Manchester Uni Student, 104, Thanks Lockdown For Giving Him Time To Finish PhD

A 104-year-old Manchester University student whose life was so busy he never had time to finish his PhD has thanked lockdown for finally giving him the time to finish his thesis which has now been sent for approval.

Lucio ‘Chiquito’ Caicedo was born in the city of Cali in the western Colombian department of Valle del Cauca on 22nd May 1916.

He lived there for 84 years before moving to the city of Medellin in the north-eastern department of Antioquia.

Chiquito, who had a civil engineering degree at the National University of Colombia at Medellin, has been working on his PhD thesis about the “optimal point for water utilisation in a river” for three decades.

The thesis needed a complicated maths problem to be solved and he finally finished it this year, allowing him to send the document to Manchester University.

Credit: Newsflash
Lucio Chiquito Caicedo, 104

He said: “I am 104 and a half years old. My PhD is about determining the maximum amount of water that can be sustainably taken from a river for energy and other purposes.”

He also admitted that he doubted he would have finished it were it not for the COVID-19 lockdown.

Due to his age and spending so much time at home, he had to sit down and focus on his thesis which is currently under evaluation. If approved, he will earn his doctorate title.

However, he admitted he is a little worried about how long it might take, saying: “The last time I submitted something, it took 25 months for the subject discussion and I had to write around 170 emails clarifying my points of views.”

Local newspaper RCN said that Chiquito has worked and studied his whole life and founded several important companies in Colombia, such as Empresas Publicas de Medellin (Public Companies of Medellin), Camacol, and Integral S.A.

When he was 73, he wrote the Manchester University to study with them and they accepted him after evaluating his case.

He was awarded by the Board of Medellin four years ago, and received the Don Juan del Corral Merit of Order in the gold category for his commitment and contribution to the progress of Antioquia.

Chiquito has six children with his wife who died five years ago, 12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

He was married for 67 years and he told the newspaper Infobae that “family has been my biggest achievement”.

He also revealed that he is not afraid of COVID-19 because, in his opinion, everybody needs to follow the authorities’ advice to make the best of the situation.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorJoana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash

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