A research group at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, Nanotechnology Research Group (NANO+) which was formed on September 4, 2014 has set agenda for nanotechnology research in the country by organizing a national workshop on the synthesis, characterization and applications of nanoparticles on 21-24 August, 2017.
This feat is heartwarming despite the daunting challenges facing the University in the last one year. It lays credence to the fact that LAUTECH is blessed with dedicated researchers, which must not be allowed to be lost to other Universities within or outside Nigeria.
The research group, which is headed by Agbaje Lateef, a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Pure and Applied Biology of the University consists of dedicated young scholars with vast training in molecular biology, industrial microbiology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, toxicology, biochemistry, materials engineering, renewable energy and nanofabrication, which they deploy in nanotechnology research.
Research in nanotechnology, which deals with manipulation and applications of materials at extremely small scale (1-100 nm), is an emerging multidisciplinary field, whose study is at lowest ebb in Nigeria.
This technology has a lot of applications in agriculture, medicine, renewable energy, consumer products, and sustainable environment amongst others, which Nigeria can benefit from its adoption. Hence the theme of the workshop; Nanotechnology: key to sustainable development and national integration, which is very apt and relevant to the policy of government to diversify the nation’s economy, and also to build a knowledge-based economy.
At the moment, the group has used novel bacteria, plant and unconventional materials from Nigeria, with potent antimicrobial, larvicidal, antioxidant, dye-degradation, desulphurization, anticoagulant, and thrombolytic (dissolution of blood clots) activities that can be used to combat the scourge of antimicrobial resistance, control of insect pests, as additives in paints, degradation of environmental pollutants, removal of sulphur from crude oil, and nanomaterials for the management of blood coagulation and cardiovascular disorders, as well as improving phytonutrients in plants.
The research activities of the group have led to the publication of twenty-one (21) quality research outcomes in reputable Journals with renowned publishing outfits such as SPRINGER, ELSEVIER, DE GRUYTER and IEEE. Several studies focusing on renewable energy, plant nutrition, preservation of materials, luminescence, toxicology, additives in paints, obesity among others are being investigated by members of the group.
It has robust collaboration with scholars from University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia. The group aimed at contributing to the growth of the University through Research and Training, while it is poised for collaborative research involving individuals, groups, institutions and industries.
In furtherance of its cardinal objectives, the group invites research scientists, technocrats, captains of industries, policy makers and exhibitors to her maiden ‘Workshop on the synthesis, characterization and applications of nanoparticles’, scheduled for 21-24 August, 2017. The workshop would be declared open by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. A.S. Gbadegesin on 22 August, 2017 at 10.00 am at Atimaggies Resort, Old Ilorin Road, YOACO, Ogbomoso.
The keynote speaker is Prof. E.O. Dare, the Nigeria’s first Professor of Nanotechnology from the Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Agriculture, FUNAAB, Abeokuta. It is a workshop that targets broad audience with background in agriculture, life sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, engineering and medical fields.
The workshop is ladened with striking lectures, hands-on practicals as well as networking and collaborative discussions. The workshop is a golden opportunity to catch the train of nanotechnology, as participants would learn where and how nanotechnology can be incorporated in to their research activities. Further details can be obtained online at: www.nanotech.lautech.edu.ng.
It is gratifying that despite the challenges currently facing the University, some crop of lecturers are poised to redefine the research landscape in the University and in Nigeria at large, as there is no research group in the area of nanotechnology that has remained focussed, productive and innovative in its activities like LAUTECH Nanotechnology Research Group. The group has provided leadership to mentor co-researchers at Osun State University attesting to its sterling leadership qualities, while the organization of the workshop is an effort to mobilize and motivate researches in nanotechnology amongst Nigerian scholars.
The group calls on technocrats, industrialists, funding agencies and government to support its quest for innovative research in nanotechnology for the benefit of the nation and humanity at large.
It adds its voice to the agitation for adequate and sustainable funding of the University by the owner states of Oyo and Osun, to facilitate resumption of the University for academic activities without further delay, noting that LAUTECH is the benefactor of all the members of the research group, with nine out of the 10-member group being products of the University. Indeed, the head of the group, Prof. A. Lateef represents the good stories of the University; not only as a pioneer student of the University, but he also earned all his degrees from LAUTECH.
The group further calls on the recently inaugurated governing council of the University, headed by Prof. Dapo Afolabi, who was a former don at the University to put their experiences on board to take the University which was earlier prized as the best state University in Nigeria out of its present predicament.