A place I didn’t realise would end up raising me

Dami is a PhD Medical and Healthcare Technology student here at The University of Bradford. He tells us about his postgraduate experience at Bradford.

Oluwadamilola 'Dami' Agbabiaka, PhD Medical and Healthcare Technology

Good day, my name is Oluwadamilola “Dami” Agbabiaka and I am a PhD student at the University of Bradford.

My course

My research area is based in Medical Healthcare and Technology, within the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics and I am in my 2nd year.


My schedule is flexible on a weekly basis. I work from my research office where I look up research journals to review literature to be used during conference presentations.

I am usually searching for research opportunities, ranging from conferences to attend and workshops to engage in, to 3-minute thesis applications, internships and researcher exchange programmes.

My research takes place in the biomedical labs at the Polymer Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC). At the biomedical labs, I am involved in using specific solvents with selected polymers to create solutions, that will become scaffolds to mimic native tissue.

I also work as a demonstrator, involved in training and supervising BEng, MEng and MSc students through their specific courses. I have the responsibility of looking after the lab if anything is out of place, as well as refilling the liquid nitrogen tank that keeps cell passages frozen for future use. 

Future career prospects

The University of Bradford has opened many doors for me, towards my future career prospects. I have gained experience in mentoring, working as a demonstrator, attending conferences and skills in research liaising, teamwork and presentation opportunities, teaching assistance, conference set-up and planning.

I am interested in working within either academia or industry and if possible both. With industry, I aim to focus on medical device development, working as a research assistant on medical healthcare and technology, assisting start-up companies with their journey into the market and knowledge transfer programmes.

I am interested in working in academia as a teaching assistant, tutorial assistant and demonstrator working towards a Graduate Fellow.

These opportunities improve my professional development by providing a learning and teaching role in Higher Education. The University of Bradford offers an opportunity for me to graduate with a teaching certificate.

Research focus

My research focuses on the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee, ligaments are connective tissues involved with connecting bones and stabilising joints.

Individuals involved in sports, motorists and the elderly are known to suffer from ACL injuries. ACL injury damage varies from slight tears to complete laceration, and if the ligament is completely torn the main treatment lies in orthopaedic surgery.

Above: Hip and knee simulator for implant testing for hip and knee replacements

The golden standard for treatment involves using autografts (implants derived from the patient) which have shown success rates up to 80% of original functionality. My research is aimed at fabricating a substitute to prevent patients from producing donor tissue, because a high amount of donor tissue is needed to create autografts for surgery.

Interesting and helpful

I have been a student of the University for the last 7 years, I completed a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Skin sciences and Regenerative Medicine.

One of the reasons I am undertaking my PhD, is because of the journey I took through the University. I made life long friends, colleagues, mentors and mentees throughout my stay at the University. I found my experience at Bradford to be a good motivation in pursuing my future career prospects.

The University also gave me the experience of switching disciplines from engineering to life sciences and back. This developed my multidisciplinary experience and skills which will prepare me for future prospects.

Apart from my education, the University of Bradford gave me an opportunity to:

  • Take part in a team that won a Guinness World Record
  • Be a Students’ Union radio host
  • Raise funds for multiple charities
  • Run student societies as executive members
  • Be elected to become a Faculty and Student representative
  • Work with University of Bradford Students’ Union staff
  • Become a lay member of the UBU Council
  • Work in a theatre (Theatre in the Mill) sponsored by Bradford Arts
  • Mentor year 13 students and Coach stage 1 undergraduates
  • Participate in fashion shows
  • Cycle coast to coast
  • Become a graduate fellow
  • Shadowing opportunities with industrial managers
  • Acquire training for skills such as cryogenic safety awareness to handling liquid nitrogen
  • Attend meetings such as student staff liaison committee, faculty learning and teaching committee and the Faculty Board, which regulate the choices of each faculty

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