OPINION - Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande: A Noble Nigerian with Dignified Strides. By Nsikan Ikpe

Date: 2004-10-28
All through history, the virtue of hard work, perseverance, devotion, and focus have remained the sign- post of success and the story is walked different for this Nigerian, who has the path of distinction, particularly in he field of electronics and computer engineering.

Born in the little town of Offa in Kwara State - the South Western region of Nigeria, a Professor Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande, has risen to fame as one of the world's reown scholars contributing enormously to the development of global electronic industry.

Akinwande, a product of Government College Ibadan (GCI), is currently the first tenured professor in the prestigious Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United State of America, who has made significant developments in the Electrical engineering and computer science.

Speaking on his background, Akinwande described his sojourn to the top as a challenge and encouraging experience. Coming from a family with generations of educated scholars, Akinwande looks at Offa his home town "as a Bethlehem in its own right, a quite town that brings fond memories that have motivated him to be assertive in the search for growth and development".

"I can recount the satisfaction in me when my second grade of elementary school in St. Marks Primary School Offa, I had to move with my family to Ibadan to continue my education and has the opportunity to attend the same school my grandfather, Pa Samuel Ajayi, attended in 1900. These memories boosted my desire to leave indelible track to enhance development", he said.

An astute academic and achiever, Akinwande, demonstrated his talent for research and development in the science world upon graduation from the Unviersity of Ife in 1978. He did his National Service at pulse Telecommunication, and subsequently enrolled and graduated from Stanford University, with a Masters in 1981 and then a PHD in electrical electronics.

He joined Honeywell Inc. USA in 1986. His research on GaAs Heterostructure FET technology for very high speed signal processing and GaAs Complementary Heterostructure FET technology for very low power circuit resulted in several world record demonstrations of GaAs technology. His contribution in this field won him the SWEATT Award, Honeywell's hightest technical achievement prize.

Akinwande is actively involved in research conferences and projects worldwide, as well as research on the organisation of the electronic industry as part of the Globalisation Project in MIT's Industrial Performance Centre. 

He is chairman of the International Vacuum Nanoeletric Conference, IVNC and also a member of the on going Detectors, Sensor, and Displays Sub-committee, IEEE-IEDM.

Professor Akinwande has served a number of international technical programme committee. He has authored well over 100 journal publication has several patents in MEMS and Display technologies.

Professor Akinwande is a devoted advocate in the transfer of global best practices, hence his service on the board of several African-American and Nigerian Organisations to boost development. Some of the organisations include the Boston Pan African Forum, Pinnacle International Club, and FATE Foundation USA. He is also involved in the Minnestone Institute of Nigeria Development (MIND) and the assciation of Nigeria Engineers in Minnesota (ANEM).

Akinwande is a recipient of the 1996 National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Awards.

Akinwande delievered the GCIOBA reunion national lecture in Nigeria, during the 75th Anniversary of the Government College Ibadan last week in Lagos.



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