A Nottingham professor has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society that will support his research into the development of new materials as sustainable sources of energy.
Robert Mokaya, Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Nottingham’s School of Chemistry is one of 25 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holders.
Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to help them attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and potential.
Professor Mokaya said, “The global threat of climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing mankind today. The maintenance and stability of current standards of living depend on the introduction of new energy solutions that can ameliorate current trends in global warming. This award will give my research into using Hydrogen as an alternative energy source a major boost.”
The award recognises Professor Mokaya’s expertise in understanding the properties, development and design of new functional materials. His work focusses on the development of economically-viable methods for storing, transporting and using hydrogen as a fuel (for example in a fuel cell), and sequestering CO2. These areas are widely acknowledged as major milestones that will mitigate climate change.”
The ongoing use of fossil fuels makes it compelling to reduce the CO2 emissions to avert catastrophic climate change. Hydrogen (H2) is an ideal alternative energy to fossil fuels because its combustion does not produce any pollutants or greenhouse gases.
Professor Mokaya continues: “The long-term aim is to consolidate my group at the School of Chemistry as an internationally leading centre for solid state materials chemistry and energy research. The award will support fundamental research but in a highly topical technological and sustainable energy research area. The research findings are expected to be of value to end users of modern portable electronic devices that require portable power sources and the automobile industry.”
Professor Steve Howdle, Head of School of Chemistry said, “This is wonderful recognition of Robert’s excellence in research. These awards are highly competitive and very prestigious and we are delighted that Robert has been successful”.
Robert Mokaya received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Nairobi in 1988 after which he spent a year working for Unilever in Kenya. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1992. In 1992 he was elected to a Research Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge and in 1996 was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship. He was appointed to a lectureship in Materials Chemistry at Nottingham in 2000, was promoted to Reader in Materials Chemistry in 2005, and to Professor of Materials Chemistry in 2008.
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