Dr. Jude Okolie

Dr. Jude A. Okolie is currently an Assistant Professor at the Gallogly College of Engineering, University of Oklahoma. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan (USASK). He holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Benin, Nigeria. During his bachelor's studies, he won several awards for his outstanding academic record. Some of these include the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) scholarship, Shell undergraduate scholarship and the Delta state first-class award.

In 2015, Dr. Okolie was awarded the prestigious Shell postgraduate scholarship to pursue a master's degree at Imperial College London. During his first year at Imperial College, he developed a strong interest in energy from agriculture and waste materials. This motivated him to pursue another master's degree in Materials and Sustainable energy at the prestigious Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, under the Estonian government scholarship. A year later, he joined the USASK as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He finished his Ph.D. with 15 publications and several book chapters.

Dr. Okolie's research focuses on the thermochemical conversion of waste materials to green fuels and the subsequent utilization of hydrochar/biochars for environmental remediation. In addition, his research includes the application of process simulation and artificial intelligence/machine learning to address climate change, environmental pollution, and sustainable agriculture challenges. Dr. Okolie has been recognized for making significant contributions to the field of biomass to energy, reflected by his outstanding publication track record and peer recognition. He has been granted several prestigious local and international awards, including the George Ira Hanson Energy Award for his work on thermochemical hydrogen production and the USASK service award for his contribution to diversity and equity. In 2016, he was highly commended by the Estonian government for his research on converting waste biomass to sustainable fuels. He is also a two-time recipient of the reputable Engineering Devolved Scholarship at the USASK for his outstanding contribution to clean energy research. In 2018, he received the USASK College of Engineering Travel Award to present his work on Lignin valorization at the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference.

Dr. Okolie is a member of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). He is also the Guest Editor for fermentation journal and reviews for high-ranking journals from ACS, Elsevier, RSC, Springer-Nature and Wiley publishers. He has delivered several keynote lectures and oral presentations at national and international conferences. He has published more than 25 peer review articles in Q1 journals. He is the co–author of the book "Biofuel". In addition, he was nominated for the Best Oral Presentation at the 68th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (Toronto, 2018). His work on the supercritical water gasification of lignin is one of the first to demonstrate that the lignin content of lignocellulosic biomass plays a significant role during thermochemical hydrogen production. His review paper on "post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technologies using activated carbon" is one of the most downloaded articles with the highest number of citations from the Journal of Environmental Sciences since 2020. His research work has been featured by BiofuelNet news, StarPhoenix and Usask young innovators website. His proposal on "developing innovative technologies and materials for recovering nutrients from wastewater" was selected for the prestigious Mitacs elevate thematic call fellowship in 2022.

Dr. Okolie loves teaching, and he has been teaching in post-secondary settings for five years. He believes that every student is different and that their learning pace differs. He makes a substantial effort to understand the strength and weaknesses of all his students regardless of the class size. His student would often describe him as someone who shows extreme care in their learning and is always available to help in any way possible. He was recently nominated for the Sylvia Wallace Sessional Lecturer Award at the USASK. Dr. Okolie is also involved in undergraduate research at St. Peter's College. He is currently developing at-home experimental lab kits for teaching first-year engineering labs. In addition, he enjoys teaching first-year engineering communication and research. He is also interested in entrepreneurship and hopes to start up his own energy company in the future. He is the co-founder of the GreenTech club in Estonia. He has also participated in several hackathons. He recently proposed a strategy to help low-income families cope with increased energy and food costs due to climate change. The proposal made it to the finals of the Eco hack hackathon at the USASK. He has been working on scale-up and assessing the economic viability of biomass to energy processes with the intent of future commercialization.

Dr. Okolie is passionate about science outreach, community engagement, and improving adult literacy. He is a regular volunteer with Let's Talk Science at the USASK. He is a two-time winner of the outstanding STEM volunteer award and the Graduate Service Fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan. He has mentored more than 150 high school students and partnered with more than 20 families to improve literacy skills in Saskatchewan. He has developed more than 15 hand- on experiments for kids and high school students. Dr. Okolie is also a strong advocate of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. He uses various mediums to facilitate and promote STEM-related workshops for underrepresented groups. In addition, he is an active volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of saskatoon, where he helps them design hands-on science activities for their before and after-school programs.