He holds a PhD in a subject dreaded by many- Physics. He spoke with Abito Citta about his love for the subject and his academic sojourn in Mexico. Here are the excerpts.
AC: Congratulations on your recent feat of achieving a PhD. Could you please tell us about yourself?
Thank you so much. My name is Emmanuel Kajewole. I currently work as a Data Analyst for Zubale company where I develop and implement data that optimizes statistical efficiency and quality. During my free time, I love and play soccer. I also enjoy traveling.
AC: A look at your profile reveals that you had your tertiary education from Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB) to University of Ilorin and then to the institution where you got your PhD in Mexico. What differences and similarities did you see between the Nigerian and Mexican educational system?
EK: One major difference I noticed about the educational system is in terms of facilities. The schools in Mexico are better equipped with laboratory facilities making it easier for researchers to conduct experiments and getting these results quickly. In Nigeria, we hardly have the equipment and when we do, it takes longer time to get our laboratory results. The similarities I noticed is that the students are totally responsible for the results of their work even though they could request for help from their professors at any stage of their research. I think in all, it makes the students more responsible and equips them with more transferable skills that they can utilize in other areas of their life.
AC: What was the focus of your PhD research and what were the insights from the study?
EK: My PhD research focuses on designing a control system fed with a solar thermal energy which can be deployed for domestic cogeneration. The main insight of this work is for better efficiency from a single solar collector which we can use for hot water production in our bathroom and also to generate electrical energy in our homes. This can reduce our electricity bills and we can enjoy electricity in our homes as long as we have sunlight which we know is renewable.
AC: Moving forward, where do you intend to transit between academics and the industry?
EK: Actually, I have more flair to work in the industry even though I also love to study and research on how things can be better. I think at the end of the day, the industry always have a direct link to the final consumers and I always love to be part of that.
AC: To have had your three degrees in Physics is an enormous feat for a lot of youths out there simply because many consider Physics a hard nut to crack. What motivated your love for a subject that many consider as difficult?
EK: From a very tender age; I had loved numbers. This made Mathematics and Physics classes interesting to me. To me, I would say it is natural as everyone has something they like and enjoy doing. I remember in the secondary school days, I would get a piece of paper and start to do the Substitution and Elimination method (Systems of Equations) like I was playing a game. It gets very good when we create a career from what we enjoy doing, then we perfect ourselves and this can make us very successful in the society.
AC: How do you think this notorious impression of Physics could be turned around? What are your suggestions?
EK: I think this goes to our parents, teachers and professors. They have a big impact on if a student will love or hate a particular subject. I had a teacher in school that taught a subject and he made it so simple because he explained it well. I didn’t need to crack my head because he had given us a good picture of every nitty gritty of the subject. Going to another school for a holiday lesson, I met another teacher that taught this same subject, it became very complex to me and I was wondering how come this happened. One subject, two teachers and two different outcomes. I realized that these two outcomes depended on the passion of the teachers. For something to come to being, there must have been a process. This process needs to be clearly explained to students to the extend of having the pictures on their minds knowing that each student learns at different pace. Then Physics or any other subject would be simple to every student.
AC: Thanks for your time.
EK: My pleasure.