Prof Evans Adei
Prof Evans Adei is a theoretical/computational chemist of high repute. He has made a significant contribution to this area of chemistry by using quantum mechanical calculations, generally referred to as molecular modelling, to help understand several chemical reactions and the chemistry of materials.
He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Irvine, USA; as well as both Master of Philosophy in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
You began your academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, KNUST in 1985. You rose to Lecturer from 1986 to 2003; Senior Lecturer from 2004 to 2012 and Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2013.
He has won several research grants, including RS-Leverhulme and RS-DFID grants, which are testimony to the high quality of your research and its outputs. He has also the lead author or one of the lead authors in most of his 48 peer-reviewed journal articles which you continue to publish with your students. It is a testimony to his leadership and academic acumen that the Molecular/Materials Modelling Centre at KNUST, which you established, is now synonymous with high-quality publications and has brought enormous visibility to the entire scientific community in Ghana and Africa that, high-level computational science that was believed to be possible only in the developed world can also be done in Africa.
A quantum mechanics research group he established to focus on using to understand how reactions of industrial significance work have investigated reactions of transition metal-catalyzed oxidation and olefin reactions and thermal cycloaddition reactions, particularly 1,3-diploar cycloaddition reactions to produce complex carbocyclic frameworks in a single step. His group has recently started working on carbon dioxide activation, one of the “holy grails” of organometallic chemistry, by base metals to produce methane. The implication of the findings is that experimentalists can now use their approach to produce fuel from carbon dioxide.
Instructively, he built his computational research facility from a series of “ordinary” personal computers procured with a grant from the Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TALIF) to what is now grown into a cluster that is housed at the KNUST Network Operating Centre. This high-power cluster is now available to the entire KNUST community. Indeed, the work his research group does has gained exposure to the extent that the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in South Africa now provides your group with access to their supercomputers for computations that the KNUST facility is unable to do. This led to the group now being able to perform research on computationally demanding depolymerization of lignin and partial hydrogenation of biofuels; both catalyzed by transition metals, to show how valuable chemicals can be made from biomass. These two projects amply demonstrate the potential value of what your Modelling Centre at KNUST offers the chemistry community on the African continent and beyond. You have also developed an indelible ink composition that has been tested in elections for SRC elections at KNUST to mark voters to avoid multiple voting. You are as passionate about this invention as when you talk about the details of your computational chemistry research.
Professor Evans Adei, on account of his immeasurable contribution to computational chemistry, was elected to the Fellowship of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 10 March 2022.