Olufemi “Femi” Omitaomu was honored as an individual award winner at the October 28 UT-Battelle Awards Night as an outstanding “Mentor of Student Researchers.” One winner is selected annually for the award, which recognizes “exceptional mentoring of student researchers through skills training, critical thinking, professional development, and continuous inspiration and encouragement that has led students to pursue advanced degrees or to join research institutions as scientists and engineers.”
Omitaomu joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2006 and has been a senior research scientist in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division since 2012. As one of four theme leads for the Urban Dynamics Institute, Omitaomu guides the institute’s focus on Urban Resiliency and has been instrumental in the development of data resources and technology to support critical infrastructure systems including water, energy, electricity, and transportation.
“Training future scientists and engineers in core skills and research areas is an important part of this mission, not only for urban resiliency but also for advancing science more broadly,” said Omitaomu.
As a mentor, Omitaomu has actively engaged undergraduate and graduate students in priority fields for the US Department of Energy including modeling and optimizing interconnected infrastructure systems, spatially analyzing risks, evaluating impacts with predictive scenario modeling, and other strategies for applying data science and computing to real-world urban challenges.
To date, Omitaomu has mentored at least 30 students and dedicated considerable time and energy to expanding their education and professional development through presentations, publications, and networking opportunities. He has co-authored conference and journal articles with many students, several of whom are credited as first author and have received notable “best paper” awards for their contributions. His mentorship of doctoral candidates has had a positive impact on students’ academic and career goals. Their dissertations have resulted in significant publications, wide recognition from the science and research community, and valuable careers as scientists and engineers at leading institutions.
For more information on Omitaomu and his work, please visit https://www.ornl.gov/staff-profile/olufemi-omitaomu.—By Ashley Huff