Born on 17th October, 1939 in Ugborodo, Delta State. Prof. Ogbemi Ola Omatete had his primary education at First Baptist School, Sapele, Delta State in 1953. He received his secondary education at Government College, Ugheli, Delta State in 1958/1960 where he obtained West African School Certificate in Grade One. He further completed his Cambridge Overseasâ€™ Higher School Certificate in 1960. Thereafter, he proceeded to Princeton University, New Jersey, USA and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where he earned B.Sc Degree in Chemical Engineering and, Masterâ€™s Degree in Public Affairs in 1964 and 1967. He was also at the University of California for his Post-doctoral Fellowship between 1971 and 1972.
On return to Nigeria, he started his career as a Lecturer II in Chemical Engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University OAU in 1972 and 1974. Between 1974 and 1989, Prof. Omatete joined University of Lagos as a Lecturer 1 and got promoted to Associate Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering Department. He produced the first Nigerian trained Chemical Engineering Graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1973. He was a member of the foundation Chemical Engineering Faculty at both Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Lagos.
Prof. Omatete has contributed immensely to the advancement of engineering and science both in Nigeria and in the United States. He joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) formerly the Atomic Energy Laboratory, in 1988 and retired in 2003 as a senior development staff member of the Ceramic Processing Group, where his major research interests were in ceramic processing and CO2 sequestration. His area of research is on Multi-component ion exchange separations, Distillation, azeotropic & extractive, Ceramic processing for forming advanced ceramics into complex-shaped turbo machinery components ,Separation of gases using Carbon Fiber Carbon Molecular Sieve (CFCMS) and CO2 Sequestration using CFCMS.
He is one of the two inventors of the aqueous gelcasting process for forming complex-shaped ceramic components, has 5 US patents and several publications, and has made numerous presentations all over the world. At ORNL, probably the first Nigerian there, he was a pioneer. The gelcasting process resulted in the first collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA) between a private company and the national laboratory. Also, he became the first researcher ever sent from the national laboratory to a private company (1996 â€“98) to help develop a process licensed from the laboratory.
Prof. Omatete has received numerous awards in the prestigious R&D 100, Award of Excellence for Technology Transfer, Advanced Technology Award by the Inventors Club of America, Martin Marietta Energy Systems Significant Event Award, Lockheed Martin Presidentâ€™s Groups Continuous Improvement, Chapter of NOBCChE Scientific Achievement Award East Tenn, AIChE Black Achiever in Chemical Engineering Award, Award of Excellence for Technology Transfer by the Federal Laboratory Consortium, amongst others.
He is a COREN Registered Engineer, a Member, the American Ceramic Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, America Chemical Society, Fellow, the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers and the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Prof. Omatete has written many books and has been published by several scholarly journals, worldwide.