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The 2013 G8 Summit in County Fermanagh presents an unrivalled opportunity to showcase both Northern Ireland’s research capabilities in engineering and the established links with universities in developing countries, according to University of Ulster academic.

Dr James Uhomoibhi, who is a lecturer & E-Learning Coordinator in the Faculty of Computing & Engineering, was recently appointed Visiting Professor of computer science and IT at Igbinedion University in Nigeria.

The Jordanstown based academic is originally from Nigeria but has spent the last 25 years living and working in Ireland. He has been to the forefront of many initiatives to forge stronger educational links between the developed and the developing world.

Dr Uhomoibhi said the visit of theG8 leaders (US, UK, Russia, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan) could help focus attention on the excellent research being carried out at Ulster.

“Natural and man made disasters around the world - such as tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts and conflicts - highlight the importance and relevance of engineering products and services being researched at the University of Ulster, as well as the pivotal role engineering education plays in global development,” he explained.

As a member of SEFI (a French acronym for the European Society for Engineering Education), Dr Uhomoibhi was elected to head up the task force on European Co-operation with Africa to share engineering ‘know how’ with African nations and universities. He is also the European representative of the influential African Laser Centre (ALC).

Dr Uhomoibhi said he hoped his appointment as visiting professor at Igbinedion University would help open doors to a few more opportunities for Northern  Ireland and for Nigeria,

“ I hope to foster a stronger relationship between the University of Ulster and Igbinedion University so we can facilitate collaborative research projects and attract Nigerian students to study in Northern   Ireland,” he said.