Story of Prince Bawuah

“Photonics! UEF”,  the beginning of higher grounds

- Dr Prince Bawuah

Dr Bawuah graduated from the Master Degree Program in Photonics in May 2013, continued with his PhD studies in August 2013 and completed in January 2017 at the Department (Physics and Mathematics), University of Eastern Finland. With over ten peer-reviewed publications during his doctoral studies, in conjunction with the high level of competency proven during his public defense, Prince’s doctoral dissertation was approved with Distinction.

According to him, all these great achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the funding/scholarship, cutting-edge scientific facilities, experienced and hardworking staff provided by the Institute of Photonics, University of Eastern Finland.

I am grateful to say that the tremendous experience gained through the numerous international conferences and collaborations, summer schools, and short research visits to top Universities during my studies, which were fully sponsored by the Department of Physics and Mathematics, have significantly contributed to where I am today. I was very lucky to work with Emeritus Professor Kai-Erik Peiponen, an excellent and highly experienced supervisor, who did not just act as a supervisor but also played a fatherly role in guiding me during my studies. I always remember and bless the day I took a bold decision to move to Finland and to work with Prof Peiponen. This was indeed a life-changing decision. I will encourage upcoming scientists to love what they do. We should spend time on our research, sit down to read and deeply meditate on the “little” science we do. These little contributions to the knowledge of science will definitely lead us to higher grounds in our future endeavours” Prince opines.

Prince is currently a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, working with the Terahertz Application Group (TAG) at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Prince’s current research is mainly focused on the development of a rapid and non-destructive Terahertz-based test instrument for predicting pharmaceutical tablet efficacy and performance, based on direct porosity measurements. This is a direct continuation of his PhD studies at UEF (http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_isbn_978-952-61-2311-0/urn_isbn_978-952-61-2311-0.pdf), where he developed the concept of terahertz-porosity. Prince’s current project partners include industrial giants like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Huxley Bertram and TeraView.

Cambridge seemed a natural choice for Prince, who is highly motivated to delve deep into the application of terahertz technology in tracking the quality of pharmaceuticals.  “This is how having a solid foundation in Photonics can transform your life, from being a Physicist to a complete Pharmaceutical Scientist. Now, I call myself a Pharmaceutical Physicist” he says.

Dr Bawuah is a young Ghanaian scientist, who obtained his senior high school education at Tepa Senior High School and completed a bachelor in Science Education at the University of Education Winneba, Ghana. His inspiring career curves have been, in part, guided by hard work and sense of purpose. It is no accident that he has accomplished so much in such a short time (more than twenty peer reviewed articles; https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=htTrQaEAAAAJ&hl=en,  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prince_Bawuah).

Despite his relatively poor background, the Cambridge-based alumnus and the first African to enrol in the International Program in Photonics UEF, wishes to pass on to the next generation, especially young African Scientists, that with hard work and goal oriented spirit, the impossible becomes possible.  “I give presentations at the various Universities in Ghana anytime I go back home. This gives me an opportunity to interact with students and offer some guidance. It is a passion and it always feels good to connect with students. Finally, I wish to stress that for a solid foundation in Photonics through quality training by hardworking staff coupled with ultramodern instruments, the best place to be is the Institute of Photonics, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Finland.

Dr Bawuah wishes to express a heartfelt gratitude to both the teaching and the non-teaching staff (Noora, Katri, Hannele, Marita, Oili), colleague researchers, students and friends at Joensuu, and finally to his beautiful wife, Shirley Bawuah for all the support.