Prof. Marfo-Owusu attains full professorship in chemistry

Pro. Emmanuel Marfo Owusu Waa Poly Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu

Fri, 22 Apr 2022 Source: K Peprah

Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, a Chemical Crystallographer and Supramolecular Chemist, has now been promoted to a rank of a full professorship of chemistry.

He is the Foundation Dean of School of Sciences and also the Foundation Head of Chemical Sciences Department, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani-Ghana.

He is the sole author of the curriculum for undergraduate Chemistry program at UENR and in 2017, he went on a four year leave of absence to enable him take up an appointment at Wa Polytechnic (now Wa Technical University) as Rector of the institution.

A letter of appointment signed by Mr. Soloman Panford, Esq., APR, the Registrar of the University and sighted by the GhanaWeb in Sunyani stated “the University Council at the Second Session of its 31st Regular Meeting held on Friday, April 08, 2022 upheld a recommendation of the University Appointments and Promotions Committee for your promotion to the rank of a Professor in the Department of Chemical Sciences, School of Sciences, and approved same”.

“Consequently, I write on behalf of the University Council to inform you that you have been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor effective Monday, November 01, 2021”.

He completed his tenure in office as rector at Wa Polytechnic on 31st January, 2021 and resumed on duty at the Chemical Sciences Department in UENR on 1st February, 2021.

On 1st August, 2021 he was appointed as Head of Chemical Sciences Department. On 8th April, 2022, he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor of Chemistry by the Governing Council of University of Energy and Natural Resources.

He is a reviewer for Journal of Molecular Structure, a registered member of Synchrotron Radiation Source Users at Diamond Light Source Ltd in Harwell Science and Innovation Laboratory at Didcot, Oxfordshire-U.K, as well as member of Cambridge Structure Database Users at Cambridge Crystallography Data Center in Cambridge-U.K.

He is a member of International Union of Crystallography (IUCr). Professor Marfo-Owusu Emmanuel was a member of UENR Governing Council as well as Wa Polytechnic Governing Council.

He is an external assessor for many universities and research institutes applicants seeking for promotion to various ranks. He has been a member of several statutory and non-statutory/Ad-hoc committees in University of Cape Coast (UCC), UENR, and Wa Polytechnic.

He served as chairman of the following committees - Procurement and Tendering Committee (UENR), Procurement and Tendering Board (Wa Polytechnic), School of Sciences Board (UENR), Chemistry Department Board, Graduation Gown Committee, Evaluation and Tendering Committee (UENR), Strategic Planning Committee (UENR).

Appointment and Promotions Committee (UENR), School of Science (UENR), and also served as a member of the following committees namely; Graduate School Board (UCC), Standing and Finance Committee (UENR), School of Physical Sciences Academic and Promotion Committee (UCC), and Chemistry Department Research and Innovations Committee (UENR).

He holds B.Sc (Hons) Chemistry degree from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife Nigeria, as well as M.Sc Chemistry degree from University of Transkei (UNITRA) {now Walter Sisulu University, South-Africa}, and Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng) degree in Chemical Crystallography and Supramolecular Chemistry from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo-Japan.

He had his postdoctoral research studies at the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology in University of Tokyo-Japan and also at the Chemistry Department in Mississippi State University, Starkville-USA. Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu was also a Research Fellow at the Chemistry Department in University of Washington, Seattle-U.S.A and as a Sponsored Researcher at the Chemical Crystallography laboratory in the Chemistry Department at University of Oxford, Oxford U.K.

He worked in Zambia as an Expatriate Chemistry teacher at Linda Secondary School in Livingstone at Southern Province.

He had his secondary education at Tema Secondary School, Tema, and primary education at Community 8 No. 2 Primary, Tema, and Aburi Presbyterian Boys Boarding School, Aburi-Ghana. His father (Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Kwasi Marfo, a Biochemist & former Director of Ghana Standards Board) hails from Nsuta- Kyebi, Ashanti Region and mother (Akosua Nyamekye) from Atwima Yabi-Ashanti Region. He was born in Accra on 18th March, 1963.

Professor Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu began his career in academia at the Department of Chemistry in University of Transkei (UNITRA) in South Africa as a Junior lecturer from 1993-1997, and taught Physical Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry at the second year level to Honors class while as a Master degree graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at University of Transkei.

He began his Master degree program in 1993 and completed in May 1996, and became the first Master of Science (M.Sc) in Chemistry graduand in the history of the University. The theme of his research studies was titled ‘Host-Guest Interactions in the Thiourea Inclusion Complexes’, using X-ray crystallography techniques, and was supervised by the late Professor John Stewart Rutherford (a Scottish Mathematical Crystallographer).

His research studies were pursued in three crystallography laboratories in Department of Chemistry at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg-South Africa, Department of Chemistry at University of Durham, Durham-U.K, and Department of Crystallography at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh-U.S.A.

The visit to these laboratories were made possible through the support from Professor Judith Howard (former President of British Crystallography Association (BCA) and Head of Chemistry Department in University of Durham, UK), Professor Demi Levendis (Former Head of Chemistry Department and Head of Crystallography laboratory in Witwatersrand University, South Africa), and America Crystallography Association (ACA).

While in UNITRA, he presented a scientific paper on his research studies at the XVII International Union of Crystallography congress held in Seattle-Washington State, U.S.A and also won several awards to enable him attend International Conferences, and Summer Schools.

They included America Crystallography Association (ACA) Young Scientist award to attend Crystal Structure Determination Summer School held in Department of Crystallography at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh-U.S.A, in 1994 and International Conference on Crystal Growth (ICCG) Young Scientist award to attend Summer School on Crystal Growth held in Papendal-Netherland (Holland) in 1995.

Others were International Conference on Crystal Growth held in The Hague-Netherland in 1995, British Molecular Graphics Society award to attend Short Course on Molecular Modelling held in University of York, York-U.K in 1995 and IUCr Young Scientist award to attend Symposium on Organic Crystal Chemistry held in Adam Mickiewics University at Poznan-Poland in 1994.

Furthermore, he received financial support from UNITRA to enable him present a paper from his studies on Durene-Thiourea and Trans-1,2-dibromocylohexane-Thiourea Inclusion Complexes at the XVII IUCr Congress held in Seattle-Washington State, U.S.A. A study that has applications in separation science.

Again, UNITRA sponsored his trip to Japan in order to honor an invitation from the Crystal Physics Research laboratory at the Institute of Materials Research in Tohoku University in Sendai-Japan in 1995, where he delivered a lecture titled ‘The Relationship Among Guest-Thiourea Isostructural Compounds-The ꜪA index’.

In October, 1996, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu moved to Japan to pursue doctoral research studies in Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology (TUAT) after being awarded a Japanese Scholarship (MONBUSHO). In March, 1997 he qualified to be a doctoral degree graduate student and began his research studies titled ‘Structural Studies on Supramolecular Systems of Non Chiral Surfactant Molecules with (R)-(+)-1,1’–Bi-2-naphthol and Rac-1,1’–Bi-2-naphthol’ using X-ray Crystallography, Powder Diffraction Techniques, and Thermogravimetry/Differential Thermal Analysis (TG-DTA). He was supervised by Professor Kenji Okuyama (a renowned crystallographer known for the model structure of Collagen). He has published twelve scientific papers from his doctoral research studies in Journal of Mol. Cryst.

Liq. Cryst , as well as in several crystallography conferences proceedings books. As a doctoral degree student he also presented scientific papers in Japan Chemical Society Conference held at Chiba Prefecture in 2000, and in Japan Crystallographers Society Conference held at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama-Japan in 1998. In March, 2001, he completed his doctoral degree program.

In August, 2001, he was awarded a prestigious Japanese Postdoctoral Fellowship (Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) to pursue a two-year research studies at Professor Takashi Kato’s (a renowned Supramolecular Chemist and President of Japan Materials Research Society) laboratory in Chemistry and Biotechnology Department at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo-Japan.

He published a well cited paper (96) titled ‘A New Urea Gelator: Incorporation of Intra-and Intermolecular Hydrogen Bonding for Stable 1D-Self Assembly’ in Journal of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry with Prof. Kato’s group of researchers in his laboratory. While there, he taught and trained two Ph.D students how to employ X-ray diffraction techniques in solving crystal structures of some functional molecular materials. He also had an opportunity to be trained on liquid crystal studies as well as how to use small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques for investigating and characterization of liquid crystalline phases in some functional molecular materials.

The exposure and training received in Tokyo Umiversity enabled him to publish a paper titled ‘Mesogenic Behavior of (4-alkoxybenzylideneamino) bromo, (4-alkoxybenzylideneamino) Benzene Thiols and Benzene Thiolatonickel Complexes of the Thiols’ in Journal of Liq. Cryst with Prof. James Darkwa’s group of researchers at Western Cape University , Cape Town-South Africa in 2006.

In 2002, he was sponsored by JSPS to attend National Research Council (NRC) Summer School on Neutron Scattering at Chalk River in Canadian Atomic Energy Centre at Ottawa Province-Canada, as well as the XIX Congress of General Assembly of The International Union of Crystallography held in Geneva- Switzerland. Gratifyingly, JSPS also sponsored him to attend the XII International Symposium on Supramolecular Chemistry at Eilat-Israel., and the 14th Symposium of the Material Research Society held in Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), Yokohama-Japan. On 31st July 2003, he completed the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship at Tokyo University and returned to Ghana in January 2004 to take up a new appointment as Senior Scientific Officer at the Department of Biotechnology and Nuclear Research Institute (BNARI) in Ghana Atomic Energy Center (GAEC), Accra-Ghana.

Between 2004-2005, while in GAEC, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu took a part time job to teach structural chemistry at the Department of Chemistry in University of Ghana.

Within this period he presented a scientific paper titled ‘Effects of Rigid Pyridine Moiety and Flexible Alkyl chain on the Packing modes of Self Assembled Structures of 2,6-(Diacylamino)pyridines’ at the XIII International Symposium on Supramolecular Chemistry held in Notre Dame-Indiana State, U.S.A. In early 2004, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu left Ghana to solicit for equipment and research materials from some of the crystallography laboratories in Japan and other countries (through IUCr website) for free donation of X-ray Diffractometer to enable Ghana have a crystallography laboratory in GAEC, but all efforts proved futile and could not obtain the X-ray diffractometer but received 15 sets of new desktop computers, several crystallography and chemistry journals (twenty five years collection of various crystallography journals and chemistry related journals (from retired Prof. Yuji Ohashi, TIT, and former President of Japan Crystallography Society), TG/DTA equipment and its accessories, two big ovens (from retired Prof. Ono Organic Chemistry laboratory at TUAT) as well as printers and TG/DTA accessories (from Prof. Kenji Okuyama, my doctoral degree supervisor).

The cost of shipment of the items were paid by Ghana Embassy in Japan during the tenure in office of Dr. Baffour Awuah as Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan. Unfortunately, all attempts to seek for funding to purchase the X-ray diffractometer failed but most of the items received were donated to GAEC.

Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu left GAEC in January, 2005 to pursue research on series of Host-Guest complexes in Prof. Alicia Beatty’s laboratory at the Chemistry Department in Mississippi State University, Starkville-U.S.A after being awarded a short term postdoctoral fellowship, and in July 2005 moved to Prof. Bart Kahr’s (presently in New York University) laboratory in Department of Chemistry at University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, Washington State-U.S.A as Research Fellow, and pursued structural studies on industrial dyes.

He completed his research in UW in June 2007 and got a three month contract job as a Visiting Consultant at the Chemistry Department in Sultan Qaboos University in Sultanate of Oman, and taught General Chemistry.

Just after the three month contract, he got a three year contract appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the Chemistry Department in University of Nizwa, at Sultanate of Oman in 2007, where he taught Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Industrial Chemistry.

Thereafter, he joined the Department of Chemistry at University of Cape Coast (UCC) in 2010 as Visiting Associate Professor and got appointed as Associate Professor of Chemistry in January 2011. In UCC, he taught undergraduate students courses namely; Symmetry and Group Theory, Coordination Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Physical Molecular Spectroscopy, and Thermodynamics, and graduate students course; Statistical Thermodynamics. He also supported and trained two Ph.D graduate students whose research were in the area of Bioinorganic Chemistry and Chemical Crystallography.

He arranged for his Ph.D student to undertake part of his research work at University of Zurich, Zurich-Switzerland during a Summer School on crystal structure determination using X-ray crystallography techniques.

Through the support of UCC, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, attended the XII International Union of Crystallography Congress held in Madrid-Spain to present a paper titled ‘Crystal Structure of a Short Alkyl Chain Pyridine Based Bisurea Compound’.

Between 2012-2013, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu was a sponsored researcher at the Chemical Crystallography laboratory in the Department of Chemistry at University of Oxford, and his host researcher was Dr. Amber Thompson who he has published thirteen (13) scientific papers with her on various crystal structures of complexes relating to supramolecular chemistry and crystal engineering applications in Acta Crystallographica Section E (Acta. Cryst. E) and Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry (JSAC) journals.

In Oxford University, he pursued his research on various crystal structures by collecting X-ray diffraction data using Nonius Kappa Geometry Diffractometer and Agilent SuperNova Kappa Diffractometer at the Chemical Crystallography laboratory, as well as using synchrotron radiation source at Diamond Light Source in UK’s national synchrotron Science facility located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

He also had an opportunity to attend the XXI International conference on the Chemistry of the Organic Solid State held in Oxford. Just after the end of his stay in Oxford University he attended the XXVII European Crystallography Conference held in Bergen, Norway where he presented a paper titled ‘The Exhibition of Isomorphism in Alkylammonium Halides with Rac-1,1’-Bi-2-naphthol” before returning to Ghana.

On 1st August, 2014, he resigned from the Chemistry Department at UCC and joined the Chemical Sciences Department at University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) as Foundation Head, and also as School of Sciences Foundation Dean.

Within the same month of resumption on duty at UENR he attended the XXIII International Union of Crystallography Congress held in Montreal-Canada, and presented a paper titled ‘The Crystal Structure of Benzimidazole Complex with Chloranilic Acid Adduct Hydrate’. In UENR he teaches Group Theory and Symmetry, Research Methods, Solutions and Transport Process, Thermodynamics, Statistical Thermodynamics, Supramolecular Chemistry, Main Group and Transition Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry, Forensic Science, Quality Assurance and Physical Molecular Spectroscopy.

Prof. Owusu-Marfo is a Christian, married with four children and loves playing chess, football and swimming.

Source: K Peprah
Related Articles: