University lecturer to graduate with Renewables PhD

Afolabi Otitoju and familyA lecturer from the Department of Management will get in line with students this week when he graduates with a PhD in Renewable Energy Policy and Management.  

Afolabi Otitoju (34) who lives at Deemount Terrace, Aberdeen, will graduate in the morning ceremony (10.30am) on Thursday 9 December at Aberdeen Music Hall.  

Currently a part time lecturer within the Department of Management, Afolabi originally came to Aberdeen from his home state of Kogi in Nigeria over seven years ago, having received funding from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund Overseas Scholarship (PTDF) to undertake a Masters degree in International Trade.  Just prior to his arrival, he had completed an undergraduate economics degree at Bayero University.  

Aberdeen’s position as the energy capital of Europe was a particular draw for Afolabi, as his academic passions lie within environmental economics, policy and management. He is propelled by an ultimate goal to help solve global warming.  

While his MSc did not address this passion specifically, he was able to do so in his thesis by undertaking a study of environmental management systems. This, in turn, led him to pursue a PhD in Renewable Energy Policy and Management in 2004. During this time, he was granted a full three year Research Development Initiative (RDI) Scholarship, which helped him contribute to the body of knowledge in this area.

Titled ‘Fostering the Delivery of Wind Power’, Afolabi’s PhD thesis focuses on an evaluation of the performance of policy instruments in three European Union member states.      

At the time of carrying out his viva – an oral examination that is a common requirement at the closing stages of a PhD – Afolabi suffered a setback when his initial draft did not receive the feedback he had hoped for.  Consequently, he took a further year to satisfy the examiner’s expectations.  

Now that he has successfully completed his PhD, Afolabi will continue to work at the University in his fixed part-time role, where he currently lectures MSc level International Trade students.  He hopes to make this a full-time appointment in the near future.  

His longer term goals include establishing a world-class consultancy in the field of environmental management and economics. As a first step towards this, he is applying to become an accredited auditor of environmental management systems.  

Looking back at his time at the University so far, Afolabi commented: “I have particularly enjoyed working in a team that is focussed and willing to make the dreams of students come true.

“A number of staff members at the University have been an inspiration to me including Professor Peter Strachan who was my main tutor throughout my PhD and Professor Rita Marcella whose attitude and support for research provided me with the additional boost to complete my PhD after an initial set back.

“Finally, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to my beloved wife and children who had to sacrifice many things to make my PhD journey worthwhile.”

Afolabi will be joined at his graduation by wife Ajibola, daughter Oluwapelumi (4) and son Ibukunoluwa (5 months).  


Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389