Prof. Philomena K. Igbokwe Delivers UNIZIK 31st Inaugural Lecture

“Materials Transformation for the process industries: the Chemical Engineer’s perspective.” – Inaugural Lecture by Prof. P. K. Igbokwe.

History was made in UNIZIK on 23rd of June, 2016 as the first female professor in Chemical Engineering, first female Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Philomena Kanwulia Igbokwe who is also the first female inaugural lecturer in Chemical engineering in UNIZIK, held the University Community enthralled as she delivered the 31st Inaugural Lecture on “Materials Transformation for the process industries: the Chemical Engineer’s perspective.”

Speaking during the lecture, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph E. Ahaneku, FAS expressed gratitude to God for enabling the University to stick to the culture of holding inaugural lectures regularly. He commended staff of the Faculty of Engineering for coming out en masse to support their former Dean, who is also wife of the present Dean, Prof. Joel Igbokwe. According to him, the University is to solve problems as experts are groomed in the university from different disciplines to broaden knowledge. Ideologies used to rule every nation are got from the University, he said.

Expressing joy at the day’s event, Prof. P. K. Igbokwe said the topic was borne out of the fact that she wanted to share some of the interesting research work that facilitated her elevation as professor of chemical engineering and to elucidate the chemical engineer’s perspective on the topic. She opined that in the past, chemical engineering was traditionally linked to fuel and energy systems but, in recent times it has blazed the trail in new developments in medicine, biotechnology, microelectronics, advanced materials and a whole lot of consumer products. The Chemical Engineer elaborated on some of her contributions via the research she has under taken; Catalysts and catalysis in the chemical process, (substances which accelerate chemical reaction without being changed). Separation processes and absorbents in the chemical process industries for pollution control and solvent recovery applications, development of ballistic protection using kenaf fibre reinforced polythene composites. And from the chemical engineer’s perspective, she has been able to; develop software for the design of a pyrolysis reactor for the conversion of cellulosic waste biomass into bio-oils, develop simulation codes for a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and batch reactor, design fabrication and characterization of a 5-litre CSTR for laboratory and teaching purposes.

After the lecture which was greeted with a standing ovation by all present, the 31st inaugural lecturer was decorated by the Vice-Chancellor, aided by the inaugural Lecture Committee Chairman, Prof. Amechi Oyeka.

Giving the vote of thanks, the next inaugural lecturer, Prof. Emma Okoye said the lecture added to the knowledge already received. Present were; some members of the University Management, Deans, HOD’s, Directors, Professors, Lecturers, students, family members from Nnewi (home town of the present Dean), from Asaba the home town of the inaugural lecturer, amongst others. The lecture was anchored by a member of the Inaugural Lecture Committee, and a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature, Dr. Chike OKoye.

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