Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Samuel Ejikeme Okoye



Professor Samuel Ejikeme Okoye (26 July 1939 – 18 November 2009) was a astrophysicist, born in Amawbia, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Okoye was a graduate of University of Cambridge, having earned a PhD in the study of Astrophysics defending a thesis regarding Radio Astronomy. Okoye was also a graduate of the University of London, having completed a B.Sc in Physics.

Samuel E. Okoye is best known as the co-discoverer of the Crab Nebula radio source now known to be a neutron star and as a former science columnist for The Guardian. He was a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science.

In 1975 , Okoye joined the staff at the University of Ibadan and in 1976 joined the University of Nigeria where he lectured in Physics and Astronomy and held a number of administrative posts, including Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences (1984–1986) and Acting Vice-Chancellor (July-August 1978).

Professor Okoye’s numerous scientific papers and publications span the ionosphere physics, solar physics, and the theory of extragalactic radio sources and cosmology. He also authored a monograph, Viable and Affordable Policy Objectives for a Nigerian Space Programme. He co-edited two books, Basic Science Development in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects, and The World at the Crossroads: Towards a Sustainable, Equitable and Livable World.

Apart from Nigeria, Professor Okoye also lectured in the Netherlands, the US, and the UK. From 1990 to 1993, he served as a visiting professor/senior research fellow at the Institute of Astronomy, and Fellow Commoner at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge.

He was a member of Nigeria’s official delegation to the United Nations Conference on Peaceful Uses of Space in Vienna, 1981 as well as a member of a panel charged in 1984 with producing an integrated energy policy for Nigeria. From 1986-1988, he was the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Awka campus of the Anambra University of Science and technology (ASUTECH).

Professor Okoye was a consultant to the United Nations on the development of space science and technology in developing countries (1979-1986).

Okoye died in London on 18 November 2009.

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