Meet Mayowa Oladele

Mayowa Oladele is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and the Parliamentarian of the John Lof Leadership Academy. Oladele’s role as the Parliamentarian is to ensure that John Lof members follow the rules and proper ethics of the organization. 

Looking over groups and acting as a leader is something Oladele has a lot of experience in. While he was getting his Bachelor’s in Chemical Industry from the Ondo State University Of Science And Technology in Nigeria, he was the president of the JETS club. There, students educate each other about physics and conduct experiments. 

He also was the President of the school’s chapter of the Student’s Chemical Society of Nigeria and the General Secretary of the National Youth Service Corps. Oladele said that learning how to teach chemistry students and manage groups combined with his academic excellence helped him get internships. 

“Even though I had this leadership experience, the jobs I was looking for required a lot of industry experience. I searched for those fast-moving consumer goods companies. They saw my application and they saw that I was excelling academically. They’re just like, Okay, come and work with us,” Oladele said.

After he got an internship as a Quality Control Inspector at consumer goods company PZ Cussons, he was on a roll. Oladele said that his role as a Process Engineer at Reliance Chemical Products Limited shaped his understanding of chemical engineering. He did quality control by monitoring operations like reactors and production statistics.

He was a production engineer at Juliet Industries, a finance officer at a life insurance company, and currently, a graduate research assistant at the University of Connecticut. 

After the industry experience, Oladele said that it was his dream to study abroad. He found UConn, saying that it offered good funding opportunities. And Connecticut was a completely different place from Nigeria. 

Now, at UConn, Oladele finds the people and environment supportive of him and his research. Currently, he focuses on modeling anaerobic digesters to detect faults. Anaerobic digesters convert waste into biogas, which can be used for electricity, gas, and fertilizer. 

Oladele heard about John Lof while he was in Nigeria. He applied when he heard more about the program here from a former John Lof president.

“Networking is the main thing in America and I mean, you have to network a lot. So for me, the networking workshop was the most useful to me. I went to a conference last week. I got to make friends. I was able to approach people and talk to them about their research and get their business cards,” Oladele said. 

After his Ph.D., Oladele said that he wants to work with nonprofits, be a policymaker, and make a positive change in society.