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Personal Statement

Till date I have been considered a success in my life endeavour and this in my considered
observation, is largely due to my passion for quality and excellence as I continuously strive to be
better today – a reflection of one of my cherished Abraham Lincoln’s quotes, “I don’t think
much of a man who is not wiser than he was yesterday”. Undoubtedly, my academic and
industry experiences evidently affirm my resolve to grow by the day.

With an undergraduate study in mechanical engineering, I gradually developed high level

appreciation for engineering principles and research methodologies. Thermodynamics, Fluid
Dynamics, and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE design and maintenance) were courses that
stirred my passion into the world of engine design and operations, and transport energy. I
completed most courses and workshop practices with grade A and my cumulative grade point
was 82.6%, which fall within the top 5 percentile of my class.

In line with my crave for knowledge expansion in this direction, I enrolled for Advanced Internal
Combustion Engines (ICE) and Computational Fluid Dynamics as some of my elective courses
in my master program and indeed my knowledge in these fields has been enhanced, even so, to
undertake novel and independent doctoral research in these areas. As a partial fulfilment for the
advanced internal combustion engines course, I designed Variable Compression Ratio (VCR)
engine - starting out with a standard four-stroke, single cylinder diesel engine – with the
objective of investigating the pressure and temperature profiles and the brake thermal efficiency
while varying the clearance volume. A comparative approach using experimental results and
simulated values was employed and the correlation factor estimated. This workshop practice
enhanced my ability in experimental analyses on ICE test rig and in the use of Artificial Neural
Network (ANN) as a simulation model. Having completed my graduate thesis from one of
Nigerian oldest, finest and innovative universities, The University of Ibadan, My ability in
conducting a successful research – with minimal supervision - was further enhanced. My
research work Development of Motor Vehicle Speed Limiting Device led to the development of a
linkage mechanism and electromagnetic components that reduce the speed of carburetted motor
vehicle to a pre-set maximum speed limit of 100Km / hr, even against the driver’s desire to
accelerate further. Essentially, the core design results are: (i) development of a model which was

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retrofitted into a carburetted motor vehicle and (ii) the model was able to limit the opening of the
carburettor valve to a threshold point where increase in the inflow of fuel into the combustion
chamber (as a result of further depression of the accelerator pedal) is prevented. Moreso, during
my graduate studies I supported an industrial project work (Energy Conservation Review in
Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company) as research assistant, where I was largely involved in exergy
data collection and ANN simulation.

Equally important to stress my personality for success is my professional experience as a

mechanical project manager. Immediately after my graduate ceremony, I was offered an
employment, as a project engineer for mechanical related project; by a giant telecommunications
company with wide spread presence in West Africa. Translating academics theories and
principles into enterprise deliverables in a dynamic and result-driven workplace was a bit
challenging during the first quarter of my employment. My “can do” and teachable abilities
earned me the Top Performance Award in the third quarter. It was so phenomenal in my career to
have administered five capital projects – from project initiation through planning to contractual
closure - with cumulative budget above $85.7m. I have been privileged to build core
competences in telecommunication projects ranging from industrial diesel generator capacity
planning, deployment and maintenance, electrical and mechanical components costing, and
project cost-benefit analysis. My communications and presentation skills have being positively
impacted, thanks to the series of lateral and vertical interactions with project stakeholders.

Having being involved some of the academic and practical aspects of Mechanical Engineering, I
have built interest in pursuing doctoral research in one of the areas of Renewable and Sustainable
energy, Biofuels, Fuel Cells, Energy systems, Internal Combustion Engines. Driven by the
passion to have first-hand information on the research and academic activities going on in the
department and laboratory facilities, I have found out that the engineering department of the
Lancaster University is my perfect bus/stop for a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. A 30minutes
peruse of the “People”, and “Recent” tabs within the Lancaster University Renewable Energy
Group (LUREG) webpage, revealed that the group research areas are in perfect alignment with
my research, teaching and consulting goals. More interestingly, Prof Xi Jiang research interest in
the area of combustion, Dr Richard Dawson in the area of Fuel Cell Technology, and Dr Greg
Holland and Dr Vesna Najdanovic in the area of Carbon Capture are energy research areas I

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found fascinating. Equally enticing are the research interests of Dr Alona Amstrong in the area of
Environmental Impact of Energy and Dr Xiandong Ma in the area of Renewable Energy. While a
chance to be supervised by any of these researchers will be an august privilege for me, I would
be able to research in other novel areas within the framework of my interest in Renewable and
Sustainable energy, Biofuels, Fuel Cells, Energy systems, Internal Combustion Engines.

In terms of career aspiration, I see myself teaching mechanical engineering courses, conducting
and supervising students’ research projects, writing and presenting papers in world leading
conferences and ultimately consulting for industries. I am so positive a doctoral study in the fine
state of the art facilities and supervision by subject leading experts would improve my creativity,
analytical ability and ultimately my personality

Doctoral study at a distinguished school is the starting point for any form of structured research.
With my strong foundation in the basics of Mechanical Engineering, I am convinced that the fine
graduate program of your university, guidance from the finest faculty, the state-of-the-art
facilities and the learning atmosphere will prepare me perfectly to undertake independent
research in future. I humbly recognize that a person choosing to do a PhD should possess
sufficient motivation, dedication, ingenuity, intelligence and at moments, flashes of insight. With
most of these qualities not lacking in me, I hope to carry forward the mission of your institution
by maintaining high standards of excellence, and to fulfil my personal goals of becoming a
successful researcher, lecturer and consultant.

Thank you for considering my application for the next stage.

JEMIGBEYI Owhokevbo Sylvester

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