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Rwandan researcher, 29, named professor at MIT

A US-based Rwandan researcher has been appointed as professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), making him the only black faculty member in the department.

Prof. Aristide Gumyusenge, 29, is a research scientist and materials science engineer with a background in polymer chemistry, having obtained his PhD in chemistry with focus on organic semiconductors from Purdue University in 2019.

“It is a great honour, generally speaking, a dream coming true! But as a black faculty member, as a Rwandan, it speaks great volume. 

“It means that someone like me from extremely humble beginnings can work hard and make it this far. 

“I hope it inspires many more, especially the youth in Rwanda and elsewhere, to believe in themselves, to believe they can go very far, as far as the best institute of technology in the world,” Gumyusenge told The New Times in an exclusive interview.

His research interests are in the design and processing of novel organic materials for bioelectronics and neuromorphic computing devices.

As a tenure-track assistant professor, Gumyusenge will teach graduate and undergraduate courses in the materials science department, and will run a research group at MIT focusing on the development of new materials for biology-inspired electronics.

His research role involves securing research funds, leading cutting-edge research projects, and mentoring graduate and post-graduate researchers.

He also aims to utilize both his platform and expertise in materials science and engineering to pioneer sustainable solutions to global challenges such as clean water scarcity, clean energy, and advancing healthcare, especially on the African continent.

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