Prior to joining WPI, Dr. Soboyejo was a Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University for approximately 17 years. He is a materials scientist whose research focuses on biomaterials and the use of nanoparticles for the detection and treatment of disease, the mechanical properties of materials, and the use of materials science to promote global development. His current projects include the use of nanomaterials for targeting and treating cancer; a shear assay technique that may be able to measure the mechanical properties of organelles in the cell; the development of low cost solar cells/light emitting devices; and sustainable approaches to providing clean water, affordable housing and education to people in the developing world. Dr. Soboyejo brings to WPI an exceptional record of achievement in engineering research and academic leadership, as well as impressive accomplishments in international development and a noteworthy track record in building global research and educational partnerships. For example, he founded the U.S./Africa Materials Institute at Princeton, one of six international materials institutes supported by the National Science Foundation. He has also served as President and Provost of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria, a Pan-African university founded by the Nelson Mandela Institutions (NMI). Dr. Soboyejo has also served as the chair of the African Scientific Committee of the NMI. He held research positions at the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories in St. Louis and the Edison Welding Institute in Columbus, Ohio, as well as faculty positions at The Ohio State University and MIT, before joining the Princeton faculty in 1999.
Provost Wolo Soboyejo was interviewed for the article which appeared in The Business Journals chain of newspapers across the country, including in Washington, Denver, Albany, and Memphis. “I think this is a conversation that our peers should be having across the country,” Soboyejo said. “I think it's an important dialogue that could really help shape the future of higher ed. How do we give security and academic freedom to faculty so that they can engage our students in environments that are truly transformative?”
Provost Wole Soboyejo was quoted about The Global School in the Worcester Business Journal article, Hiring WPI's Global Dean Marks Milestone in International Projects Program. He told the WBJ that the school’s arrival–coinciding with a pandemic–brought a sense of deeper meaning: “It really addressed its greater sense of purpose,” Soboyejo said. “It helped identify the global great challenges, such as, ‘How do we bring teams together on matters like this, matters such as global public safety?’ It has shown that the school is more important than ever.” The article added, “The brainchild of WPI President Laurie Leshin, the school is an umbrella to existing units such as the Department of Integrative and Global Studies and the Global Experience office–which helps students ready for off-campus travel–as well as the Global Lab. WPI stands alone in this particular brand of global learning, said Dawn Michele Whitehead, vice president of the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.”