AIMS South Africa 2012
Researching methods to minimise oil lost during extraction
Mr Assionvi Hove Kouevi from Togo completed a Master’s Degree in Fuel Mechanics at the University of Lomé in 2011. Whilst studying he also worked as a high school mathematics teacher to finance his course. It was during this demanding period that he realised the biggest hurdle facing African students was the financial constraints of further education.
“AIMS gave me academic freedom and independence in many ways. For the first time I felt I could dedicate myself 100% to my academic studies without the stress and constraints of maintaining work alongside to finance myself. AIMS covers all the costs for its students to live and study, with accommodation and meals included on campus. This is an incredible opportunity for young students to thrive and learn free from financial worry.”
AIMS also provided him with the range of skills required to confidently pursue further studies and expand outside of Africa. He is currently completing a PhD in the department of applied mathematics with specialisation in numerical analysis at Herriot-Watt University. In his research he is trying to develop a local time stepping method that gives more accurate and efficient solutions for Partial Differential Equations. “Big data sets are split into smaller sets in such a way that it is easier to solve problems and avoid blocking your computer with too much data. This method may sound very abstract, but the truth is the kinds of problem solving skills I gained at AIMS have real world transferability. You can use this method to understand how water flows through soil. This process can be used both for water and oil. I think in the future the method I am researching can contribute to reducing the cost of the oil exportation by minimising oil lost through extraction.”
He believes that African governments have a lot to learn from the AIMS model. Here is a university doing something truly innovative. They are providing free higher education to Africa’s brightest scientific minds, as well as leadership, confidence, cultural, career skills. They are opening doors and providing opportunities for students to advance and become assets to the continent’s development.
“When I speak to my friends back home in Togo I cannot quite believe I made it to South Africa, and then to the United Kingdom in pursuit of academic development and fulfilment. I have come a long way and I believe I have even further to go, thanks to AIMS. I strongly recommend that my friends and fellow Africans apply to AIMS: because if you really want to study, AIMS is the place to be.”
“The greatest lesson I took from AIMS was the willingness to share your knowledge. The way students and tutors and lecturers would gather together and share knowledge and insight, and exchange ideas was the thing I valued the most. Study no longer felt like a cut-off independent and solitary exercise, it was about collaboration and wider learning from our peers.”