Don Advocates Special Funding for Multidisciplinary Projects in Nigeria - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Friday, May 10, 2024

Don Advocates Special Funding for Multidisciplinary Projects in Nigeria

By Olaoye Oyewole, Abiodun Babatunde & Tofunmi Adebayo_ 

In a bid to tackle significant national challenges head-on, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has called for special funding by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) totalling 500 million Naira for multidisciplinary projects in Nigeria.

Prof. Akinyemi made the plea while delivering FUNAAB's 89th Inaugural Lecture, titled "Unravelling the Coupled Heat and Water Flow Phenomenon: My Non-Invasive Voyage into the Subsurface Domains," held on May 8, 2024, at the Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building.

Acknowledging the support of TETFund for establishing Institutional-Based Research (IBR) and the National Research Fund (NRF), Prof. Akinyemi, an expert in Solid Earth Physics stressed the importance of fostering multidisciplinary research groups spanning Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Animal Physiology, Mechatronics, and Plant Breeding.

He advocated for the establishment of solution rooms, where individuals from diverse backgrounds, including students, can collaboratively explore research ideas to devise practical solutions. 

Emphasising the growing significance of understanding the complex interactions within the earth, Prof. Akinyemi, a Fellow of the Indian Society of Earth Scientists highlighted the need for a mix of expertise and resources for non-invasive studies.

He underscored the necessity of constant monitoring of earth activities through expensive observation systems and proposed a multidisciplinary approach leveraging simulation and field experiments. 

Prof. Akinyemi pointed out the earth's key role in scientific research and urged policymakers and researchers to ensure its preservation. 

His words, “The earth may not need us to survive, but we surely do need earth to survive. Therefore, let us do our part and let God do what only He can do.”

He noted that in the course of his non-invasive voyage into the subsurface domains, he had worked with some of the best minds either as mentors or collaborators and in some top-notch laboratories, but has never met some of his collaborators face-to-face, even after many years of close collaborations.

According to him, “The whole research community does not need to relocate before collaborating.”

Addressing environmental concerns, he urged the government to eliminate indiscriminate refuse dumps and promote properly sited landfill sites. 

Additionally, he advocated for targeted funding to explore geothermal energy potentials as a sustainable alternative.

Prof. Akinyemi observed the need for collaboration between the military and researchers to enhance subsurface forensic detections, even as he proposed the establishment of a College of Earth Sciences at FUNAAB to consolidate related disciplines.

Earlier, in his Introductory Remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Kehinde lauded Prof. Akinyemi's extensive experience in Solid Earth Physics, spotlighting his contributions to various research projects.

The Lecture had in attendance eminent personalities like the former Vice-Chancellor, FUNAAB, Prof. Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun; immediate past Vice-Chancellor, FUNAAB, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako; former Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Femi Bamiro; former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Bisi Balogun, and the former Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN.

Others were the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, St. Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Prof. Steve Afolami and wife, including the former Vice-Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Prof. Adeniyi Olayanju; former Vice-Chancellor, Glorious Vision University (GVU), Prof. Babatunde Idowu; former Acting Vice-Chancellor, FUNAAB, Prof. Ololade Enikuomehin, and Bishop (Prof.) Adewale Solarin, as well as several others from the industry and academia within and outside of the University.

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