Nelson Akafuah has been named the inaugural chair of the University of Kentucky’s new Department of Engineering Technology. He will also assume the role of director for the Institute of Research for Technology Development (IR4TD). Previously, Akafuah served as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and associate director of IR4TD. He succeeds Kozo Saito, who served as director of IR4TD since 2007.
Akafuah obtained a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2009; an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in 2017; a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Orleans in 2003 and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, in 1999. He also earned his lean systems certificate in 2013.
After two years as a post-doctoral research scholar at UK, Akafuah has remained at the university, having served as an assistant research professor and associate research professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, research & development manager for IR4TD and director of the automotive production engineering undergraduate certificate developed in partnership with Toyota.
Engineering Technology officially became the UK College of Engineering’s ninth academic department earlier this year. It will offer undergraduate degrees in Lean Systems Engineering Technology and Computer Engineering Technology through a 2+2 partnership with the Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Students in an ET program complete their first two years of study at BCTC and finish their undergraduate degree at UK.