headshot of romain murenzi
BA, Mathematics, National University of Burundi
MS, Physics, Catholic University of Louvain
PhD, Physics, Catholic University of Louvain

Romain Murenzi joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as a full professor of Physics in January 2024. His research interests include Wavelets, Groups, Phase Space Representations, Coherent States: Links Between Quantum Physics; and Signal Processing in One and More Dimensions. 

In addition to STEM, Murenzi is interested in expanding his research to social science and policy. This includes areas such as Science, Technology, and Innovation policy for sustainable development, science for society, science diplomacy, and providing scientific advice to governments.

Until November 2023, he served as the Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), a UNESCO (United Nations Education and Science Organization) programme unit, overseeing also the administration of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). Murenzi initially joined TWAS in April 2011 for five years. He then spent 14 months at UNESCO, Paris, as the Director of the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building, and Executive Secretary of International Basic Science Programme (IBSP). On 1 September 2017, he was transferred back to TWAS. 

Previously (2001-2009) he served as Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Scientific Research and as Minister in the President’s Office in Charge of Science and Technology, and Scientific Research, with responsibilities including Information and Communication Technologies. In 2009 he was a senior scholar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Center for Science, Technology and Sustainable Development; he served as Director from 2010–2011. During this period (2009-2011), he was also visiting professor at the University of Maryland Institute of Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). He was also a visiting Professor within the Howard University Physics Department (2009-2010). 

Murenzi worked at Clark Atlanta University as Principal Investigator at the NSF (National Science Foundation) Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) from 1992 to 2001, and as Chair of the Physics Department at Clark Atlanta University from 1999 to 2001. Murenzi holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Burundi, a Master of Science and a PhD from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, a Master of Law degree in Information Technology and Telecommunication from Strathclyde University in the United Kingdom, and an honorary doctoral degree conferred upon him by the University of Johannesburg. 

The UN Secretary-General appointed him as Chair for the feasibility study of the UN Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries in November 2014 and to serve on the 10-Member Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism in January 2016 for sustainable development goals (SDGs). He also served at several advisory boards, including as a member of ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, Carnegie Mellon University President’s Global Advisory Council, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), External Science Advisory of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Steering Committee of EAIFR (East Africa Institute for Fundamental Research, a physics Category 2 UNESCO institute, and Governing Board of Alliance of National and International Organizations (ANSO) for the Belt Road Regions. He currently serves on the Joint Advisory Board of Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa). 

At the WPI Physics Department, Murenzi is not just an educator but a bridge connecting students to expansive horizons where physics meets policy, innovation, diplomacy, shaping future leaders equipped both technically, socially, and globally aware.