Meet the Directors



Dr. Turaj Ashuri
Director of Natural and Applied Sciences

Dr. Turaj Ashuri is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of Research in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He received his PhD from Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), followed by a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research is focused on theoretical and applied multidisciplinary design optimization using high-performance physics-based computation, uncertainty quantification, scientific computing, renewable energy and model-free control algorithms. He is a Technical Committee in International Energy Agency (Task 37), a Senior Member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Technical Committee in AIAA Aerospace Design and Structures Group.


Dr. Newton Hilliard
Director of Biology and Health Sciences

Dr. Newton 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
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
Director of Humanities and the Arts

Dr. Rebecca Wiewel is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and 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.