ICSEMD 2023 Keynote Speaker

Name: Wole Soboyejo, PhD
Current Position: Provost
Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, USA

Speech Title:

Next Frontiers for Sustainable Engineering and Materials Development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


This talk presents some next frontiers for sustainable engineering and materials development. Following a brief introduction to the key role of materials during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd industrial revolutions, the paper presents three examples of opportunities to leverage sustainable engineering and materials development in the 4th industrial revolution. In the first example, we present a new generation of bio-derived carbon-based coatings that can be used to produce ultra-low friction surfaces that minimize energy losses in a wide range of engineering components and structures. The implications of these surfaces are then discussed for the development of sustainable engineered structures. In the second example, we present artificial intelligence/machine learning approaches to the design of pressure-assisted fabrication methods for the development of the next generation of low-cost perovskite solar cells. These are used to engineer solar cells with photoconversion efficiencies of about 23.5% (close to the world record for perovskite solar cells). Finally, in the third part of the talk, machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches are applied to the development of improved methods for the detection of breast cancer. The implications of the results are then discussed for the development of sustainable engineering solutions to African/Global Grand Challenges in Health, Energy and the Environment in the next stage of the 4th industrial revolution.


Wole Soboyejo received his BSc in mechanical engineering from King’s College London in 1985, and a PhD in materials science from Cambridge University in 1988.  He then moved to the USA as a Research Scientist at the McDonnell Douglas Research Labs (1988-1992) before joining the engineering faculty at The Ohio State University between 1992 and 1999.  Between 1997 and 1998, he was a Visiting Martin Luther King Associate Professor at MIT.  He was a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University between 1999 and 2016.  Soboyejo also served as President and Provost of the African University of Science and Technology between 2012 and 2014.  In 2016, he moved to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering before his appointment as Senior Vice President and Provost at WPI in 2018.

Soboyejo is the author of 5 books and more than 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals.  He is also a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the World Academy of Science, the African Academy of Science, the Nigerian Academy of Science, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Materials Society of Nigeria.

ICSEMD 2023 Poster V2.1