New faculty member uses computational science and engineering to solve groundbreaking problems

The Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department is pleased to welcome Dr. Akwum Onwunta as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor beginning Fall 2021. Akwum is a computational scientist who has been working on quantitative credit risk modeling, Bayesian statistical inverse problems, and optimization problems governed by differential equations.

Akwum received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Otto von Guericke University and Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg, Germany, in 2016. Prior to joining ISE, he held Postdoctoral Research Associate positions at George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax and the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. His postdoctoral research was funded by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) at GMU and National Science Foundation (NSF) at UMD. 

Akwum was also a quantitative risk analyst at Deutsche Bank in Germany. His work at the Deutsche Bank was partially funded by a prestigious Marie Curie early-stage research fellowship from 2007 to 2010, and it resulted in a PhD in 2010 in Economics from the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany. 

Akwum’s diverse and rich background is best described by his pre-doctoral education. He obtained an MS in Physical and Mathematical Analysis from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2006. He then successfully completed a graduate program on Mathematical Models in Economics at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. Akwum obtained his BS in Mathematics from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria, in 2003.

His recent research contributions in deep learning and random models for dynamical systems fit well into the research program of the ISE Department, and it will help consolidate the Department in the top rankings of industrial engineering. Additionally, Akwum’s vast teaching and lecturing experience will establish him as a key contributor and an inspirational model for our students.

Akwum recently shared his thoughts about joining ISE. "I look forward to contributing meaningfully to the growth and development of ISE at Lehigh by delivering high quality performance in scientific research, teaching and service to the university community. Given my interdisciplinary backgrounds in optimization, uncertainty quantification, and statistical inverse problems, I am committed to developing efficient techniques for tackling challenging  problems arising in operations research, as well as in computational science and engineering. Lehigh University is indeed a great place with distinguished scholars; thus, I am not only incredibly excited to join the ISE Department at Lehigh, but also deeply passionate to collaborate with other ISE faculty in training next generations of researchers and engineers of world class repute".