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Professor Robert Mokaya OBE

Robert Minge Mokaya OBE FRS is a Kenyan-British chemist who is Professor of Materials Chemistry and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Nottingham. Mokaya holds a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award.

Mokaya was born in Kenya. He attended the University of Nairobi, where he specialised in chemistry. After graduating he joined Unilever in Kenya. He moved to the University of Cambridge for his postgraduate studies, where he worked in the laboratory of William "Bill" Jones.

After graduating, Mokaya was awarded a junior research fellowship, and started his independent career at Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1996 Mokaya was named an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Advanced Fellow, and by 2000 he had been made a lecturer at the University of Nottingham. In 2008 he was appointed Professor of Materials Chemistry.

In 2017 Mokaya was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Mokaya was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Nottingham in 2019.

He was part of a Royal Society programme to strengthen the capacity of African researchers to design, synthesise and optimise porous materials.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to the chemical sciences.

In 2023, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).

As of March 2022, Mokaya is the only Black chemistry professor in the UK and stated that UK Research and Innovation has rejected all of his funding applications.

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