Dr. Joshua Otaigbe joined The University of Southern Mississippi faculty in 2002 after a successful career at Iowa State University where he was a tenured faculty member in both Depts. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Enginering, and Leader of Polymers and Composite Research Group. Otaigbe joined the Iowa State University faculty in 1994. Before joining Iowa State, he worked as a Project Leader for Corning Incorporated in New York. Earlier, he held academic positions at the University of Alberta, Canada, and University of Benin in Nigeria. Otaigbe earned his B.S. degree in industrial chemistry (1979) in Nigeria and the Ph.D. Degree in polymer science and engineering (1984) from the University of Manchester (UMIST), England.
In 2002, Dr. Otaigbe was elected a Fellow of the United Kingdom Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining for contributions of international significance to the polymer and composite materials field. This is the highest honor bestowed upon professional members of this international science and engineering institute. He is also a Fellow of Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and in 2001, he was elected to the SPE Board of Directors, Engineering Properties & Structure Division (EPSDIV). Professor Otaigbe was awarded a visiting professorship for the Summer of 2003 at the Swiss Federal Institute of technology (ETH-Zurich) in Zurich, Switzerland.
Dr. Otaigbe’s research is in the areas of polymer engineering and materials science. His research blends chemical engineering sciences with materials structure and property principles to understand and improve processes for advanced materials. He is also actively involved in university-industry partnerships to solve industrially relevant problems. These problems are often at the boundaries between established disciplines or in areas combining many disciplines that may ultimately lead to discovery. Through careful mentoring, he is empowering young engineers to develop the discipline to continue learning, and encouraging them to take creativity excursions outside the imagined constraints of their specialized areas that may ultimately lead to most exciting opportunities for the future.
Dr. Otaigbe received the prestigious U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Best Paper-Polyolefins Award from the Thermoplastic materials and Foams Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, USA. He was listed as an honored member in Who’s Who of American Inventors (1998-1999 edition).