Keynote speaker discusses problem solving, education for Engineer’s Week


Ryan Bretoi/Iowa State Daily

Bisi Ezerioha speaks to students in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Feb 16. Ezerioha, who is an engineer, race car driver and CEO of his own company, Bisimoto Engineering, talked to engineering students about his life in college and afterwards while working with race cars and his own company. 

Mitchell Lafrance

The CEO of Bisimoto Engineering, Bisi Ezerioha, kicked off Engineer’s Week as the keynote speaker for a packed crowd at the Great Hall Thursday night.

During his lecture, Ezerioha spoke to students, faculty and car enthusiasts about the importance of persistent problem solving and applying the skills that students learn in the classroom to real life.

Ezerioha was just a small boy when his family moved to Nigeria from the United States. While there, he discovered a love of taking things apart and learning how they worked.

At the young age of 15, he enrolled in university to study petrochemical engineering. After his first year at college in Nigeria, he enrolled in classes in the United States, as they had more ample opportunities that he sought out. After graduating from college with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering, he pursued a career in the pharmaceutical field. 

Ezerioha spent about 10 years in the pharmaceutical profession as a pharmaceutical researcher and salesman before he started his own business, Bisimoto Engineering, in 2006. The company designs, engineers and applies high-performance aftermarket products for various vehicles including Honda, Hyundai and Porsche.

Among many impressive feats for the firm, their work has appeared in a variety of video games and movies, namely Fast and Furious 7, according to a lecture press release. 

“We [engineers] need encouragement. That’s one of the reasons why I’m here,” said Ezerioha. He spoke about how aspiring engineers are in a very unique position to shape the future. “You are making the world a better place.”

Bisimoto holds various records in terms of power outputs for their engines, specifically, the most powerful naturally aspirated, single-overhead-cam Honda engines in the world. Ezerioha didn’t stop there with innovation, though.

In 2016, his team built a 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan with over 1,000 horsepower. It was built in an incredibly short amount of time; seven weeks according to Ezerioha. The minivan was on display at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association auto show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To put that into perspective, the average Honda minivan has around 250 horsepower. Suffice to say, you can bet the kids won’t be late for any soccer practice driving Bisimoto’s Odyssey. 

“Everyday at Bisimoto, I utilize skills and concepts that I learned in the classroom,” said Ezerioha, “I encourage you to stay positive, and pay attention in your classes.”

Ezerioha went on to talk about how when running into problems, it is important to look into all possible solutions, no matter how odd they may be.

“Our second drag race car was actually based on a Honda Insight,” Ezerioha said.

The Honda Insight was a hybrid-electric vehicle manufactured for maximum mpg. Ezerioha says that when he saw that car for the first time, he knew it would make a great race car. 

 “I thought it was really cool how he connected his education to his success,” said Ford Pendleton, junior in mechanical engineering. 

Ezerioha finished his lecture with words of encouragement for those pursuing degrees in engineering. “If you ever come across challenges, don’t lose sight. Stay focused.”