Joshua Prince Ebin
Young African Scholar

EDUCATION: Mechanical Engineering | Georgia Institute of Technology

My name is Joshua Ebin, a senior Mechanical Engineering major at Georgia Institute of Technology graduating in May 2016 with highest honors. I am originally from Ajassor, a small village town close to the Nigerian-Cameroon border, in Cross River State, Nigeria. Growing up, my family went through challenging economic times where my siblings and I couldn’t afford to go to school or meet basic needs. When my family moved to the state capital city of Calabar, my high performance in early school days allowed me the opportunity to attend the best secondary school and university in town. My STEM career began as a Geology student at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Nigeria where I received the outstanding overall second year student award for recording the highest CGPA. My leadership contributions as the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) chapter chairman led to the increase in active student membership participation by 100% and multiple membership awards at regional SPE conferences.

As the youngest of five children, I was very fortunate that my older sister decided to take a chance on me and sponsor my immigration visa to the USA to further my education. At a then depressing time where I only had with me a $20 bill in my jacket pocket, all I could think of is how I could take advantage of a United States education to move the energy industry forward in Africa and across the globe. I decided to continue my STEM career by enrolling in the engineering program at a community college, Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) where I developed my communication, leadership and team skills through my involvement with the engineering Club as Vice President, and scholar of multiple academic programs like STEP, ENLISTEM and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society among others. Eventually, I got accepted into Georgia Tech, one of the most prestigious and competitive engineering schools in the country, to study Mechanical Engineering and specialize in energy systems and design. At Georgia Tech, I have improved the experience of international and transfer students on campus through my leadership roles as the Webmaster of the African Student Association (ASA) and the first International chair for the National Society of Black Engineers-GT Chapter (GTSBE). One of the ways that I give back to the community is through tutoring and mentorship. I currently serve as the Mechanical Engineering Shell Thermodynamics Tutor and research mentor at the center for engineering and education diversity (CEED) at Georgia Tech.

I believe that I am a pursuer because of my commitment to pursue excellence, develop myself and be in a position where I can positively impact the energy industry and give back to society. As a freshman, I interned at Excellatron Solid State LLC in Atlanta, GA where I updated facility AutoCAD models, managed a preventative maintenance software system to ensure safe and adequate laboratory equipment maintenance schedules and assisted with the designing and machining of Lithium air battery casings. Afterwards, I pursued four research projects in robotics, fluid mechanics manufacturing, combustion, and petroleum geo-mechanics. At Georgia Tech, I carried out experiments, performed computational fluid dynamic analyses and ANSYS simulations to develop a model for predicting porous media fluid flow in slot die coating manufacturing processes. My work which was published in the AIChE 2014 journal has applications in the chemical manufacturing industry for controlling slot die processes to obtain desired composite materials. I also worked with the energy geotechnology research group where I ran simulations in Abaqus for predicting fracture propagation in shale rock to help minimize subsurface damage associated with hydraulic fracking for oil and gas. As a summer researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, I worked on a combustion research project where I investigated Spot fire ignition of hot Aluminum particles experimentally in a combustion chamber. My combustion research results will be used for developing advanced 3D fire dynamics simulator models to help reduce forest fires occurring in the western parts of the USA.

I am currently working with two Georgia Tech colleagues on a novel small scale Energy Generation and Water Purification (EGWP) device which will be first of its kind to purify water and generate electrical energy to be stored for use simultaneously. The project was inspired by the challenges faced by residents living in rural communities near the Ghana Pra River in accessing clean water and domestic energy. The EGWP concept device will collect local stream water; drive a Pelton wheel due to a pressure differential to generate small scale electricity that is stored in a 12V battery while the water is simultaneously purified for domestic use in rural communities. My EGWP team project was selected as one of the 74 teams out of 982 teams from top universities around the world to move on to stage II of the Shell Ideas360 global competition. So far the CAD design and thermodynamic analyses have been completed to maximize the amount of small scale electrical energy to charge a cell phone and power a radio or low energy appliance given the engineering constraints. My team is now working on expanding the design and building a prototype of the device for further testing to make it to stage III where only 5 projects will be invited to the United Kingdom to win prizes and present to top Shell oil company officials. I believe this will be my most impactful project because I’ll be able to provide small scale energy and purified water to more than 1,000 residents in a rural community. I hope to develop a final product that can be delivered to rural community homes in Africa by 2018.

I have been fortunate to win numerous research, leadership, academic excellence and mentorship awards at GPC and Georgia Tech.  At GPC, I received seven academic excellence awards for best student in mathematics, science and engineering courses. Some research awards at Georgia Tech include: most outstanding Mechanical Engineering undergraduate research (UROP) Award, CEED Research Mentor of the year and the prestigious OMED graduating senior award. My engineering research projects have been awarded as one of the top three at numerous engineering conferences including PSLSAMP, ACM, SURE and NSBE.

This summer, I will be interning at BASF chemical company in Freeport, Texas as an operations and EHS engineer. Afterwards, I will be pursuing an executive masters in Advanced Energy Technology at the University of California Berkeley after which I will be attending Texas A&M to get a PhD in Petroleum and Energy Engineering. My plan is to gain a few years of working experience with a multinational energy company implementing projects to meet the energy demand responsibly in the African continent and globally. Within the next ten years, I plan to get an MBA from Stanford University or Harvard. This training will enable me to run an energy development and consulting firm to help develop global energy resources as well as train and empower the future young engineers and scientists, underrepresented minorities, and women through primary, secondary and global tertiary institutions. My dream is to wake up every day advocating for the development of energy in Africa and revolutionizing the way Africa utilizes and manages its resources through my academic, professional, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

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