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Josephine Adelegan

Mathematics, English, French, Yoruba, Foreign Languages

When I was 5 years old, I would follow my father to the biogas plant of his Non-Government Organization (NGO). The name of the project was called Cows to Kilowatts, and it utilized an anaerobic fixed-film bioreactor technology for the treatment of the pollution and source of wastewater from slaughterhouses (Cows) as well as generation of biogas (Kilowatts) thereby reducing water pollution, emission of greenhouse gasses, and creating cheaper and sustainable sources of clean energy and bio-fertilizers. The project ended up being put to an abrupt halt as a result of a lack of funding but became the inspiration behind my Fundamentals to Environmental Design project and my introduction to Environmental Engineering.
Sustainable development was a huge part of my childhood, and by 2015 it evolved into my passion when I attended the Yale Young Scholars Program. During this intensive academic enrichment program, I learned so much about the brain drain, the rich and diverse cultures of developing countries as well as the history of pre-colonization. I learned a tremendous amount about perspectives and how one can look at a road full of traffic in a developing country and see chaos, bad infrastructure, dirt, rowdiness, unemployed youth, and frustration while another person can look at that same road and see culture, art, entrepreneurship, potential, and beauty. This illuminating learning experience led to my interest in researching cheaper, efficient, and sustainable sources of energy in marginalized countries and solidified my commitment to Chemical Engineering.
My environmental engineering internship with the United Nations University offered me the opportunity to explore topics in power supply maintenance and optimization of Ghana’s largest hydroelectric dam’s equipment efficiency with minimum carbon emission. Through my research findings, I was able to identify a renewable energy solution in West Africa that improved the pump’s efficacy through the utilization of solar energy film technology alongside a connected hydroelectric power supply. I am pleased with the results, which yielded a 16% improvement in the plant’s thermodynamic efficiency but what leaves with me a deep sense of pride is the sheer joy that came from simply being a part of the United Nations University. It is an institution anchored in integrity, service, and impact.
Under the tutelage of Dr. Preethi Chandran, I utilized MATLAB to research biomaterials and their potential impact on biotechnology which piqued my interest in product design and efficiency. This became the foundation for my Capstone Design Project where I designed transport processes of Methylcyclohexane (MCH) to project environmental and economical sustainability of hydrogen production pathways with the use of DWSIM and Google Suite, providing me with the final building blocks of my Chemical Engineering skill set.
Reflecting on my professional career to date, I have realized that what I spend my time on is a representation of my core values. The ability to see the positive impact of my time and service is of the utmost importance to me. This is why I choose to volunteer my time as a crisis text line counselor, serve as a mentor for young children, and equally remain focused on the mission of sustainable development.

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Josephine Adelegan

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