Dr. Veronica Okello is a lecturer at the Machakos University (MKsU), Department of Physical Sciences and School of Pure and Applied Sciences. She has a Ph.D. in Analytical Environmental Nano remediation Chemistry from State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. She also holds a Master of Science in Chemistry from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and a Bachelor of Education Science from Kenyatta University (KU). Dr. Okello also doubles up as the Quality Assurance Director, MKsU.
Dr. Veronica Okello from the Department of Physical Chemistry is currently on a short-term scholar visit at University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) and has been granted a rapid site access to the Argonne National Labs (ANL)as an international user access in the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) upon successful submission of her proposal CNM 83068, titled “Physical Characterization of Plant-based Nano-Porous Polymeric Materials for Environmental Remediation“.
Her visit has been made possible through the generous support of the John Nuveen grant for international collaboration and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD).
During her stay at UIC and ANL, Veronica will be able to analyze her samples using state of the art equipment such as SEM, TEM, XRD among others.
Her research interests revolve around, the development of analytical methods and monitoring materials. Specifically, nanoscale and nano-enabled materials/polymers that offer new possibilities for the development of novel remediation and environmental sensing/monitoring technologies for water, soil and air pollutants. In addition to the general application of Green Chemistry such as bioremediation and phytoremediation technologies in solving day-to-day environmental and health problems.
Dr. Okello has published widely in peer reviewed journals (19+ journal articles) with three (3) book chapters and has on several times been cited among the top 1000 and top 10 researchers in Kenya and at MKsU respectively. Dr. Okello’s publications can be accessed from: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0X0gF7sAAAAJ&hl=en In addition, Dr. Okello has presented in several local and international conferences as an invited guest speaker, recent of which was at the 2022 Molecular Foundry Meeting, at the Berkeley Labs, CA, USA. Her full CV can be found at https://dps.mksu.ac.ke/
Dr. Okello has received several research and community outreach grants. https://orcid.org/my-orcid?orcid=0000-0002-7766-1822 which have positively contributed to her research profile. Worth noting is the 2020 OWSD grant that helped in the purchase of an electrochemical analyzer worth 2.3 Million KSh, and two ISE meters for fluoride and perchlorate analysis. The award also supports two MSc. Students, Ms. Abisaki Esitsakha (MksU) and Ms. Mercy Jeptoo (TTU). The 2019 CADFP grant that saw two USA based professors visit MKsU for collaborative research, curriculum development and mentorship program. In addition, she is the country lead for the 2022 Erasmus+ mobility programme with partner countries (Ghana, Nigeria and Germany). The grant is worth 85084 Euros. She is also a collaborating partner in the May 2022 Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation-Research Group Linkage Award.
Other research projects that she is currently involved in include:
- Effect of simulated rainfall and natural weather on chromated copper arsenate treated wood and environmental remediation: A focus on wood treatment plants in Kenya
- Towards a secure and resilient virtual platform for STEM programmes in university teaching.
- Detection and remediation of perchlorates and fluorides from water.
- Enhanced selective immobilization of sulfonamides in manure onto functionalized hydrochars.