2022 International Student of the Year

When Elvis left behind his career as a medical doctor in Nigeria to study biomedical engineering at Flinders University, he had a single goal in mind: to learn how to make affordable medical devices so people can get the care they need, no matter how much money they have. 

Now, on the cusp of graduating, Elvis has already created a project device that’s piquing significant interest and he’s more determined than ever to make his dream a reality. 

With his positive outlook and inner drive to succeed our judges have awarded Elvis the 2022 International Student of the Year.

2022 International Student of the Year Winner, Chidozie Elvis Chidi-Ezeama from Nigeria
Last Updated Tuesday 5th March, 2024

Winner: Chidozie Elvis Chidi-Ezeama from Nigeria

Studying: Master of Engineering (Biomedical) at Flinders University

Working as a medical doctor in Nigeria, Elvis felt frustrated at how hard it was to access medical equipment for his patients. Particularly those who were poor and vulnerable. Driven by this frustration, Elvis decided to study biomedical engineering and learn how to design affordable medical devices himself.

With a thirst to learn, he came to his studies with ‘a thousand and one questions.’ And was never ashamed to ask them, even if he felt the answers might have been obvious to his engineering-qualified classmates.

Outside of his studies, Elvis has become part of many communities in Adelaide, including volunteering with the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency to help deliver food hampers, give community health checks, and provide social interaction to people struggling to make ends meet.

Although he maintains a positive outlook, Elvis has faced many challenges during his postgraduate studies, such as juggling a demanding study load with having to work, coping with online learning during the pandemic, and being away from his family and unable to help, as a doctor and a son, when his mother was terribly ill.

Despite these hardships, Elvis keeps his eyes focused firmly on his goal. He strives to make sure he is learning the knowledge and skills he needs to achieve his dreams. Elvis says, ‘If I am going to do this, I am going to do it well. I need to get the knowledge now so I can move forward. The more I know, the better.’

With a rare blend of medical and engineering skills, and exceptional feedback on his project-based medical device design, Elvis has many opportunities to continue to learn and get real industry experience once he graduates, leading to him achieving his goal to make medical devices affordable and available to all people, regardless of their socio-economic status.

As Elvis said to us, ‘If you make a lot of money, you’re still going to lie in one bed. Nothing really changes more than knowing someone else is smiling because of something you did. And if we don’t do that, what exactly are we in this world for?’

Elvis is also the winner of the 2022 Academic Excellence: Postgraduate (Coursework) Award.

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