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Of all the many things you can learn from Lucio Chiquito Caicedo of Colombia, by far the best is that it’s never too late to achieve your dreams!
At 104 years old, Lucio finally completed his doctoral degree program at the University of Manchester, a milestone he has been working toward for 30 years. The reason it took him so long was that his dissertation, which was required to graduate, depended on him solving a math equation that no one had been able to solve since it was first discovered 200 years ago.
“My Ph.D. is about determining the maximum amount of water that can be sustainably taken from a river for energy and other purposes,” Lucio explained.
This was a huge undertaking, but he knew that going in. After all, he is quite accomplished in his field, holding a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in science and technology. He wasn’t about to let a 200-year-old problem deter him!
He has been actively working on his thesis for the last 30 years, but life gets busy, and he only had so much time to devote to a problem he’d been trying to solve for decades. However, when the novel coronavirus lockdowns went into place, he suddenly had plenty of free time on his hands.
The centenarian took advantage of the silver lining, began working tirelessly on his research, and ended up solving the equation!
He submitted his findings to the university, and while he was a little nervous that the approval process would take a long time, his work was accepted relatively quickly. Then, at long last, he was awarded with his Ph.D.