Nigeria’s first Professor of Agrochemistry, Lami Nnamonu armed with a First Class first degree from University of Jos earned her Master’s degree in Organic chemistry from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and proceeded on Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship to carry out her PhD research in Durham University, United Kingdom leading to a PhD in Agrochemical Technology of the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM). The first to earn a PhD in Agrochemical Technology in Africa South of the Sahara, her work in the field of agrochemistry is helping to actualize the core mandate of her University against the backdrop of current challenges of climate disadvantages and other factors generally affecting agricultural productivity. She was the Acting Director of the Centre for Agrochemical Technology and is currently the maiden Centre leader/Director of the Centre for Innovation in Procurement Environmental and Social Standards (CIPESS), a World Bank sponsored SPESSE Project in the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi Benue State.
Distinguished scholar and accomplished scientist, her thesis earned national distinction as “Best PhD Thesis in Physical Sciences During 2011”, an award by the NUC Nigerian Universities Doctoral Theses Award Scheme (NUDTAS).
She has won many prizes and awards which include Conference Poster Prize in Glasgow, Scotland; Benue State Best Teacher of the Year; University of Jos Prize for Best Student in Faculty; Prof P. N. Lassa Prize for Best Final Year Student and Students’ National Merit Award throughout her undergraduate years.
Prof Nnamonu, an affiliate member of IUPAC is a certified organizer of the annual Global Women Breakfast and was an invited speaker at the IUPAC/Canadian CCE conference in August 2020.
Lami recently attracted global recognition for her university and Nigerian chemists in general, by winning the highly esteemed and globally coveted Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship Award for the first time in 2015, which took her to Newcastle University, England for postdoctoral research. Her commitment to re-investing the manifold skills and experiences she gained in the UK back home contributed to her winning the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty For The Future Fellowship Award for the second time in 2016. She was a Research Fellow at two Universities in England – Newcastle University and Durham University, where she worked on eco-friendly formulations of agrochemicals using biodegradable matrices and synthesis of N-heterocyclic carbenes for use in sustainable organocatalysis. Prof Nnamonu is National Project Coordinator of the RSquaredP Workgroup, an initiative of the Schlumberger Foundation Fellows Alumnae, working to bridge the gender gap in STEM.
An entrepreneurial scientist, she is a Faculty Advisor for her university team of enactus (an international organization – http:www.enactus.org – using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable progress around the world). Through enactus, she guides students to create and implement science based community projects that empower people to improve their quality of life and standard of living. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the talent and perspectives that are essential to becoming effective, values-driven leaders – thereby producing graduates who are job creators rather than job seekers. Lami is also Faculty Advisor of the American Chemical Society International Students’ Chapter of her University.
A compassionate role model who is bothered about the abysmally low involvement of girls in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Nnamonu is founder of a non-profit network, Girls In Future Tertiary Science GIFTS. Through this organ, she is dedicated not only to mentoring more girls into tertiary and postgraduate science studies and careers but also keeping them there. She has been resource person on goal setting and academic achievement seminars to three universities in Benue state. A world leader trained in Haggai Institute Singapore, she is an International endorser of the global Institute.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) and Fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), Lami is an active member of many learned societies – Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD); American Chemical Society (ACS); Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). Dr Lami Nnamonu is the North Central Zonal Coordinator of the Network for Biopesticides & Phytochemical Stakeholders (NEBIPS).
She has attended many international conferences and participated in many relevant international workshops and high impact training. She has supervised many undergraduate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and a couple of PhD students. She has published widely in local and international journals. She is an assessor for a number of reputable journals. Widely travelled, Dr Lami Nnamonu has more than fifteen years’ experience in teaching and research within and outside Nigeria.