Oforitsenere Emiko: A Designer Inside and Outside of Class


June 14, 2004

Recent ECE M.S. graduate Oforitsenere "Nere" Emiko enjoys circuit testing and hardware verification, digital IC design, SoC design, and one other type of design that may surprise you: fashion design. Nere premiered 31 original pieces and choreographed 50 models for spring carnival's Remix show sponsored by the campus African American organization, SPIRIT. This year marked the second time the Nigerian native created unconventional outfits from everyday items.

Having graduated with her B.S. in May of 2003 with college and University honors, Nere's record proves she is always up for a challenge; her plans include a career with Motorola in Austin and working on the strategic development of technology in Nigeria.

Let's catch up with ECE's latest trend-setter:

Oforitsenere Emiko

ECE Graduate Student

A new "sensation:"

I designed and made 6 outfits for the "live art" segment of Remix, displaying clothes on models [including ECE seniors Jackie Chen and Dawn Day] before the show began. In addition, I designed and made about 25 outfits for a scene called sensations. I was also in charge of choreographing/supervising the entire scene (there were 4 other designers).

Sensations was about taking different elements and juxtaposing them so that they come out pleasing to the senses. I wanted to show (through my designs) that the unconventional and the conventional can coexist, that the acceptable and rejected can unite. If you free your mind, stereotypes can be broken. I did 4 different types of designs. One section was with very elegant/graceful pieces and another used clothing made from paper. The third section was more daring/bold and the last one was more about power/drama. The materials I used were fabric, rope, string, thread, yarn, matches, metal, glitter, newspaper, posters, tissue, ribbon, fine paper, trash bags, leaves, fern, cling wrap, gift-wrap, and roses.

Hours devoted to the fun:

Very late nights and early mornings and a couple of all-nighters. At least 300 hours.

Best part of the show:

The challenge. Definitely the challenge of creating all those outfits and working to organize 50 models in the scene.

Classroom favorites:

I have enjoyed a lot of ECE courses because I learned a lot from them, the professors were interesting, the classes were challenging or the material was very interesting.

That said, my most memorable ECE courses have been 18-525 (Integrated Circuit Design Project), 18-765 (Digital Systems Testing and Testable Design), 18-441 (Verification of Computer Hardware Systems), 18-725 (Digital Integrated Circuit Design), 18-743 (Energy Aware Computing) and 18-760 (VLSI CAD: Logic to Layout). The most influential professors I have had are Professors Strojwas, Blanton, Maly and Rutenbar.

TA time:

I was a TA for 18-322 (Analysis and Design of Digital Circuits), 18-525 (Integrated Circuit Design Project), and 18-725 (Digital Integrated Circuit Design).

Student activities:

African Student Organization (ASO), Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society (HKN), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and SPIRIT.

Other appearances:

Presentation at the Meeting of the Minds, May 2003.


I make jewelry. I love cooking, traveling, drawing and reading.

On Carnegie Mellon:

There is so much talent and opportunity to explore at CMU. You can be an engineer and artist here. It is up to you to make the effort to find out all that CMU has to offer.

A dress Nere made from fabric and bamboo sticks.

Nere designed this gown from plastic rose petals & fabric.

For this piece, Nere used strips of posters.