Dr Oluwafemi Akande
Dr Oluwafemi Akande, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
How do the design and operation of residential naturally ventilated buildings in Nigeria affect occupant health and particularly infectious disease risk?
Unusually among AREF beneficiaries, Dr Akande is trained in architecture. As he says, “My expertise in sustainable design and retrofit, and my previous research on the indoor thermal environment and occupant comfort, provide a strong platform and the relevant background to examine the effects of indoor ventilation on health.”
He continues, “The AREF fellowship will take me a significant step forward to achieving my research ambition to quantify factors in the residential indoor environment that promote the spread of infectious diseases.” This is a neglected area of health which needs new approaches and effort. Dr Akande’s placement is at the Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering, University of Leeds.
His main advisor, Professor Catherine Noakes, leads an internationally-recognised group focusing on airborne infection in the built environment. They use experimental and mathematical modelling approaches to understand infection risk, the effects of ventilation and methods of control.
Dr Akande will learn some of these advanced methods. In addition, he will access transferable skills training at Leeds, including writing skills, project design, laboratory-based project management, including finance and resources. Leeds is also committed to enabling Dr Akande to deepen and broaden his expert networks and potential mentors.
Ultimately, Dr Akande aims to improve respiratory health in Nigeria. He sees the Fellowship as a first step, enabling him to develop a “winning” research project that will produce the kind of scientific information that policy-makers and architects need to promote good design and healthy indoor environments in African settings.