Inorganic chemist Peter Ngene (Utrecht University) received the 2018 Nigerian LNG Science Prize for his work on novel materials for energy storage and hydrogen detection, which are crucial for using hydrogen as a sustainable fuel. The prize consists of €100,000.- and will be used to stimulate science in the continent.
African energy science prize for Peter Ngene
The prize was given to Ngene in a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria already in October, in the presence of members of the Dutch diplomatic mission, and the Dutch deputy ambassador to Nigeria. Peter Ngene: “This award is currently one of the highest science awards in Africa. The selection panel for this year believed that my work on energy storage and sensors is of great benefit to the Nigerian and African energy sector.”
Boost to African science
The NLNG prize is meant to give a boost to science among Africa, especially Nigeria. Ngene: “Some of the plan is to work with leading universities in Nigeria to support some of their talented but poor master and PhD students to travel abroad, and acquire some international research experience during their studies. Of course, I prefer they come to Utrecht or somewhere else in the Netherlands, to work on topics that are related to what I am doing. This, however, has to be worked out first.”
Good contact with African presidents
The Nigerian Peter Ngene is working in the Netherlands since 2007. He is currently an assistant professor in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University. In March 2018, he was chosen to be a Next Einstein Forum Fellow, for which 17 promising young African researchers are invited to give advice on science policy in Africa. The latest NLNG prize will enable Ngene to influence politics even more. “I already have very good contacts with policy makers, including some African presidents and ministers of Education. I can play a role in shaping the future of scientific research in Africa by collaboration between some Dutch universities and some African countries. Note that countries such as Germany, UK, US, France, Japan, South Korea and China are already playing an active role in supporting and advancing scientific research in Africa.”
More information: Innovation in energy storage wins NLNG’s $100,000 Science Prize