For Oseremen Ebewele (ChemE MEng candidate), chemical engineering is a family affair.
“I grew up in an academic community: my father was a professor of chemical engineering at University of Benin in Nigeria, and we lived at the university staff quarters,” he says.
“My first contact with chemical engineering came when I was about 13 years old. In his makeshift laboratory behind our home, my father would combine simple chemical components to produce air fresheners to be used at home and distributed amongst our neighbours. I was curious about what he was doing, so I started helping him in the lab.”
Ebewele’s love of science has now led him to U of T Engineering, where he is developing sustainable technologies in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry. He is one of two recipients of this year’s IBET Momentum Fellowships, along with fellow ChemE graduate student Gaius St. Marie.
The Fellowships provide support and build a network for Indigenous and Black graduate students — two groups that are significantly underrepresented across both academia and the engineering profession. Fellowship recipients receive financial support, mentorship, training and networking opportunities to foster a robust professional community.