Ilesanmi Adesida, Nigerian Professor becomes first black VC of University of Illinois

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A Professor of Nigerian descent, Ilesanmi Adesida made history last month by becoming the first black Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the well-respected University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the United States.

Born in Ondo State, Prof Adesida is a Nigerian engineer whose outstanding work in the field of Nanotechnology has received much acclaim in the scientific community.

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.

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