Dr Helen Onyeaka graduated with a BSc in Industrial Microbiology from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria in 1991. She then furthered her studies in Wolverhampton University obtaining an MSc in Biomedical Sciences in 1998 to then later obtain her PhD in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham in 2004. In the meantime, she worked as a research assistant from 1998 to 2000 and October 2003 to January 2005. She later assumed a position of research fellow in October 2004 at the University of Birmingham. Since 2013, she is a full time teaching fellow in the Chemical Engineering Department.
Helen was awarded the Bridon postgraduate award for the best PhD project in 2003 as well as a prize at the IChemE Biochemical Engineering Subject Group Postgraduate Research Event (2002) for the best poster presentation. She also worked and was acknowledged in the production of an over-the-counter male fertility kit now marketed as "Fertell". (Development of a novel home sperm kit - Björndahl et al. Human reproduction (2005) Vol. 21 (1): 145).
She also received an award from the Royal Academy of Engineering for the 11th European Congress on Biotechnology in Basel, Switzerland in 2003, and raised funds from different societies and companies for payment and travel expenses to different conferences. For the past three years she has been involved in the production of a training manual as well the training and teaching of adults in the voluntary sector.
Currently a teaching Fellow in Food Safety at the University of Birmingham, she delivers lectures on a variety of microbiology topics and laboratory classes to undergraduates and postgraduates in the Food Safety, Hygiene and Management Masters/MSc/PG Diploma/PG Certificate as well as to MSc Environmental Health and MSc in Public and Environmental Health Sciences.