Nabila Rufa'l, research student from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds.

Nabila Ahmed Rufa'i

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

I did my Master's degree at the University of Leeds, and that gave me the opportunity to get acquainted with the staff, students, and facilities. I was very impressed with the quality and standard of teaching. I was also introduced to my current supervisor with which I developed an excellent working relationship. By the time I had graduated, I had made up my mind that I would love to spend more time and carry out good quality research at Leeds. As an added bonus, the city is a lovely and vibrant community that is accepting of people from all walks of life -- irrespective of religion or race.   

Tell us about your research

Coming from a country where electricity failure is a day-to-day occurrence, I was naturally inclined to study alternative and renewable means of power generation. Owing to the abundant nature of both biomass and sunlight, I chose to design and develop a biomass and PV co-generation system. I am looking into the dynamic nature of the system both when it is operating on its own (islanded) or when connected to the main grid. The final step in my research will involve developing a reliable and effective protection strategy for the hybrid microgrid system against various kinds of faults that occur within power systems.   

What is your favourite part of studying at Leeds?

The School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Leeds prides itself in being one of the best in the UK in terms of the quality of research. As a result, I receive expert advice from my supervisors and other staff. This has gone a long way in helping me develop the confidence I need to carry on with my research as diligently as possible. 

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

Most of the extra-curricular activities I involve myself in are parent-child activities with my 2 year old son. We go to the park and enjoy mother-toddler group activities, where he meets and plays with children his age. When I have the time, I enjoy catching up with friends over a cup of tea.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Renewable energy projects are currently the new trend in Nigeria. I therefore intend to return home and collaborate with my University to obtain government grants that would enable our young students actively participate in sustainable renewable energy projects that will help make our local communities better.

Any advice for prospective students?

Come to Leeds! It is an amazing place to be and owing to its multicultural nature, I specifically urge international students to come and explore. Wherever you are from, you are bound to meet your fellow countrymen, giving you a sense of home away from home. I assure you, you will not regret it!