My name is Olayinka Oduwole, a first year DPhil student in Engineering Science and a member of Kellogg College, Oxford. I am a Nigerian and growing up as a young girl, have always been fascinated by the use of mainframe computers (in those days) and electronics. I genuinely wanted to be involved in the design of the new generation electronic devices that would be used by my generation and encourage the younger ones to follow in my footsteps.
Whilst, in secondary, I had a natural love for mathematics, calculations, physics and wanted to use these skills in developing my passion in the electronic world. This led me to pursue a first degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and I was so privileged to gain a wide-spread knowledge ranging from power electronics, power, telecommunications, control and instrumentation, computers, high voltage, to mention a few.
My first internship led me to develop genuine interest in telecommunications, especially radio frequency. I particularly enjoyed working with my colleagues, most of whom were male and I enjoyed the privilege of climbing some of the radio masts (which could be risky for a lady) to check the antenna conditions and I was amazed when I saw the look on people when they suddenly noticed a feminine figure on the mast. To them, it was unusual and they had not seen any female doing such. I visited so many base stations to carry our maintenance activities, radio frequency sweep and site survey. I was also involved in the acquisition of so many new radio-frequency sites across my country; helping in the spread of mobile communication in my country. This made me to decide to pursue a masters’ degree in Broadband Communications in University College London.
Within a year, I had acquired so much knowledge in telecommunications and I decided it was time to actually use some of these skills to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s challenges by doing a high quality research. Hence, I was particularly excited when I got an offer to research here, at the University of Oxford to use my electromagnetic skills to develop a bio-magnetic separator with potential applications in the medical industry. Most of the research in the department of engineering science is multi-disciplinary and it is a strong requirement to develop skills within so many areas with particular relevance to your research. The support from members of staff, at the department and college, and other colleagues have been so overwhelming that there is a positive drive to continue striving for better results in my research.
My experience, here at Oxford, has been so overwhelming; from the first day I stepped foot in the University, I have been amazed and thrilled to work with amazing talents in such a historic environment producing world class research that are affecting lives. I have been privileged to meet enormous gifted personalities, not just academically strong but with ambition to change the world in which they live in and leave a permanent footprint in history such as sports, politics, and charities and so on. No doubt, they often say the competition in Oxford is intense.
A typical Oxford day starts very early around 6a.m with rowing sessions on the rivers, to busy students trying to catch up for lectures and tutorials in the afternoon and in the evenings, you find debating sessions, singing sessions, societal and charities events at Oxford Union to Turl street, colleges, to mention a few. Besides my research, I have been privileged to be part of such a great network of world changers and future leaders in every area of life. Thus, this makes me feel special pursuing a doctorate, here at Oxford and I am gently working towards changing my world.