Meet the Directors



Dr. Turaj Ashuri, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
IRC Director of Natural and Applied Sciences

Dr. Turaj Ashuri is an assistant professor, and director of engineering research in the department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD from Delft University of Technology (2012), followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2014). His research is focused on theoretical and applied multidisciplinary design optimization using high-performance physics-based computation, uncertainty quantification, renewable energy and model-free control algorithms. He is a technical committee member of International Energy Agency (Task 37), and a senior member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


Dr. Newton Hilliard, Associate Professor of Chemistry
IRC Director of Biology and Health Sciences

Newt Hilliard arrived at Arkansas Tech University in the fall of 2014 as Associate Professor of Chemistry and primarily teaches Biochemistry I and II lectures and associated lab. His academic interests include lecture and lab pedagogy development, bioenergetics and metabolic regulation in bacteria from extreme environments and involving undergraduate students in high impact research/scholarly engagement activities. Interests outside of the academic arena include hiking, canoeing and DIY electronics.


Dr. Efosa Idemudia, Associate Professor of Business Data Analytics
IRC Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Efosa C. Idemudia, is an Associate Professor of the Business Data Analytics program at Arkansas Tech University. Dr. Idemudia holds degrees from universities located on three different continents: a PhD in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University, a Master’s in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at El Paso, and an MBA in International Business from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. Dr. Idemudia is a member of the editorial boards for the International Journal of Technology Diffusion, Journal of Information Technology Management, American Journal of Science and Technology of AASCIT, and Electronic Commerce Research and Application.


Dr. Rebecca Wiewel, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
IRC Director of Humanities and the Arts

Rebecca Wiewel is an anthropological archaeologist who studies North American Indian societies. Her recent research has focused on geochemical sourcing of ceramics from seventeenth-century American Indian village sites across Arkansas to study regional interaction. She is also interested in public perceptions of archaeology and in working collaboratively with contemporary American Indian descendant communities.