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Nigerian, foreigner jointly win $100,000 2019 NLNG Science Prize

Advisory board of the Nigeria Prize for Science Wednesday announced the works by Professor Meihong Wang and Mathew Aneke on Carbon Capture, Carbon Utilization, and Biomass Gasification and Energy Storage for Power Generation as the winning works for this year’s The Nigeria Prize for Science, worth $100, 000.

Professor Wang is a Professor of Energy Systems at the University of Sheffield. He is a Chartered Engineer and has published over 100 technical papers and industrial reports. Dr Aneke, a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield with expertise in process design and modelling, power systems analysis, power generation, renewable energy and environmental protection, amongst others. He has authored and co-authored 27 research works.

The announcement was made by the chairman of the Advisory Board for the Science Prize and an NLNG Science Prize Laureate, Prof. Akpoveta Susu, at a press conference in Lagos.

Business Hilights gathered that in its 15 years history, this is the first time a non-Nigerian has been awarded the Prize, which is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG. This is also the third joint winners’ award since inception in 2004.

Making remarks on the verdict, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, NLNG’s general manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, represented by Sophia Horsfall, NLNG’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, said trusting the judgement of the Panels of Judges, who have proven expertise on the issue of Climate Change, and the Advisory Board members, who bring credibility to the process by ensuring excellent results, NLNG was confident that an objective and qualitative decision was made on this year’s edition of the prize.

She stated that the announcement was memorable for NLNG as the Prize marks 15 years, which coincides with the Company’s anniversary of 20 years of successful operation and 30 years of incorporation, adding that the Prize was inspired by NLNG’s vision of helping to build a better Nigeria, through deliberate support for scientific research and celebration of excellent works.

Making reference to the judges’ report, Professor Susu said the works addressed core environmental issues notably deforestation, carbon production, associated climate change and the resultant effects such as erosion, drought and desertification. He said that their joint works “demonstrated innovative and holistic strategy to tackle climate change impacts and therefore merits the Nigeria Prize for Science Award 2019.”

“This year’s award has highlighted the international nature of the award which involved a joint research between a Nigerian and a non-Nigerian, both collaborating on works which precipitate great potential for solutions to the global issue of climate change. Our hope is that the award of this Prize would in its own little way provide a spark that would reinvigorate the passion of our budding scientists in finding solutions to our everyday issues.”

“We congratulate Professor Wang and Aneke for a job well done. They have been consistent in their research efforts geared towards development of environment friendly and alternative power supply technologies. We also commend the Panel of Judges for the diligence, which was apparent in the delivery of this assignment. We are particularly pleased that in evaluating the entries, they upheld the objectives of the Prize, which seeks to identify and promote excellence in utilizing scientific knowledge for the achievement of desired solutions,” he said.

He later announced “Innovations for Sustainable Food Security” as the theme for the 2020 Prize.

On the Prize’s Advisory Board are Professor Barth Nnaji, renowned scientist and former Minister of Power; Professor Michael Adikwu, Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja and also a past winner of the Science Prize; Professor Elijah Mshelia, a nuclear physicist; and Chief Dr. Nike Akande, two-time Minister and past President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.