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Professorial Inauguration: Professor Omotayo Arotiba

​The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Professor Tshilidzi Marwala and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science Professor Debra Meyer, hosted the professorial inauguration of Omotayo Arotiba, Professor in Applied Chemistry at UJ.

The inauguration took place on Monday, 6 August 2018 at Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus.

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The inaugural lecture titled: “Sense it, Treat it, … – Electrochemistry in Action”, highlights research in the fields of electrochemistry, photoelectrochemistry, analytical electrochemistry, nano-electrochemistry, materials science and electrochemistry of materials from 2006 to date.

Professor Arotiba’s research is based on the application of electrochemistry to solving environmental, water, biomedical and industrial challenges. More specifically, Prof Arotiba’s research looks at: 1) Electrochemical biosensors and sensors (Sense it). 2) Electrochemical technologies such as electrochemical oxidation, photoelectrochemical oxidation, electrocoagulation, ionic diode for water treatment (Treat it). 3) Materials science, nanotechnology, membrane composites, electrochemical characterisation (). Sensors and biosensors are analytical devices that are capable of providing qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative information about an analyte. They are characterised by low cost, simplicity, fast response/analysis, ease of use, possibilities of on-site or point of care application, miniaturisability etc. Electrochemical technologies offer a complementary or alternative approach to water treatment. These technologies are sustainable, easy to design and operate, environmentally benign, sustainable and can remove recalcitrant pollutants.

Prof Omotayo Ademola Arotiba was born in Nigeria into the family of Chief David Omotayo Arotiba (from Ipele, Owo, Ondo State) and Mrs Margaret Bamidele Arotiba (Ughoton, Okpe, Delta State). He completed his BSc (Honours) and MSc in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ilorin and University of Benin both in Nigeria respectively. He proceeded to South Africa for a PhD in Physical Chemistry (Electrochemistry speciality) with scholarship from the National Research Foundation South Africa at SensorLab, Department of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape (UWC) under the supervision of Prof Emmanuel Iwuoha and Prof Priscilla Baker.

He joined the Department of Applied Chemistry (UJ) in 2011 where he is now a full Professor (since Oct 2016). Prof Arotiba is the Director of the Centre for Nanomaterials Science Research at UJ; the pioneer and leader of the Electrochemistry Research Group at UJ and also the current Chairman of the Electrochemistry Division (ElectrochemSA) of the South African Chemical Institute (SACI).

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