, and Mr S. K. X. Howusu.
In the 1988/89 session, the above academic structure was formally abandoned; the school was renamed School of Science (SOSC) and the Physics programme attained the status of a full-fledged academic department with new curricula based on the NUC approved Benchmark for minimum academic standards. Consequently, during the NUC Academic Accreditation Visitation in 1990, the Department of Physics with 7 academic staff, 4 PhD’s and 3 M.Sc’s and some good physical and infrastructural facilities earned the INTERIM Accreditation status for its academic programmes. Today, the Department has FULL Accreditation being the outcome of the NUC Academic Accreditation Visitation in 2007.
In 1993, the Federal University of Technology, Owerri moved from its temporary site at the Lake Nwaebere campus to its permanent site at Owerri West LGA. The Department on its own was able to dismantle its laboratories, including equipment and materials at the Lake Nwaebere campus and re-assembled them at the permanent site, a feat achieved via the sustained efforts of the then Chief Technologist, Mr S. O. Omotosho and his technical team.
The staffing position of the Department of Physics has since improved markedly. The academic staff strength is presently thirty-two (32) which include 17 PhDs and 15 M.Scs. The Department also has five (5) graduate assistants who are presently doing their M.Sc in Physics. The total student enrolment has now reached 517. In addition, the Department has 2 administrative officers, 2 Computer operators, and 3 Clerical officers. The Laboratories are manned by 1 Chief Technologist, 2 Deputy Chief Technologists, 1 Senior Technologist, 7 Technologists II, 1 Chief Laboratory supervisor, 1 Assistant Chief Laboratory Supervisor, and 4 Laboratory assistants.