Double Celebration for Ilupeju Family
There was a double dose of joy and celebration for the Ilupeju family when husband, Samuel, and wife, Yetunde, received degrees together at a College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Graduation ceremony on the Westville campus.
Dr Samuel Ayanrohunmu Ilupeju received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering degree, whilst his wife, Yetunde Elizabeth, graduated with an Honours degree in Statistics cum laude.
On arrival from Nigeria, the couple found themselves in KwaZulu-Natal. ‘UKZN happens to be the best rated varsity within the province so we plunged in,’ said Samuel.
The Ilupejus have no regrets about attending UKZN. ‘The research support is wonderful, the learning atmosphere is motivating, the lecturers are high profile, the environment is cozy and the academic context matches all international standards,’ said Samuel.
He was motivated to study Mechanical Engineering as he wanted to do something that would add value to humanity, while at the same time enable him to solve everyday problems with available resources. ‘Energy sustainability is a major challenge not only in sub-Saharan Africa but around the globe. I decided to look into working towards embracing available resources to make living worthwhile,’ he said.
He explained what his PhD in Mechanical Engineering was all about. ‘The use of water in the generation of power is not a new thing. Energy is available in different forms. Some are not directly useful to man but require conversion from the existing form to a useful one.
‘Hydropower is one of the underutilised resources, which is available abundantly both in a large and small scale in South Africa. I discovered that there are abundant small hydropower potentials in South Africa, which can be used to boost electricity generation.
‘It should be noted again that water is a multipurpose resource which makes its availability competitive among various users. Therefore there is a need to maximise water use for power generation.’
His research developed a generic model for a hybrid small hydropower plant by integrating a pumped storage scheme (where water is pumped to an upper reservoir at off peak time when electricity consumption is low) with a conventional river run-off scheme. ‘This encourages water reuse and meeting peak demand need. The hybrid is fully automated with no human operation. High and low placed floaters help to control the pumping mode and generation mode respectively.’
In contrast, Yetunde chose Statistics, because ‘as a Statistician, you are like a prophet who can see into the future of companies and countries. Knowing that from what you have at hand and what you experienced in the past you can predict the future, was what motivated my interest in Statistics’.
Yetunde thoroughly enjoyed her honours year. ‘The classes, the lecturers, access to facilities, practical classes, friendly and supporting colleagues – all these aspects added to my experience. My project was a bit challenging, but I managed thanks to the guidance of my supervisor, Mr M. J. Hammujuddy.’
The couple plan to continue with academics. ‘I would like to go further in my research, I have not fully explored the idea of small hydropower generation,’ said Samuel. ‘I would like integrate it into smart electricity generation and consumption. Ultimately I want to be a consultant.’
Yetunde is registered for a Masters degree in Financial Statistics. ‘After that I will go for professional certifications to be a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Consultant,’ she said.
The couple, who have three children, thanked their supervisors, their pastor and their parents.
‘We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us in the time of our studies in UKZN,’ said Samuel. ‘To the leadership of UKZN, thank you for the opportunity given to us. We are grateful.’