Prof Austine Esogbue: First African To Obtain Ph.D In Industry/System Engineering

Prof. Austin Esogbue, is the ex-Director, African Studies &Research Programme, Howard University, Washington D.C, and the only African in the service of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is a Professor Emeritus in Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
He came to Georgia Tech in June 1972 as an Associate Professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering with joint appointment with the Health Systems Research Centre. In June of 1977, he was promoted to Full Professor with tenure. His research interests include dynamic programming, fuzzy sets, decision making and control in a fuzzy environment, and operations research with applications to socio-technical systems such as health care, water resource management and disaster control planning.
He is also the Director of the Intelligent Systems and Controls Laboratory which is currently investigating a hybrid approach to intelligent control via fuzzy sets, neural networks, and reinforcement learning theories as well as its application to various large-scale, nonlinear and uncertain dynamical systems.
In addition to his research, Dr. Esogbue taught courses in dynamic programming, stochastic operations research, engineering design, and neuro-fuzzy control. He is also considerably involved in a number of civic activities in Atlanta such as the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission (Vice-Chair), Leadership Atlanta Development Corporation, and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
He is a recipient of a scholarship from The Africa-America Institute and received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical-Engineering with minor in Mathematics from the University of Los Angeles in 1964.
His research interests include dynamic programming, fuzzy sets, decision making and control in a fuzzy environment, and operations research with applications to socio-technical systems such as health care, water resource management and disaster control planning.
As Director of the Intelligent Systems and Controls Laboratory, he investigated a hybrid approach to intelligent control via fuzzy sets, neural networks, and reinforcement learning theories as well as its application to various large-scale, nonlinear and uncertain dynamical systems. He previously served on NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.
As an alumnus of AAI, he was one of the lead organizers for the AAI Nigerian Alumni Reunion — under the theme, “Looking back 50 years and Moving Forward into the Future” — in 2011 in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also actively involved in civic activities in Atlanta, including the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission (Vice-Chair), Leadership Atlanta Development Corporation, and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
He received an M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research from Columbia University and a Ph.D in Systems Engineering and Operations Research from University of Southern California where he was the first African to obtain a Ph.D in the Industry and Systems Engineering field.
He is from Ibusa, in Delta State.