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DELSU Top Physicist, Osiele, Advocates University-Industry Synergy For National Development

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DELSU Top Physicist, Osiele, Advocates University-Industry Synergy For National Development

By Ben Nwanne

Professor of Solid State Physics at the Department of Physics, Delta State University, Abraka (DELSU) Professor Mike Osiele, has called for a synergy between universities, research institutes and industries for the commercialization of research output, especially in the areas of new materials and devices for the development of the nation.

He further recommended that positron beam facilities should be provided in Nigerian universities and research centres for the characterization and study of the properties of the materials.

Professor Osiele spoke on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at the 103rd in the series of Inaugural Lectures of the University entitled “Positron Annihilation: Probing the Invisible for the Visible” where he made a robust case for the importance of positrons in the development of different products.

Other recommendations by Professor Osiele who is the current Head of Department of Physics are that: “Scientists and Technologists in Nigeria should be encouraged to use photovoltaic materials developed locally to fabricate solar panels for generation of electricity as this will go a long way in reducing our over dependence on power generation and distribution companies.

“The government should encourage material scientists and engineers to synthesize, characterize and develop novel materials for the fabrication of devices that will have direct impact in the quality of lives of Nigerians.

“Our local industries should collaborate with Universities through funding of research works to find solutions to their problems and develop new products”.

According to Professor Osiele, who defined a positron as a fundamental particle which was discovered by P.A.N Dirac in the solution to the relativistic Schrodinger equation which is the core of modern day Physics, as all electronics products derive from its knowledge.

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The Agbor-born scholar who made a strenuous effort to carry the audience along at the 750 Hall A, Site 3, explained that positrons were produced by either nuclear decay or pair production process, which means an electromagnetic process that occurs in the vicinity of an electron.

During the pair production, according to the Professor who obtained a Doctorate in his field from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, in 2002, “a photon gives up its energy to materialize as two electrons of opposite charges”.

The amiable Professor explained that “the decay of artificial radioisotopes by positron emission provides a valuable source of positrons for practical purposes”.

He adumbrated the idea of Positron Physics, which deals with “the interactions of low energy positrons with matter”, noting that positrons could provide unique information on a wide variety of problems in condensed matter physics.

He was also of the opinion that the experimental equipment was commercially available and inexpensive.

Another strong point for the positron technique, he articulated, was the fact that it was a non-destructive method in which the information is carried out of the material by the annihilation radiation.

He also stated that in the use of positron technique, no special sample preparation was required and in some applications, the study could be carried out in situ.

The prolific researcher and writer, with over 50 publications in local and foreign high impact publications, insisted that positron annihilation studies were “established and standard tools for the study of various problems and properties of condensed matter”, adding that applications of positron annihilation techniques ranged from structural investigations to investigations of biological samples and medical imaging.

Describing himself as a “theorist and experimentalist and accomplished Professor of Solid State Physics”, Professor Osiele disclosed that he had only given the “length” of his research but was yet to provide the “depth”.

Writing on the inaugural lecturer, the University Orator, Professor (Mrs) Onajite Ojaruega posited that Professor Osiele had carved an enviable riche for himself as a dedicated academic and reputable researcher.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga who has personally presided over all twenty inaugural lectures held so far under his watch, spoke in the same vein, describing the inaugural lecture as an important day for Professor Osiele.

The Professor of Parasitology and Public Health, with a heart for the environment, praised the high quality of the inaugural lecture and noted that it was a celebration of exceptional scholarship and a watershed in the career of the top Physicist.

The Vice-Chancellor who remarked that the day’s lecture was the third from the Department of Physics in the past four inaugural lectures, and the next one from the same department, called for a “celebration of Physics”.

While decorating the Inaugural Lecturer with the Most Distinguished Medal of the University, thereby admitting him into the class of senior Professors, the articulate Chief Executive described him as “erudite and exceptional” and one of the best researchers in Physics.

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