V-C Commends Science Faculty On Seminar Series

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, has praised the Faculty of Science for successfully hosting its 5th Seminar Series which held on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at the MBA I Hall, Ofrima Building, University Park. The scientific parley attracted top academics, students and industry players that included officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) in attendance, amongst others.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Hakeem Fawehinmi, who represented the Vice-Chancellor at the occasion, expressed satisfaction with the large turn-out of senior academics and other participants at the event, positing that the topic of the Seminar: The Use of HNMR Spectroscopy in the Quantification of Ethanol in Alcoholic Beverages, was coming at a most auspicious time, especially in a festive season when some consumers abuse alcoholic drinks with disastrous consequences in most instances.
“The topic is relevant to society, considering the level of alcoholic toxicity and abuse by some consumers. So, it is good to devise practical ways to advocate moderation in the use of ethanol in line with best global practice,” the representative of the Vice-Chancellor said. He commended the Guest Lecturer, Professor Ovi Abayeh for bringing his wealth of experience to bear on his presentation which Professor Fawehinmi described as lucid and intelligible.
In the presentation, Professor Abayeh disclosed that his research centred around determining the amount of ethanol in several alcoholic beverages, using one of the standard methods in line with global best practice. The Guest Speaker further revealed that ethanol was widely in use for diverse purposes around the world.
“Ethanol is considered the most widely used recreational drug worldwide, and its production, consumption, and sale are therefore strictly regulated by laws. Ethanol content of alcoholic beverages (wine, beers and spirits) is about 3-50% v/v. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has therefore, set up several methods to quantify the alcoholic content in wine to ensure quality of highest standard, which are based on chemical (dichromate oxidation), physical (pycnometry, densitometry, refractometry and hydrometry), chromatographic, etc,” the Guest Speaker told the audience. He expressed satisfaction with the outcome of using HNMR spectroscopy in the quantification of ethanol in alcoholic beverages as was demonstrated in his study.
Earlier in his address, Dean of the Faculty, Professor Gordian Obute, stated that the seminar series offered a platform for academics to ventilate ideas and promote the outcomes of research. He pointed out that the presence of industry players in the seminar was critical to strengthening the critical town and gown relationship and avail the industry of the gains of research outputs undertaken in the Faculty.
The Dean, who expressed gratitude to the participants for attending the seminar in large numbers, commended the Regional Director of NAFDAC, Dr. Maduka Ubiaru for coming along with his colleagues, Mrs. Esther Uku and Chidera Ekeh to the seminar. He hoped that the use of HNMR Spectroscopy adopted by the Guest Speaker in the quantification of ethanol in alcoholic beverages would be a useful approach for researchers in the specialisation.
In his goodwill message, the Regional Director of NAFDAC, Dr. Ubiaru, who is an alumnus of the University, paid glowing tribute to Professor Abayeh for his numerous intellectual contributions to the activities and programmes of NAFDAC in the region, expressing optimism that staff and students would gain from the seminar.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Kingsley Patrick-Iwuanyanwu, disclosed that the Seminar Series Planning Committee was inaugurated by the new Dean on assumption of office to organise quarterly seminars in the Faculty aimed at bringing academics up speed with current trends in the ever-changing scientific sector. He thanked the NAFDAC team for attending the event, regretting however that a team from PABOD Breweries was attacked while on its way to the event, an incident that highlighted the parlous security situation in Rivers State. The Acting HoD also disclosed that Visiting LEADS Scholar, Professor Vincent Idemyor would be the next Speaker on a date to be disclosed by the Seminar Series Planning Committee.  


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