photo of Ademola Soyemi

Ademola Soyemi is a graduate research assistant in the Szilvási group. Ademola grew up in Nigeria and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Covenant University in 2018. After graduation, Ademola worked in industry for a few years before coming to the United States to pursue a Ph.D.

Ademola decided to return to school because he wanted to expand his abilities and make a meaningful impact in an emerging field. Ademola was intrigued by The University of Alabama Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering because of the innovative research methods and novel subjects being investigated by faculty. He was particularly drawn to Dr. Tibor Szilvási’s group following an exciting and inspiring discussion with him about the intersection of computations and chemical engineering. Furthermore, Ademola saw a great deal of potential in computational research and wanted to be part of the next wave of innovation in this relatively new field.

Ademola’s main project is centered around plastic upcycling. He helps design and identify environmentally friendly solvents for plastic upcycling. To do this, Ademola runs simulations on computers to learn more about material properties and uses the results to predict the most effective solvents for a specific application. Ademola is currently focused on functionalizing glycerol so that it can effectively dissolve plastic. Glycerol is made as an unwanted side product in the biodiesel production process. Hence, it shows promise as a solvent from both environmental and economical perspectives.

Ademola loves his research because it gives him an opportunity to do truly novel and original work. He feels that what he is doing will make a meaningful difference on how the world works. Moreover, he enjoys the day-to-day grind of troubleshooting and working through new problems. Lastly, Ademola is happy to be in Alabama. He can tell that Dr. Szilvási and the department as a whole are invested in his success. He has also had the chance to meet people from diverse backgrounds and be part of an eclectic and collaborative community. Altogether, he considers the department to be a welcoming environment that encourages excellence. He is excited to continue his research and graduate with his Ph.D. in the next couple of years.