Nigerian graduate, Dr Jeremiah Ayodele Ogunniyi, has been awarded a PhD in Physics from UKZN for his study on the relationship between ozone and solar radiation over various regions of South Africa and Africa. 

After completing his initial studies in his home country, Ogunniyi completed his MSc degree at UKZN before going on to start doctoral research. 

Ogunniyi’s PhD focused on analysing the prospects of solar radiation for solar energy application. ‘It’s no news that the world is harnessing the potential of solar radiation. My work focused on maximising the potential of solar energy in South Africa and Africa,’ he said.

‘We are blessed in this part of the world with abundant radiant energy. Unfortunately, we aren’t doing much with it. This inspired my interest in this field of study,’ he explained.

Ogunniyi’s research examined the potential of solar energy applications in various regions of South Africa and the rest of the continent. He used measurements from the South African Universities Radiometric Network (SAURAN), the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) and the Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application (MERRA).

‘The study has highlighted the availability of solar radiation and may suggest a means to pipeline the application of solar energy,’ said his supervisor, Professor Siva Venkataraman.

Projecting forward, Ogunniyi wants to continue conducting research in the field of atmospheric physics and increase the knowledge base in this area. 

Top of the list of people Ogunniyi wanted to thank were his family. ‘Family is everything to me,’ he said. ‘My parents are the best. They’re just awesome. My siblings too have been supportive, my brother and sister always pushed me beyond my limits.’

He also acknowledged his friends Dr Peter Merisi, Mr Ayo Faleye, Mr Victor Ewuola, Dr Ayodele Adesina, Dr Micheal Olusanya and his supervisor, Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman, who he described as ‘wonderful, ever ready to help, counsel, and respond to my work almost immediately.’

Ogunniyi said his faith played an important role in his life. ‘I am a strong believer in God. I create time to go to my church, the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship. When I’m back home, I’m with my wife. So it’s basically, school, church, home. I also engage in evangelism and visitations.

‘I am what I am by the mercy of God. Looking back at where I started and where I am now, it’s nothing but God.’

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan