Ivo Nedyalkov is somewhat of a renaissance man; when he’s not lecturing at UNH in the field of mechanical engineering, he’s a multi-lingual hip-hop performer.
Though he came to UNH to earn a Ph. D., Nedyalkov hails from the Bulgarian town of Varna.
“After high school, I moved to the capital city of Sofia for four years, and then I did my masters in mechanical engineering in Gothenburg, Sweden,” he said. “And then I came here to get my Ph.D. in 2008. I just finished my Ph.D. last year, and now I teach here.”
Graduate student Paul Knysh had plenty to say about Nedyalkov. “He is very open and likes communicating with people and explaining stuff, but at the same time he is very chill,” Knysh said.
Nedyalkov’s work at UNH involves teaching and doing research on the side.
“I teach engineering classes, and my field of interest is in thermofluid sciences,” he said. “That usually involves what happens with energy, how it is transferred from one form to another, and how it affects the performance of different machines in general.”
UNH mechanical engineering student Seamus Sargeant is currently taking his second course with Nedyalkov. “He is the best professor I have had at UNH,” Sargeant said. “He cares so much that his students understand the material, not just pass his class.”
However, there’s a high likelihood that many of Nedyalkov’s students aren’t aware of his knowledge of many different languages.
“Bulgarian and English are my top two, and these I speak almost fluently. And then having lived in Sweden and studied some German, I know a little bit of both,” Nedyalkov said. “But there are a few languages that are pretty close to Bulgarian; and those are all the former Yugoslavian languages, which include Serbian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Croatian and Slovenian. So technically I understand these languages.”
Aside from engineering, the other major passion in Nedyalkov’s life is rap music. Ironically, he was somewhat of a late-bloomer in regard to music.
“When I was 17, I actually hated music,” he confessed. “Even my music teacher was shocked at how there could be someone who didn’t like music. I just thought it was boring and a waste of time.”
All this was soon to change.
“That same year, I heard a rap song in Bulgarian that I thought had a lot of meaning there. Rap was picking up in Bulgaria,” Nedyalkov said. “And then I started liking it, and I thought, ‘I’ll become a rapper myself.’”
He also said that he tries to listen to a variety of rap music and extract a little bit of everything.
“If anything, when I’ve rapped back home, people would sometimes tell me, ‘Oh, you’re the Bulgarian Eminem,’” Nedyalkov said. “So maybe in terms of style that’s what they found, but I try to get a variety of influences.”
Nedyalkov is much more prolific as a performer rather than as a recording artist. “I have quite a few things recorded, but maybe only a couple of songs on YouTube and a music video that was shot about five years ago,” he said. “If you search for ‘Ievo N’ you’ll find it.”
The rapping lecturer is currently working on a new project that includes former rhymes regarding engineering.
“And I’m planning to turn this into a viral video,” he said about the upcoming project.
Though he had stopped performing while working on his Ph. D., Nedyalkov intends to perform a lot more at open mics, such as at Durham’s own Freedom Café where he performed on Sept.14.
“I have a page on [Facebook] called ‘Dr. IEvo N,’ and that is the easiest way to find me around.”