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Ilesanmi Adesida
optoelectronic devices electrical engineering nanoscale

1. Introduction

Ilesanmi Adesida (born 1949, Ifon, Ondo State, Nigeria) is a naturalized United States [1] physicist of Yoruba Nigerian descent.[2] He has been the provost at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, from September 2016.[3]

Adesida is also the Donald Biggar Willett Professor Emeritus of Engineering[4] at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;[5] he retired from Illinois in 2016. In May 2012, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois selected Adesida to be the next vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost of the Urbana campus, a position he held from August 15, 2012[6] to August 31, 2015. Other positions that Adesida held at Illinois included Dean of the College of Engineering, 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 for Advanced Science and Technology, and Professor of the Coordinated Science Laboratory. Adesida was also a member of the board of Fluor Corporation from 2007 to 2011.[7]

Adesida's field of academic research is nanotechnology with special emphasis on high speed devices used in communications. His research expertise also includes nanofabrication science and technology, high-speed optoelectronic devices and wide-bandgap materials and devices.[8]

Adesida earned his bachelor’s (1974), master’s (1975), and doctoral (1979) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

2. Research

Adesida is an expert in the processing of semiconductors and other materials at the nanometer-scale level and in ultra-high-speed heterostructure field-effect transistors—the sort of transistors used in cell-phones, fiber optics communications, deep space communications, and other applications. His contributions have provided insights into the limits of advanced lithography and other nanofabrication techniques.

He and his students continue to work in the areas of nanoelectronics and high-speed optoelectronic devices and circuits. Recent work has focused on the development of devices and circuits in the key materials such as indium phosphide and gallium nitride utilized in high-performance wireless, optical fiber communications, and high temperature applications. He has published over 350 referenced papers, has presented over 250 papers at international conferences, and has written many book chapters.

3. Professional Organizations and Honors

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 a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, the Materials Research Society, and the Society for Engineering Education.

In 1994, he received the Oakley-Kunde Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education from Illinois, and in 1996 he won the Best Paper Award at the Micro- and Nano-Engineering Conference. In 2011, he was awarded the Electrons Devices Society Distinguished Service Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 2016, he won the Functional Materials John Bardeen Award from The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.

At Illinois he was appointed a University Scholar and an Associate Member of the Center for Advanced Study. He is a former president of the IEEE Electron Device Society,[9] a winner of the EMSA Presidential Student Award; an IEEE Electron Device Society Distinguished Lecturer (1997–2002); a member of the Bohmische Physical Society (1988); and the holder of an IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship (1979–1981).

In 2013 he was selected by the Carnegie Foundation of America as a 2016 Great Immigrant Honoree.[10][11]

4. Controversy & Scandal

Aug 30, 2015 he resigned as provost of Urbana-Champaign, as he was caught up in the same scandal that Chancellor Phyllis Wise resigned for - using private emails for discussing official business. It was alleged he did this to avoid public records laws. [12]

5. Education and Academic Posts

  • 1974: B.Sc, Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1975: M.Sc, Electrical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1979: PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1979-1984: Research Associate, Cornell University
  • 1985-1987: Head, Electrical Engineering Department, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria
  • 2000-2005: Director, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2001-2012: Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2005–2012: Dean, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2012-2015: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 1987–2016: Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2016–Present: Provost at Nazarbayev University,Astana, Kazakhstan[13]

6. Books

  • Science and Technology in Africa, ISBN:978-1-59221-112-8

7. Patents

US Patent 5880482 - Low dark current photodetector[14][15]

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Naturalized US Citizen". 
  2. "Finding Aid to the History Makers: Video Oral History with Ilesanmi Adesida" (pdf). 
  4. Services, Engineering IT Shared. "Chairs, professorships, and faculty scholars :: ECE ILLINOIS" (in en). 
  5. Services, Engineering IT Shared. "404 :: ECE ILLINOIS" (in en). 
  6. Helenthal, Mike. "News Bureau | ILLINOIS" (in en-US). 
  8. "Ilesanmi Adesida | LinkedIn". 
  9. "IEEE Electron Devices Society" (in en-gb). 
  10. York, Carnegie Corporation of New. "Great Immigrants, Great Stories: Carnegie Corporation of New York Celebrates What Immigrants Give Back to America | Carnegie Corporation of New York" (in en). 
  15. "Low dark current photodetector US 5880482 A". 
Name: Ilesanmi Adesida
Born: May 1949
Ifon, Ondo State, Nigeria
Title: Physicist
Affiliations: Nazarbayev University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
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Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 27 Dec 2022
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