Edirin Agbro

Edirin Agbro

Why did you choose to undertake a PhD at the University of Leeds?

Thermodynamics and combustion have always been my favourite subjects and that was what mainly influenced my decision to study thermal power engineering at the master’s level. My passion for continuing along the line of thermodynamics and combustion (with the special interest in alternative fuels) made me research on several reputable universities in the UK, with the goal to finding one with a strong capacity for research in alternative fuel combustion. I discovered with delight that the University of Leeds has the high quality of academic staff and facilities that is required for me to successfully carry out a research programme in alternative fuel combustion. Therefore, it was very easy for me to decide to study at the University of Leeds. 

Tell us about your research

My PhD research is looking to bridge the gap between fundamental chemical kinetic modelling of alternative fuel combustion and their behaviour in real engine applications, which are needed for engine optimisation and design. A modelling and experimental approach have been adopted for the research, and my current focus is on n-butanol when blended with gasoline. The work is meant to provide both science-based results and practical engineering insights for improving the chemical kinetic modelling simulations of butanol-gasoline blends. The work will also investigate for the first time the potential of toluene reference fuel (TRF) in acting as a reasonable surrogate for gasoline, not only as a single fuel but also upon blending with n-butanol. 

What is your favourite part of doing your research at Leeds? 

Through the help of my supervisor, I have been part of two COST action groups - detailed chemical kinetic models for cleaner combustion and Chemistry of Smart Energy Carriers and Technologies (SMARTCATS) - in the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (ECOST) project. With grants provided by ECOST, I have had the privilege to travel to a few European countries (Italy and Germany) for training and collaboration and the experience have always been very rewarding. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with a few research groups outside the United Kingdom, one at the Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic and the other at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, with the goal of providing joint paper publications that would assist in the development of better chemical kinetic models of alternative fuel combustion. Working with these groups and contributing meaningfully towards the achievement of the set goals have been very fulfilling. 

What activities do you take part in outside of your research studies? 

I work in the university as a Post Graduate Invigilator during the examination period and as a demonstrator in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering Laboratory. I also work part-time during the weekend as a customer service advisor at one of the property and facility management company in Leeds. In my spare time, I play football and engage in body fitness exercises at home. At my church, I also take part in various activities (i.e. talk shows, get-togethers, teachings, and music concerts) targeted towards the development of the total man- the spirit, soul and body. 

What are your ambitions for the future? 

My focus for the future is to be actively involved in alternative fuel research and development (R&D) for the automotive and aircraft industry within the academia and industry.

Do you have any advice to anyone considering coming to Leeds? 

Leeds is a great place to study. It is quite diverse in culture and race and offers great opportunities to meet and mingle with people from different cultures and background.