Meet Titilope Adebola (Titi, for short). She’s a PhD student in the Civil Engineering department at Queen’s University in Canada.

Tell us about your researchadebola

My research focuses on investigating the long-term durability of materials used to repair water pipes as part of a larger project investigating pipe deterioration and repair. Basically, I am trying to investigate how many years of useful service we can get from a pipe after repairing it.

The best thing about being an academic researcher

The best thing is the freedom to explore wherever your mind takes you. You get to discover an answer to a problem, through a process that is totally up to you. You don’t get this feeling in the classroom or at a typical 9-to-5 job.

What book are you reading?

I’m currently reading The Element, by Ken Robinson. It is taking me a bit long to finish the book because I mistakenly bought the ebook as opposed to the audiobook. For someone who reads numerous academic papers, I find it hard to physically read a book. Give me the audiobook and I’m good to go.

Most favourite item in your wardrobe

This is always the most recent item I purchase. Currently, it’s a pair of royal-blue heeled sandals simply because the colour is amazing!

What style are you comfortable in?

This depends on what day of the week it is. I work mostly in the lab on weekdays so I’d definitely say anything comfortable and safe enough to protect me from all dangers in a typical Civil Engineering lab – basically a pair of jeans and a nice top. On weekends however, I add some colour to my life by playing with prints, dresses, skirts and heels.

What are your favourite fashion brands?

I love Deola Sagoe (though I can’t afford any of her outfits). In terms of brands I can afford, I love Zara, H&M, Uniqlo and New Look. As for the city I shop in, that depends on wherever I live at the moment I go out to shop.

Where do you shop for your outfits?

Whenever I’m not getting a tailor back in Nigeria to make an outfit for me, I shop at H&M, Forever 21 and Zara. I must admit that I’m still getting used to ‘reminding myself to go shopping’. Fortunately, I have a constant reminder who never fails to tell me when I need to stock up my wardrobe.

Whose style inspires you?

I love Kate Middleton’s style. She always looks so classy and chic.

titlopeIf you could ask three (academic juggernauts) for dinner, who would they be, and why?

Ken Robinson, Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela and Stephen Covey

I just find their way of reasoning quite different from the norm and I’d like to know what inspires them.

If your research were a fashion item, what would it be?

Definitely sunglasses. I can’t seem to leave my house without them – even on rainy days.

What would you spend your last cash on?

Food! Food!! Food!! I will always find an excuse to justify spending that money when it comes to good food.

What academic events or seminars will you be attending in the next 6 months?

I will be attending the North American Society for Trenchless Technologies (NASTT) No-Dig conference in Washington.

Are you a Windows or a Mac?

I’ve only ever known one OS – Windows. Mac just feels like an entirely different world to me.

Where will be your ideal get-away spot from the academic hustle? Why?

Mauritius!!! They say “pictures say a thousand words”. I don’t think I can put together any words to describe how beautiful and serene it looks.

Who are you when you are not doing research or teaching?

I am an events coordinator. I just love organising community outreach events for students.

People are always surprised that…

I’m not a first year undergraduate student. Apparently I still look 16. They are also surprised that I’m in Civil Engineering. It’s such a male dominated field so in a way I understand why.

If you were not an academic researcher, what would you be?

I would definitely still be into education, but more on the administrative side of things.