National University of SingaporeFrom Nigeria to Cambridge to Singapore

From Nigeria to Cambridge to Singapore

When Professor Adekunle Olusola Adeyeye decided to take up a job offer in Singapore in 1997, many of his friends thought he was "crazy". He had just been elected Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge in 1996 and had a promising future ahead of him. Some of his friends even joked that “he wouldn’t be able to chew gum in Singapore”. Undeterred, Prof Kunle, as he is popularly known, packed his bags to start his adventure in the Little Red Dot where he spent nine months as a senior research engineer at the Data Storage Institute, a national R & D organisation founded by NUS and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. 

He returned to Singapore again in 2000, this time with his wife, Adefolake, and joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS as an Assistant Professor.

Settling down and adjusting to life in Singapore was easy for Prof Kunle and he was most impressed with the safety and quality of life here, as well as the wide selection of food. “This is not a place where you need to worry too much about food. You can get anything you want,” he marvelled. When asked about his favourite local cuisine, he shared his love for spicy food and that his favourites are fish head curry and Indian food.

Prof Kunle has achieved much during his 18 years at NUS. He was presented with the Young Researcher Award in 2004 and received his Professorship in 2012. In 2014, he was appointed the Master of Ridge View Residential College (RVRC), the newest residential college in NUS.

Besides engineering and teaching, Prof Kunle has several other interests, one of which is soccer. A soccer enthusiast and an ardent Manchester United fan, he used to play competitive soccer in Cambridge. “I was a striker, I liked to score goals,” he said. He now plays soccer occasionally with the RVRC students and supports them in the inter-college games.

From left: Prof Adekunle, daughter Mofopefolu, son Ajiboluwa, wife Adefolake, and elder son Obaloluwa

Having lived in Singapore for a long while, Prof Kunle and his family feel very much at home here and have grown accustomed to the local culture and way of life. All his three children – two boys and a girl – between eight and 18 years, were born and raised in Singapore. However, Prof Kunle, who recently turned 50, believes that one day he will eventually return to Nigeria, where he was originally from.  “I would like to contribute to my home country in my field of work and play a role in shaping some things,” he said.

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