Ones to Watch
Orege Joshua Iseoluwa
My Journey to China and Experience at UCAS as a Doctoral Researcher

My name is Orege Joshua Iseoluwa. I am a Ph.D. graduate at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). I completed my doctoral studies in Industrial Catalysis at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) under the guidance of Prof. GE Qingjie, in the small carbon molecules and hydrogen utilization group. My research direction is carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion to value-added chemicals, focusing on the development of novel Fe-based catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to olefins.

Since my undergraduate days, I have had a strong desire to study abroad. Consequently, I always admired my lecturers and other senior friends who had traveled abroad or were studying abroad. In September 2019, I arrived in China to pursue my doctoral studies. To integrate with the Chinese cultural system, I learned to write, read, and apply various Chinese vocabulary associated with daily life activities, such as at restaurants, in class, in the library, at bus or train stations, and many more. I took courses on oral and written Chinese and China's panorama. The learning period was an interesting experience for me. The teachers were passionate and highly interactive in class to ensure that the students achieved their best.

Immediately after my coursework at Huairou, I arrived at my institute (DICP) in the coastal city of Dalian to begin my research. Like every other student, the research journey was not smooth. In my case, I had barely any research experience in heterogeneous catalyst development, the use of fixed-bed reactors, or material characterization, considering my research background in homogeneous catalysis for biodiesel production by transesterification. I am so grateful for the love, kindness, and support that I received from my supervisor and everyone in my lab during my training period. In fact, the entire lab members, both teachers and students, were very supportive from the beginning to the completion of my projects, making my study period in China a success. Notably, upon my arrival at the lab, a brand new reactor and complete GC setup were purchased for my research. This triggered and motivated me to do a great job. I was really determined to make my group proud. So, I made sure that I studied and engaged more with research articles to design a scope for my own research.

I must also mention that the DICP is one of China's best centers for catalysis research (if not the best). Not a week goes by without academic meetings, seminars, talks, training workshops, or conferences open to students. I was fortunate to have attended many of these academic meetings and training workshops, which inspired me to do an outstanding work. As DICP research students, we had the opportunity to attend conferences and academic meetings.

There is no doubt that research activities can be time-demanding, but there is room for social engagement at the DICP. During my free time, I visited various places to enjoy Dalian's serene atmosphere and learn more about its food and culture. Dalian is one of China's most beautiful cities and is home to many amusement parks, including Xinghai Square. The DICP hosts many social events annually, particularly for foreign students. Thanks to the management of the DICP and the graduate department for ensuring that we maintained a healthy work-life balance.

Finally, I am now the holder of a Ph.D. from UCAS, one of China's top universities.

Thank you, China!

My life in DICP (Image by Orege Joshua Iseoluwa)