Prof. Onwona‐Agyeman attended Akim Oda Secondary School for his Secondary education (G.C.E Ordinary and Advanced Levels). He obtained his BSc degree in Physics at the then University of Science & Technology, Kumasi in 1994 and was posted to the Ghana Military Academy and Training Schools for his National Service as a Civilian Instructor at the School of Education. In 1995, he was employed as a Assistant Scientific Officer at the then Ghana Standards Board where he worked with the Weights and Measures Division. He was involved in the calibration and verification of several devices such as motorised fuel pumps used in dispensing fuels at Fuel Stations, mass scales used to purchase cocoa and weigh bridges used to check the axle loads on highways in Ghana.

He was awarded the Japanese Government Scholarship (Monbusho) in early 1997 to study MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Physics (Experimental Condensed Matter Physics) and Materials Science & Engineering respectively from 1997 to 2002 at Saga National University, Japan. During the MSc programme, he used a statistical method to obtain the sputtering conditions of zinc sulphur doped with manganese (ZnS:Mn) thin films, a semiconductor material used extensively as phosphor in electroluminescent devices. In the Ph.D. programme, he extended the statistical method to deposit zinc oxide thin films using radio frequency magnetron sputtering technique and used the films as “buffer” layers in ZnS:Mn films on quartz/glass and different ceramic substrates to study the triboluminescence (a mechano-optical phenomenon) of the films.

After obtaining his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science & Engineering in 2002, he was employed as a Research Engineer (R & D Unit) of ENG Company in Fukuoka, Japan where he was involved in doping and characterization of silicon wafers used in Large Scale Integration (LSI) Circuits. He worked closely with industry and academia in the characterization of some electrical properties of doped and undoped silicon wafers by using deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) as an experimental tool to study electrically active defect sites in the silicon bandgap as a result of the presence of the dopants.

He was offered a Postdoctoral position with the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Faculty of Engineering at the Shizuoka National University in Hamamatsu city, Japan from 2003 to 2005, working on the deposition (using Spray Pyrolysis) and characterization of wide bandgap semiconductor thin films such as fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO), tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) on large-area glass substrates used as transparent conducting materials for opto-electronic applications such as solar cells and light emitting diodes (LEDs).

After the Postdoctoral appointment, he joined his retired Professor as a Scientist to form the SPD Lab Inc., a Company located within the Shizuoka National University incubation enclave from 2005 to 2007 where he worked on the development of large‐area dye‐sensitized solar cells. He used his experience in the sputtering process to fabricate different thin film metallic electrodes as well as a “multilayer electrode” a key component in some solar cells, fuel cells etc which consist of platinum and chromium thin films on glass substrates. This was granted a World Intellectual Property Organization patent (Multilayer electrode, WO/2008/093675). The SPD Company at that time started developing the automated version of the spray pyrolysis system and that resulted in patents to protect the process. The Company is currently producing commercialised automated-spray pyrolysis equipment for the preparation of transparent conducting thin films on wide-area glass substrates used in the fabrication of opto-electronic devices such as LEDs and solar cells.

In 2007, he was recruited to join a team of scientists and engineers hosted by FCC Company in Japan to develop the first paper-based porous‐structured catalytic converter material for purifying exhaust gas emissions from small internal combustion engines and for hydrogen production using methane steam reformation. The FCC Company had developed and patented techniques used to fabricate friction paper as key component in automobile/motorcycle clutch systems. By modifying the preparation technique and composition of the paper, the Team was able to design and develop a thermally stabilized porous-structured paper that can maintain catalytic activity at temperatures of more than 1000℃. This catalytically active porous-structured paper (containing catalyst such as platinum, palladium, rhodium etc) was molded to fit different exhaust gas emission outlets of small internal combustion engines. A Japanese patent (catalyst and its manufacturing method, JP2009172522) was granted for this invention and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) during their annual convention in 2008, Milwaukee, U.S.A. gave a “special recognition award” to the inventors for producing the paper-based catalytic converter.

From 2009 to 2012, he came back to academia and worked as Research Associate and Assistant Professor at Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu City and Kyushu National University, Fukuoka City respectively in Japan before joining University of Ghana in 2013 as Senior Lecturer at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the then Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

In 2014, he was offered appointment on promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and taught several Courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. In January 2016 he was appointed as acting Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) an Institute with the mandate to link the University to Industry. He initiated the Academia-Industry interaction series where Industry groups such as Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), National Board Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), National Herbal Practitioners Association and Fuji Oil Group Japan interacted with the University Faculty on issues relating to their product development.

Professor Onwona-Agyeman has served and continues to serve on several boards and committees of the University of Ghana such as the Vice-Chancellor Strategic Team (Independent Power Supply), University of Ghana Disciplinary Committee, College and University Academic Boards, University and College Appointments and Promotion Boards, College Examination Malpractice Committee and University Joint Examiners Board. His extension activities outside the University of Ghana; as a member of the Technical Committee of the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI), member of the Technical Committee establishing LED Standards for lighting at Ghana Standards Authority, member of the Technical Committee for developing the Ghana Building Code and a member of the Team that identified the thirteen (13) Critical Infrastructure Institutions for the National Cyber Security Authority.

In 2016, he was appointed as the Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences where he has worked extensively to link the Engineering School to industry. He was involved in signing MOUs with the Ghana Air Force (GAF) and Toyota Ghana Company Limited (TGCL). The MOU with GAF resulted in a gift of a decommissioned Air Force Jet to the Engineering School and the development of an Aerospace undergraduate programme. With TGCL, the School is to receive scientific equipment worth two million USD and the construction of a one-million-dollar Training Centre. He was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2020 and became the Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences in August 2021.

Professor Onwona-Agyeman has published extensively on the preparation and characterization of thin film materials for opto-electronic applications, porous structured materials, carbon-based materials for different applications. He is married to Mariko Onwona-Agyeman and the marriage is blessed with two children, Priscilla and Dennis.