Engaging infographic earns national prize for PhD student at DMU

Explaining her research through a clear and engaging infographic design has earned a PhD student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) national recognition.

Ogemdi Chinwendu Anika

Ogemdi Chinwendu Anika, who is exploring renewable energy production from agricultural waste at DMU’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), won the Keep it Simple Scientist Twitter competition hosted by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).

The competition was hosted as part of the UK Student Council branch’s #SETACKissUK Twitter conference, and as the winner, Ogemdi was presented with free registration to the global organisation’s annual meeting in Copenhagen next year.

“I’m always locked up in the lab doing research, so finding a way to share what I’m actually working on with people was very exciting,” said the Nigerian.

“I’m proud that I tried something that scared me and so happy that I won.”

Ogemdi's prize-winning infographic

Ogemdi attributes winning her prize to the excellent support from her PhD supervisory team and the researcher development programmes she has attended through DMU’s Doctoral College, geared towards helping students throughout their studies and to get exposure for their work.

She said: “The session on using social media to build a research network helped me become more active on LinkedIn and Twitter, which made me aware of the competition in the first place.

“I also learned the new skills I needed to design my infographic and to do so in an eye-catching and engaging way. Without the support of my supervisory team and the Doctoral College I wouldn’t have had the confidence to enter the competition, let alone go ahead and win it.”

As well as standing out for her infographic, it was Ogemdi’s ability to engage with people on Twitter and answer questions in a simple way, that impressed the competition judges.

Ogemdi explained in non-specialist terms how her research employs a simple technology that mimics the activities that occur in the rumen of cows to cut down on carbon emissions from organic wastes, such as those from the agricultural sector, while maximising the production of clean energy and organic fertiliser.

“My research is born out of passion. I come from a country where basic social amenities are lacking, such as electricity and fuel. These shortages have impacted my life and my studies, so I wanted to dedicate my time to solving at least one problem in Nigeria – energy,” she said.

During her MSc degree study back home, Ogemdi’s research was published in an international journal, which was spotted by her current supervisor at DMU.

She said: “I wrote my PhD proposal based on that. I had already produced biogas from organic wastes in my MSc desertion work, but I wanted to get as much potential from that waste as possible, by manipulating things in a lab to make the process more efficient and renewable.

A number of things about DMU stood out to Ogemdi when she was exploring her options to continue her studies in the UK.

“DMU’s Doctoral College provided more structure and support than what I would get back home, which I’ve been especially grateful for during the pandemic,” she said.

“It’s also a very diverse university, not just in terms of students but in its mix of staff too. DMU is inclusive of everybody regardless of race and class, and I feel like I fit in here. All of my professors and everyone I have come across are simply amazing – I feel very welcome here.”

Posted on Monday 20th December 2021

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