Professor Ilesanmi Adesida is a successful scientist/engineer and an experienced administrator in both scientific and educational circles. Prior to his appointment at Nazarbayev University, Professor Adesida previously served as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He also served as the Dean of the College of Engineering and the Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory at the same institution.

As Nazarbayev University’s Provost, Professor Adesida oversees NU’s entire academic and research program, including creating innovative educational initiatives, awarding of research grants as well as overseeing the creation and implementation of quality assurance programs. His current interest is at the intersection of higher education, research, innovation, and national development.

Provost Adesida received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as a Researcher and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University. He then served as the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Nigeria. He joined the ranks of the University of Illinois in 1987, where he served as faculty until 2016. His academic positions were Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Donald Willett Professor of Engineering. He is currently Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering. During his tenure at Illinois, he was instrumental in creating many innovative programs including the iFoundary for Engineering Education, the Applied Research Institute, the Advanced Digital Systems Center (in Singapore) and the new College of Medicine.

Professor Adesida has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles and has made more than 250 presentations at international conferences. He won many awards including the Oakley-Kunde Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and the 2016 TMS John Bardeen Award for outstanding contributions to electronic materials. He was named an outstanding graduate of the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2009. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by IEEE Electron Device Society of which he served as President previously. He has served on many academic and industry Advisory Boards all around the world (US, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.) and he is a member of the prestigious United States’ National Academy of Engineering.