Nigerian Professor Becomes First Black Vice Chancellor of University of Illinois

Professor Ilesanmi Adesida

Professor Ilesanmi Adesida

Professor Ilesanmi Adesida, a Nigerian man born in Ondo State, made history last month by becoming the first black Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign here in the United States.

Professor Adesida is an engineer who has received acclaim for his work in the field of Nanotechnology.

He obtained his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently went on to develop a body of work in the processing of semiconductors and other materials at the nanometer-scale level.

After his studies, he worked in various capacities at what is now known as the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility and the School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He was also the head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria.

Commenting on his recently appointed role, Prof Adesida said: “I’m honoured and humbled to be selected as provost of this great campus. This is something I take very seriously. I know how to work very hard and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get the job done.”

Prof Adesida is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Vacuum Society, and the Optical Society of America. He is also the past-president of IEEE Electron Devices Society.

Adesida’s field of academic research is nanotechnology with special emphasis on high speed devices used in communications. He has held posts as director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, professor of materials science and engineering, professor of electrical and computer engineering, professor of the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology and research professor of the Coordinated Science Laboratory, all at the University of Illinois. Adesida earned his bachelor’s (1974), master’s (1975), and doctoral (1979) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

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