Professor Umar Ibrahim Gaya
Coordinating Director, Science Infrastructure
The Coordinating Director, Science Infrastructure of NASENI, Professor Umar Ibrahim Gaya is a member of the family of his Royal Highness, the Late Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir. He was appointed the Chiroman Gaya and member of the Gaya Emirate Council of Kano State, a position left by his elder brother the new Emir of Gaya, Alh Dr Aliyu Ibrahim Gaya. He attended Kofar Naisa Primary School (1977-1983), Government Secondary School Sabuwar Kofa (1983-1986), and completed his secondary school education at Rumfa College, Kano (1989). In 1992, he attended IJMB programme at the College of Arts and Science, Kano. He was among the four best graduating B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry students of University of Maiduguri (1996). In 1997 to 1998, he had his national service at the Petrochemical Laboratory of Kaduna Refinery and Petroleum Company (KRPC), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). He was the Quality Controller of Camom Engineering and Services Company (CAMESCO) which successfully rehabilitated the KRPC Lubes Plant (1998-1999) where he supervised engineering-based quality control works such as the retubing of heat exchangers and air fin coolers, casting of furnaces, corrosion control, and repair of safety valves, manometers, pumps, column baffles and dewaxers.
In 2000, Umar was appointed as Graduate Assistant by Bayero University, Kano. Later in 2002-2004, he was deployed as Technical Aid Corps in The Gambia, by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He then became a certified ICT proficient. In 2004, he received M.Sc. Analytical Chemistry from Bayero University, Kano. Before his graduation with PhD Catalysis from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2009, he earned a Graduate Research Fellow position, taught undergraduates and left a hitherto unbeaten publication record. His graduation week was met with an invitation to breakfast with the Malaysian Minister for Higher Education. During his postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Chemistry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (2011), he fabricated laboratory reactors. Later on, he joined the Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University again as postdoctoral fellow (2011-2012). He was a recipient of the prestigious Mc Arthur Top up Allowance and the Kano State Scholarship Board international award. He had physically attended in Singapore, a short course on “C-C coupling…” by the 2010 Chemistry Nobel laureate, keynote lectures of many other Nobel laureates, and webinars. He has completed courses of the West African Bioethics Program/Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) on financial and institutional conflict of interest, institutional and investigators’ responsibilities. He was trained on management by the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), and also on peace education by the Universal Peace Federation.
Professor Umar has an indelible record of exemplary moral, academic, and social life. He was elected severally into various committees and boards. He was the Secretary of the Interim Executive Committee, Kano-Jigawa (KANJIGA) Association, University of Maiduguri (1993-1994). He received award and a certificate for being the Nigeria Representative, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary of the Universiti Putra Malaysia International Students Association (UPMISA) (2007-2009), and the International Students’ Representative in Chemistry Club of the University, respectively. He was the Vice President, Corpers’ Forum at the KRPC/NNPC (1997-1998). He was the PRO of Rumfa Old Boys Association (RUMFOBA) Class ’89. In January, 2010, the association awarded him “Academic Dr with enormous academic and humanitarian contribution to the society”. In November, 2010, he was among the 3 Nigerians given awards by the Nigerian Students’ Community in Malaysia (NISCOM), at the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Nigeria, IIUM, Gombak, Malaysia. He was a member of Nigerians in Diaspora Malaysia (NIDOMY). In 2002 he was Pioneer/Secretary of the “City Educational Trust”, a community-based organisation, for the Project “Rehabilitation of secondary school drop-outs” which won Mc Arthur’s Best in Financial Record. He was Local Government Collation Officer severally in different national elections.
Professor Umar (ORCID: 0000-0002-2396-3761) has led several developments in nanoscience including the development of novel methods for the synthesis of low-dimensional (1D, 2D) mesoporous nanostructured materials of various technological interests. He has published many articles in top tier high impact journals of Science and Technology, and had written his name in the Top 25 Sciencedirect league table. He has been the most cited author from Bayero University as evidenced by Scopus and Journal Citation Report (JCR) (Scopus ID: 24171183100 WoS Researcher’s ID: N-9660-2015), Researchgate, and Google Scholar. He has published a book rated in 2015 among the top 50 % most downloaded from the relevant eBook collections of the world’s most famous publisher, the Springer Nature, with 750,000 page views per month based on the Bookmetrix report in 2015 Springer Book Performance.
Professor Umar has presented many papers locally, and at prestigious conferences in the UK, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. He was among the selected presenters of the 2017 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists (IUPAC) World Congress, at the Golden Hall of the World Trade Centre, Sao Paulo, where Nobel Laureates in Chemistry presented their works. He was among the Nigeria Representatives and a facilitator at the Youth Forum of the 17th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers (17CCEM) at Kuala Lumpur, which 50 Ministers and 3 Prime Ministers attended, where he presented a talk on “Respect and Understanding” and had one meeting with the Ministers of Education of Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago. He has co-organised trainings, conferences and seminars with the Centre of Excellence for Dryland Agriculture, College of Natural and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Directorate of Research Innovation and Partnership. He was part of workers under the Malaysia Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Malaysia University Grant Scheme, and The Sultan Qaboos University Research Council (TRC) grant. He has presented invited papers at seminars organised by different universities, and has attended > 50 international scientific hands-on workshops, webinars and seminars. In 2017, he was invited as one of the 2 national, out of 6 Speakers of the joint 3rd Biennial Conference of the Transplant Association of Nigeria & 1st International Conference of the College of Health Sciences Bayero University, Kano. In November 4, 2021 morning, Professor Umar Gaya’s Professorial Inaugural Lecture (the 50th in the Bayero University series) titled “In Search of Catalysts…” was tagged as “Golden” by Vice Chancellor, publicly reading many reasons. It was attended by all principal officers of the University, many traditional rulers, an Emir, high profile academics from other universities locally, and internationally via zoom. The impact and rigour of this lecture will perhaps never cease to generate record public commendations from people of different caliber! He is the Guest Speaker of the Annual 2022 International Science Conference organised by Bayero University, themed “Trends in Basic and Applied Sciences”.
Professor Umar has a particular interest in innovatively addressing the outstanding societal challenges, and deepening the understanding of emerging technologies such as photocatalysis, crude oil upgrading, biodiesel synthesis and adsorption-based corrosion inhibition. He has watched the presentation of photoelectrochemical fuel cell by Professor Akira Fujishima, the father of semiconductor photocatalysis himself, and had had with eminent scientists across the world on scientific matters such as Professor Michael Grätzel, the father of the famous Grätzel solar cell. His review paper emphasising on enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in August, 2021 in a nearly 80-yr old high impact journal, the Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, coincided with national interest, encouraged in the same month by the inauguration of awards in the same area through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). He has the experience of teaching a very high number of courses at pre-degree, diploma, B.Sc., PGD, M.Sc. and PhD level in Bayero University, and other tertiary institutions. He has supervised the projects of many students at undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate diploma, M. Sc. and PhD, and has internally and externally examined undergraduate, M.Sc. and PhD degrees at different universities. He has fostered the mindset and motivation of students towards the best scientific judgements, and his research group has produced many university lecturers.
Professor Umar is a member of Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), CSN stakeholders’ forum, the American Chemical Society-Catalysis Division (ACS-CATL.), and the Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES). He is associate editor of ChemSearch, a member of African Journals Online (AJOL), and a reviewer of many Scopus-indexed journals of Science and Chemical Engineering published by Elsevier and its equivalents. In February 2014, he was mentioned at the floor 313th Senate of the Bayero University for reputable publications. In 2015 and 2016, he appeared among the top 7 scientists in Bayero University in the Webometric ranking of scientists sponsored by ACUMEN, European Commission and Spanish Research Council for which he received a commendation letter of Bayero University. He was the Chairman of Bayero University Standing Committee for Research whose membership included a Provost, Deans and Directors, which vetted hundreds of degree (M.Sc. and PhD) and non-degree oriented research proposals (such as Tetfund Institution-Based Research). He had led the screening of 52 Tetfund National Research Fund (NRF) and participated in the screening of > 60 proposals from the World Bank acclaimed Centre for Dryland Agriculture of Bayero University. He was selected to be a member of principal officers’ “Advisory Committee on Sponsorship and Utilisation of TETFUND and other Grants” of Bayero University. In 2017, he led the University delegation for audience with National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), which resulted in the training on patenting, industry linkage, transfer technology, IP training, commercialization and development of results and the commissioning of multimillion Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) office in July 2019. He was the resource person for the Petroleum Technology Development Fund/National Educational Research and Development Council (PTDF/NERDC) STEM Teacher Training Programme, 2017 Finlab Laboratory Equipment Training, 2006 NTI Millennium Development Goal Project, and 2018 BUK Centre for Dryland Agriculture Retreat.
As the Chairman of University Journals Coordinating Committee, a committee of Deans, Directors, Editors-in-Chief/Chairmen, he provided guidance for 22 active journals of different endeavours and drafted the first Bayero University Journal Publishing Policy. He was a member of more than 60 departmental, community, faculty or university committees/boards including many strategic committees/boards of Bayero University such as the Senate, Appointment and Promotion, Sponsorship, convocation, inaugural lecture committee, School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS), Bayero University Press and a member of the Board of Trustees of the ASUU-BUK Cooperative. While he was the Deputy Director I/Acting Director at the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Partnership (DRIP) (2016-2018), he was a key worker in the fledging of the new Directorate, inter alia development of research structure, intellectual property policy, research policy, methods of assessment of disclosure of inventions/innovation/software and research proposals. He was the Departmental Postgraduate Coordinator, Head of Physical Chemistry unit, Faculty Examination Officer and SIWES Coordinator. He is the coordinator of the Federal Government Special Works (FG SPW) of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment which employed 1000 peon at Gaya LGA. He has memorised Quran and can communicate well in English, French, Arabic, Hausa, Malay, and fairly well in Fulfulde.