Arizona State University Professor Seeks to Advance Engineering Education in Africa

In 1990 Terry Alford, a professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, was invited by a former student to spend a semester teaching at the University of the Western Cape. While in South Africa, Professor Alford became involved with the Africa Materials Research Society, which provided him with additional teaching opportunities. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Alford has made 12 trips to Africa to teach two-week engineering seminars at schools and universities.

“Some of the students are brilliant but they don’t reach their full potential because they do not have access to modern educational resources,” Alford says. And some students do not have access to electricity or fresh water.

Alford hopes to accelerate educational progress by eventually making ASU’s graduate-level engineering and science courses available to students in Africa through the Internet. He also wants to interest fellow ASU faculty members in following in his footsteps and traveling to Africa to share their expertise with teachers and students.

Professor Alfred joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1993. He holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.

Dr. Alford with students at the African University of Science and Technology in Nigeria.

Related Articles


  1. We commend you Dr. Alford for your excellent example of giving back to our African brethren throughout the Diaspora.
    Your deeds have not gone unnoticed for you are a shining example for all our students, faculty, staff to emulate.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Gunfire Erupts After Homecoming Event at Morgan State University in Baltimore

Five people, including four students, were shot on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore. The incident occurred outside Murphy Fine Arts Center where a homecoming even choosing Mr. and Miss Morgan State University had been selected.

University of Virginia School of Law Establishes the Education Rights Institute

The new institute, led by law professor Kimberly Jenkins Robinson, aims to ensure that all students receive a high-quality K-12 education and help schools understand how to address obstacles facing disadvantaged students.

In Memoriam: Francine Oputa, 1953-2023

During her 30-year career at Fresno State, Dr. Oputa served as director of the Center for Women and Culture and director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute. She retired as director of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center in 2021.

Is the Black-White Income Gap Finally Shrinking for Good?

In 2019, the median Black household income was 59.7 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic White families. In 2022, In the income gap was 65.2 percent.

Featured Jobs