My German viewers, I THANK greatly. I see you ALL!! Especially my last post LOL! I will have to do a special post to extend my thanks.
So, this is the second interview – I have to extend a huge thank you to Dr Seun Ogunbiyi for taking time out of his busy schedule. I dey extremely grateful sir ☺☺
- What is your full name ( please include title!) and where are you from originally?
My name is Dr Seun Ogunbiyi PhD MIChemE CEng and I am originally from Ilesa, Osun State in Nigeria.
- What is your educational background?
I am a chartered chemical engineer by profession and working as a principal research consultant for an R&D company based in the UK and the Middle East. I obtained my first degree from the University of Bradford (2002) in Chemical Engineering with management and a diploma in Industrial studies as well. I have a Masters (2003) in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a PhD (2007) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, specialising in fluid dynamics, water and wastewater treatment, membrane separation and desalination technology.
- What do you do, and why did you chose this area?
I chose this area of expertise because of the growing need for water reuse and water stresses globally with a view to improving the research needed in the area of water and wastewater treatment and sustainability. The scope to gain expertise in Africa and the Middle East was also a reason for going into this field.
- Dr O, can you give us a brief overview of your PhD?
My PhD involved experimental and computational analysis of different types of membranes and their inefficiencies and degrees of optimal working conditions in treating different industrial suspensions and solutions from the dairy, pharmaceutical and construction sectors of economy. I was focused on developing novel techniques for improving the sustainability of ceramic membranes and adding to the body of knowledge in membrane and desalination technologies. I subsequently published 8 peer reviewed journals in the journals of membrane science, desalination and chemical engineering science.
- Please tell me some of the experiences that you experienced on the Doctoral Programme and how you overcame them
Some of the challenges i experienced during my doctorate program included delays in procuring some of the equipment I used during my experimental research. Others included time management and the interpretation of experimental and computational research results to accurately describe and portray novel findings. However, my independent research and development work and review of existing research in the areas of interest gave me useful insight into portraying the additional knowledge I had gained in written form.
Also attending seminars in other countries and engaging in discussions with fellow professionals and research associates helped me.
- At your university, did you receive any support?
I received a lot of help and support from the University and I also provided consultancy and research services to the Nottingham Environment Technology Centre where I carried out most of my experimental research.
- Did you teach at all during your course? If so, how did you manage this with your research?
I taught chemical engineering modules to the 1st and 2nd year students and marked examination and assignments across the years including MSc and BEng and MEng degrees. Effective time management and prioritising the work load helped me tackle the balance between the two.
- While on the research, were you able to gather any experience or was it purely research you focused on ?
I was definitely able to gather experience in writing technical papers and presentations, write peer reviewed journals, present research findings to professionals and board members of growing companies and work with fellow professionals of varying disciplines.
- What advice do you have for someone who is having a difficult relationship with their supervisor?
I had 2 supervisors whilst doing my PhD and I had to play them to their strengths and utilise their strengths to my advantage. This put me in good stead for working in industry. You have to also take a lot of responsibility whilst carrying out your research and presenting your findings because you are indeed your project manager and time consultant. Taking responsibility in this manner puts less stress on your relationship with your supervisor. Being proactive also helps the relationship because they will appreciate that you are also pulling your weight and fighting for the common good.
- What advice do you have for those who are on the PhD at present?
DO NOT QUIT. It is a lesson that will put you in good stead for life. You don’t quit when things get tough. You persevere. There were times when my experiments and results weren’t going well but when you see the conclusion and results from the work you have carried out there is a sense of fulfilment. Also, it’s very important to choose a research topic that is feasible to carry out. You are not solving world peace, you are trying to get a PhD. There’s a big difference. You should be able to complete your body of work and add to existing knowledge in your chosen field.
11. Please give us a breakdown of your expectations of the VIVA and your overall experience
My expectations before the VIVA was that I was nervous and excited because I was very confident about the work I had been doing in the last 3 years and was eager to defend my work and thesis. During the viva it went very well and my interviewer and I chatted at length on a wide range of topics related to my work. I have since kept a professional relationship with him. It was enlightening and an experience that has stayed with me to this day.
Make sure you were in charge of your work whilst you carried it out and read around your subject matter and that you are able to add practical and in depth experience to your work to back it up.
12. Using a film title, please describe your PhD experience
ROCKY the series!!!!!!
13. What advice, if applicable, do you have for someone who is thinking of an alternative career to academia?
It depends on what you ultimately want in life. Different strokes for different folks.
Dr O, Thank you!! 😙
So guys, there you have it. For all my engineers-to-be, this might be something to mull over. Anyhow, I hope it has been helpful!
Have a great one