Dr. Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, has emerged winner of the 2017 Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) Gold Medal Prize.
The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) instituted a Gold Medal Prize in 2016, after 40 years of its existence, to be awarded to deserving Nigerian scientists who have made significant achievements in science of national relevance and global resonance. The award is to be made annually, alternating between the life sciences and physical sciences.
Announcing the winner at a media briefing in Lagos, Chairman of the Nigerian Academy of Science Prize Committee, Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, a past President of the NAS stated that Dr. Unuabonah emerged the pioneer winner of the prestigious prize after a due process of evaluation by a five-member physical science jury chaired by Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, FAS, a past NAS President.
Professor Ogunmola said in picking Dr. Unuabonah for the prize, his numerous contributions in physical sciences were subjected to critical scrutiny, stating that his work that fetched him the award focused on the development of alternatives for the replacement of expensive zeolites activated carbon and membranes currently being used in the treatment of water and wastewater.
According to Professor Ogunmola, the research work of Dr. Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge of modified hybrid kaolinite clay as absorbent of metal ion pollutants as is evident from his publication and patents, adding that “this innovation has the potential to be further developed into point-of-use system for ready treatment of water in rural communities”.
In his remarks, the NAS current President Professor Mosto Onuoha decried the neglect of science studies in Nigeria, while calling on the federal and state governments to set up an endowment fund for the support of scientific research in ensuring that Nigeria joined developed nations in scientific advancement.