Chemical engineers urged to create jobs
To mitigate societal challenges, chemical engineers have been advised to focus more on industry-specific projects and solutions that could benefit the people and help to grow the economy.
A former senior official of the Nigeria Raw Material, Research and Development Council, Dr. Daniel Ayo made the call during the yearly public lecture & 80th birthday of Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Alfred Susu organised by the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), Lagos/Ogun Chapter in Lagos.
Prof. Susu, who was trained in the United States of America, is a foremost Nigerian Chemical Engineer and one of the pioneers of the department of chemical engineering, University of Lagos.
The forum held virtually attracted the President of Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, Onochie Anyaoku, a pioneer lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Unilag, Professor Ayo Ogunye, friends and students of Prof. Susu.
Dr Ayo explained that if projects are industry-specific, students would be able to relate with them, and that would promote stronger relationships between the industry, academia, government, and the private sector.
With abundance of Coconut, Water, and Fish in Lagos, he stated that universities, polytechnics, and other institutions within the state should try and direct their projects towards what the industries around them need so that they can get funding support.
“The society needs more focus on demand-driven research. If you sit down in your office and come up with an idea on how to convert gold to water, it is fantastic research but does society need that now? But if your research focuses on how to convert water to gold, that is the immediate needs of the society”, he said.
Speaking on ‘Beyond Oil & Gas: Chemical Engineering in Nigeria’, he emphasised that practitioners should explore the vast opportunities that chemical engineering offers especially in areas such as nanotechnology, agriculture, biochemistry, medicine, corporate planning, environment, and indigenous technology to create jobs instead of waiting for opportunities in the Oil and Gas sector.
He advised upcoming engineers to emulate Prof. Susu by working hard, be determined to succeed, and prepare to sacrifice as the field is very demanding stressing that Prof. Susu could have stayed in America but he came to Nigeria and remained while his other colleagues left.
The President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), and chairman of the occasion, Alex Ogedengbe, who spoke on the achievements of the celebrant, urged upcoming engineers to emulate his excellent devotion to the teaching profession, loyalty, and contributions to the chemical and petroleum industry in Nigeria.
In a remark, the Chairman, Lagos/Ogun Chapter of NSChE, Dr Kamilu Oyedeko noted that Prof Alfred Susu’s worthy contributions to the development of chemical engineering in Nigeria deserved commendation and celebration.
He described him as a patriotic Nigerian who treasures diligence in his professional career and the development of the chemical engineering profession.