Researchers honoured with Nigeria’s top science award

Two researchers from the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering have been honoured with Nigeria’s most prestigious science award for their outstanding contribution to science and innovation.

Award winners

Professor Meihong Wang from the University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Dr Mathew Aneke, a former postdoctoral researcher at the University, have been awarded the Nigeria Prize for Science 2019 in recognition of their research on carbon capture, COutilisation, biomass gasification and energy storage.

Professor Meihong Wang and Dr Mathew Aneke were presented with the award at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria.

Professor Wang and Dr Aneke’s research aims to develop environmentally friendly and alternative power supply technologies to address core environmental issues such as deforestation, CO2 production, climate change and its effects such as erosion, drought and desertification.

After being honoured with the prize, Dr Aneke has now been asked to be an ambassador for the award. Professor Wang is also the first non-Nigerian to be awarded the prize.

On being presented with the award, Dr Aneke said: “I’m honoured to have won this prestigious prize for science and to be made an ambassador for the Prize is a wonderful personal achievement.

“My work could help to reduce CO2 emissions into the environment, improve the efficiency of biomass utilisation, reduce household air pollution and the associated health risks especially in sub-Saharan Africa like Nigeria where it has been estimated that about 66000 deaths – mostly women and children – occur annually from inhaling cooking smoke from fuel wood.”

Professor Wang added: “It is a great honour to be awarded the Nigeria Prize for Science 2019. I started to do research in carbon capture in 2005. This is a recognition of my research group’s long term research efforts in Carbon Capture, COUtilisation, Energy Storage and Bio-Energy.

“My links to Nigeria started in 2006 when I first became an academic member of staff. Since then, I have taught over 200 Nigerian MSc students as well as supervising more than 30 throughout their MSc Research Projects. I have also supervised more than 10 Nigerian PhD students and employed and supervised four research staff who are originally from Nigeria. I consider this award to be not only a recognition for my contributions to the development of technologies for curbing climate change but also for my contribution in training Nigerian Engineers in this area.”

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