Department of Chemistry
"Promoting Chemical Sciences … Enhancing Sustainable Development"
Welcome Note by the Chairperson
Welcome to the Department of ChemistryatKenyatta University (KU)which is within the School of Pure and Applied Sciences. We are one of the oldest Departments at KU that prides itselfin high quality Alumni that are nationally and globally recognised. We pride in our exemplary teaching and research programmes in the East Africa region. Our main aim is to train Scientists in Chemical Sciences with enhanced transferable skills as well as producing graduates with hands-on-experience at the end of their studies. Apart from academics, we run a Consultancy Unit that is accredited by Pests Control Products Board (PCPB) to carry out physical and chemical analysis. I therefore take this earliest opportunity to welcome prospective students and other stakeholders to Department of Chemistry. I trust that you will find your stay enjoyable as you interact with us
To be a dynamic centre of excellence for teaching, research and application of chemical sciences for sustainable development.
To provide quality education in chemical sciences and technology, and generate scientific knowledge through diverse innovative research in fundamental, applied and multi-disciplinary areas for the benefit of the society.
The Department of Chemistry is one of the eight departments in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences (SPAS) offering BSc (General), BSc (Analytical Chemistry with Management and BSc (Industrial Chemistry with Management), MSc (Chemistry), MSc (Applied Analytical Chemistry) and PhD(Chemistry). In addition, the Department offers units supporting programs in the School of Education, School of Agriculture and Enterprise Development, School of Engineering and Technology, and School of Health Sciences. The teaching programs in the Department are multidisciplinary in nature, and a student gets an opportunity to take units in other departments, including Biochemistry, Botany, Business, Mathematics, Physics, Plant & Microbial Sciences and Zoology
National and International Links
The Department has active international links with: Nagasaki University, Iowa State Universityand Louisiana State University Department of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, UK , Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK; University of Johannesburg, SA; University of the Western Cape (UWC), SA; Universität Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany Department of Natural Products Chemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Novartis institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, USA and Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN). National links include: KEMRI, KEFRI, KARI, KEBS and ILRI, ICIPE, UON, JKUAT, among others.
~ What students say!
"I did not know that everything is at least made up of a carbon, hydrogen or some element until I joined the Department of Chemistry, Kenyatta University. I like the Department as it gives room for creativity and innovation among students. The environment around allows me to think business other than science only. It’s a great adventure."
- Ahlam Abdulkhalek, 4th Year Industrial Chemistry & Management student
The Department currently offers the following three 4-year Bachelor of Science degree programmes.
2) B.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry with Management)
3) B.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry with Management).
B.Sc. (Chemistry Major) is offered under (i) full-time (ii) institution-based, or (iii) open learning modes of study. B.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry with Management) and B.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry with Management) programmes are offered only under full-time mode of study. B.Sc. (Chemistry) programme is being developed targeting chemistry major.
The Department currently offers the following two masters 2-year degree programmes:
1) M.Sc. (Applied Analytical Chemistry)
2) M.Sc. (Chemistry).
In M.Sc. (Chemistry) programme a student may specialize in either Organic, Inorganic, Theoretical or Physical Chemistry. The programmes are offered under full-time and institution-based modes of study. The new programmes under developed include:
1) M.Sc. (Natural Products & Bio-prospecting)
2) M.Sc. Environmental Chemistry)
3) M.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry)
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programme is offered in all branches of chemistry.
Students taking chemistry programs get placement opportunities in top research institutions, and university laboratories throughout Kenya, East Africa, South Africa, Canada, the U.S.A and Europe. Upon graduation with the Bachelors and postgraduate degrees, there are opportunities in areas of quality control, analysis, research, production, marketing, environment issues and education, among others. Such opportunities are available in Agro-chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food, Paint and Manufacturing industries; Government institutions such as Government chemists, Kenya Bureau of Standards; Research institutions (local and international) such as KEMRI, KETRI, KEFRI, KARI, ICIPE, ICRAF, ILRI; and teaching positions in High Schools, Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities. A number of graduates have established their own businesses, creating employment for others.
Major interdisciplinary research areas: natural products and bio-prospecting; nutritional studies on micronutrients and their bioavailability from foods; environmental pollution studies; bioanalytical and computational studies
Research in the Department covers the basic chemistry disciplines, including organic, inorganic, physical/theoretical, and analytical chemistry. Beyond these traditional boundaries, the department excels in a number of interdisciplinary areas including geothermal energy, nutraceuticals, natural products, chemical ecology and environmental pollution among other others. These are often carried out in collaboration with our internal/external collaborators. This is reflected in the number of postgraduate students registered in the department (currently over 150 students) and increasing number of publications from the staff per year.
Teaching and Research Facilities
The Department has equipped laboratories and adequate facilities for teaching and research. The Department acquired a 400 Hz NMR through the Kenyatta University Foundation in the US and is in the process of installing it. Other major instruments include LC-MS donated by Novartis Biomedical Research Institute (NBRI), USA, GC, UV-Vis, AAS and FTIR are in use. Further, to facilitate the learning process, seminars, conferences and workshops are held in which various topics and issues of current scientific interest are discussed.
RESEARCH PRIORITY AREAS
The Department of Chemistry, Kenyatta university is undertaking research in line with the Big four Agenda in the following research priority areas:
A) “Big 4” Agenda No. 2: Focusing on initiative that guarantee food security and improved nutrition to all Kenyan by 2022 through expansion of food production and supply and reduction of food prices to ensure affordability.
Research Priority Areas
• Natural products and bio-prospecting; nutritional studies on micronutrients and their bioavailability from foods; Micro-and macro-nutrient analysis, food processing procedures; nutrient bioavailability and bio-accessibility.
• Ethnobotanical and Phytochemical Studies of Indigenous Plants for their essential oil based post-harvest protectants and development of simple technologies for adoption by rural communities and search for bio-pesticides for the control of crop and animal pests as a strategy of improving food security
• Determination of cyanide in Cassava and Cassava products in some parts of Kenya.
• Trace metal analysis from indigenous foods - food contamination.
• Management of soil and water for sustainable agriculture
B. “Big 4” Agenda No. 3: Providing Universal Health coverage thereby guaranteeing quality and affordable healthcare to all Kenyans.
Research Priority Areas
• Biomedical research that contribute towards development of new diagnostic tools and new therapies tailor-made for Africa.
• Phyto-mediated biosynthesis of Novel Metal nanoparticles and their antimicrobial activity.
• Biological and Phytochemical Studies of Medicinal Plants for their antimicrobial, antituberculosis and antimalarial activity Used in Traditional Medicine in East Africa.
• Downstream development of Artemisia annua as mosquito repellent and for malaria therapy.
• Determination of selected mycotoxins produced by various species of Aspergillus and Penicillum fungi that contaminates food grains and herbal spices.
• Determination of BPA leached from polycarbonate baby feeding bottles and food cans
• Organometallic Synthesis and computational Chemistry, Molecular modelling for drug likeness.
• Environmental pollution studies: impact of heavy metals; organics and pesticide degradation
• Remediation of water using modified biomaterials for domestic consumption/ purification of water and sanitation.
Academic Staff and Areas of Specialization
The department has the following academic staff members who are actively involved in teaching and research in the following areas of specialization: