Dr Peter Ngene has won the $100, 000 Nigeria Prize for Science for his “evolutionary” work in “Nanostructured metal hydrides for the storage of electric power from renewable energy sources and for explosion prevention in high voltage power transformers.”
The Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Science, sponsored by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) announced Dr Ngene winner of the prize at a press conference in Lagos Tuesday.
Chairman of the advisory board and a science prize laureate, Prof. Akpoveta Susu, said Ngene’s work is a new type of energy storage with implications on renewable energy development.
The work also contributes to surmounting challenges in Nigeria around power transformers explosions due to degradation of insulators in the transformers.
Ngene is an assistant professor in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University in The Netherlands.
He is the recipient of the prestigious KNCV (The Royal Dutch Chemical Association) Van Arkel best PhD thesis (2012/2013) award, and the chair of the 2013 Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Metal-Hydrogen system in Italy.
He was also recently recognised as one of African leading young scientists by the award of the prestigious NEF (Next Einstein Forum) fellowship by the Chairman of the African Union (President Paul Kagame).
Reacting to the verdict, the Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department at NLNG, Andy Odeh, said, “This work by Ngene can be one of the keys to the renewable energy jigsaw. We believe this is an opportunity to secure a niche market in Nigeria for energy storage, riding on the back on this new type of batteries developed from the synthesis of nanostructured composite materials used as solid state electrolyte. This award shows how NLNG is helping to build a better Nigeria.”
The decision on the winning entry of The Nigeria Prize for Science was reached by a panel of judges, led by Francis Oluwole, a professor of Physics, Professor Onyemaechi Ekechukwu and Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo.