School of Engineering and Computer Science

OU’s Richard Olawoyin named a 2022-2023 U.S. Fulbright Scholar

icon of a calendarMay 19, 2022

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OU’s Richard Olawoyin named a 2022-2023 U.S. Fulbright Scholar
Richard Olawoyin
OU's Richard Olawoyin has been named a 2022-2023 Fulbright Scholar.

Richard Olawoyin, an associate professor in OU’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been named a U.S. Fulbright Scholar for 2022-2023. 

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. 

As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Olawoyin will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections at Republic Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), a private Roman Catholic coeducational university in the Dominican Republic.

The project activities include research and teaching courses central to the PUCMM industrial engineering program, particularly the integration of ergonomics design engineering research into classroom teaching.  

Ergonomics, also called human factors engineering, is an applied science concerned with designing work environments and processes that promote efficiency while reducing discomfort and risk of injury.

“This Fulbright award will empower me to help academically talented students and bridge the gap between dynamic needs for future discoveries and the skills required to remain competitive in the global market,” said Dr. Olawoyin. “It will also provide the opportunity to investigate workplace design interventions to improve safety, quality, productivity, and the overall quality of life of manufacturing workers in the Dominican Republic.”

Richard Olawoyin and students

Dr. Olawoyin is shown working with OU students on indoor air quality research.

The research work will take place in the province of Santiago, one of the most economically significant provinces in the Dominican Republic.

“The manufacturing diversity in the area makes it suitable for the research activities and teaching students system modeling for risk evaluation and for eliminating ergonomic work design problems,” Dr. Olawoyin explained. “In addition to benefitting PUCCM students, the award will help me develop new knowledge and skills that I can apply to my teaching and scholarship at Oakland University.”  

According to Dr. Olawoyin, the study of human factors engineering and industrial transformation in developing economies, especially the Dominican Republic, is crucial. 

The Dominican Republic has the largest economy in the Caribbean region and ranks 10th in Latin America with a GDP of $82.67 billion in 2020. For that year, industry represented 20% of the country’s total employment and 71% of the total employment was in services. About 200,000 Dominicans are estimated to be employed in several manufacturing industries.

The results of Dr. Olawoyin’s Fulbright work will be published in journal articles, whitepapers, bulletins, and curriculum development memos that will help institutions in the Dominican Republic and around the world to focus on optimizing workplace design.

“I’m honored to receive this Fulbright award and excited to work with talented students and faculty to improve people’s lives,” said Dr. Olawoyin. “I’m also humbled by the support I’ve received from my Oakland University colleagues, including President Pescovitz, Provost Rios-Ellis and SECS Dean Chamra.” 

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit


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