Hometown: I was born and raised in the famed city of Lagos, Nigeria.
Year in graduate program: Going to the 2nd year of my program
Where did you complete your undergraduate degree and what did you study? I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
How did you choose Iowa for graduate school? Well, I did a detailed search on universities that have a prolific history in renewable energy and sustainability, and University of Iowa happened to be one of them. During the decision time, it was a no-brainer that the University of Iowa was the best school for me to continue my development. This resulted from the fact that Professor Syed Mubeen and Dr. Joe Gomes are highly prolific and gargantuan in their respective fields and the opportunity to work with them was exciting and couldn’t be turned down. Viewed it as an ideal pathway to achieving my goals.
What professor are you working with and what is the topic of your research? I’m co-advised by Professor Syed Mubeen and Dr. Joe Gomes. In technical terms, we intend to combine developed continuum-based models with novel experimental techniques to create a complete microscopic picture of the process pathways and mechanisms involved in using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This detailed picture would serve as a foundation for us to design improved solar cells that would successfully maximize conversion efficiency and minimize energy losses incurred during water-splitting processes. In lay terms, we ultimately intend to develop a device that would absorb sunlight and produce maximum amounts of hydrogen (clean energy), just by adding water. Sounds cool, right?
Who’s been an influential or inspiring person during your time in engineering? Throughout my time in engineering until now, different people have stood out and inspired me. But currently, I’ll say the Mubeen Group has been the most influential, in terms of helping me transition into the University of Iowa and Iowa City, always been a call away whenever I have doubts in the lab and all, etc. I can’t ask for a better group.
Favorite class you have taken at the University of Iowa? I’ll say Data Science in Chem & Engr Systems. Although it wasn’t easy at first because I had no prior knowledge of Python or coding, Dr Gomes’ approachable demeanor eventually made my learning and understanding easier, and fun filled. Even to this day, I vastly incorporate the skills learned in this class into my research and my personal projects.
What are you interested in pursuing after graduation? Well, I intend to secure an academic position to continue improving my knowledge and skills in energy and environmental sustainability. I will use this position to contribute effectively to fully developing my interests and, most importantly, inspire the passionate posterity to advance their careers, which I know is the mainstay for a prolific scientific career.
Advice for incoming graduate students? From the perspective of an international student, I strongly advice that you mingle with the other students as soon as you can, preferably the ones a year or two ahead of you. They usually have all the tips on how to fit-in and adjust easily to the weather, food, etc. Also, PhD journey can be a whole lot sometime. You need to have fun to blow-off steam, and they know all the nooks and crannies to achieve that.
Favorite place you have traveled to? Nashville, Tennessee. That place was bubbling with excitement.
What are some of your hobbies? Photography, stargazing and night sky watching, video-gaming and chess playing
Best place to eat in Iowa City? I like to eat at Exotic India and Noodles & Company (my friends would slate me for this)
Fun fact about you? I taught myself how to drive a car. Scariest, but one of the moments in my life that cemented the belief that I can do anything if I’m dedicated.