The Shell Professorial Chair at FUPRE is for Lightweight Automobile Engine Development, and will be staffed by a Professor who will sit in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, leading studies and research into the field for an initial period of four years.
"The establishment of the Chair is an important development for the Nigerian automobile industry," said Igo Weli, SPDC's General Manager, External Relations. "We will have the opportunity of a consistent and focused research on an industry, the outcome of which will be good news for the mobility needs of millions of Nigerians."
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Akii Ibhadode said: "We are looking for a Professor who should have been in that position for not less than 10 years, experienced in teaching, research and consulting in mechanical and automobile engineering as well as internal combustion engines. The occupant of the Chair starts work in September 2016. This is a unique Professorial Chair and we are grateful to Shell and its Joint Venture partners for the confidence reposed in us."
SPDC JV has long supported the development of automobile engineering in Nigeria through the sponsorship of University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Benin to Shell Eco-marathon in Rotterdam, a global competition which encourages students to build and race energy efficient cars.
Mr. Weli said: "We are pleased that the students at FUPRE and also the Vice Chancellor who worked with us on the Shell Eco-marathon project when they were at the University of Benin, and even won awards, are continuing the collaboration on another level at Effurun."
SPDC JV has also established Professorial Chairs at the University of Port Harcourt (Petroleum Engineering), University of Uyo (Biodiversity and Climate Change,) Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (Geophysics), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (Environmental Management and Control) and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Mechanical Engineering). Three other Professorial Chairs are inactive.
Shell Companies in Nigeria have a long history of supporting education through scholarships and other initiatives. In 2015, the sum of $10.1 million was invested in scholarships alone by SPDC JV and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo.) A total of 10,401 (secondary) and 3,532 (university) grants were awarded over the last five years.