Motto: Innovation Drives Transformation

Prof. Leo Daniel
+234 816-870-5597
Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Ikot Abasi

Leo Daniel is the Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State. An Endowed Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He served as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT from 2008 until his appointment as Provost, College of Engineering and Technology, KWASU in 2010.


He also served from 1996 to 2000 as Research Scientist and project manager of the UK MOD Défense Evaluation Research Agency (DERA), where he led research in the areas of aerospace aerodynamics, structural dynamics and composites crash-worthiness for military aircraft, the latter of which he was a pioneer in the late nineties. He led efforts at CNRS (Dijon, France) for the development of novel technologies for revolutionary use of Ultrasonic YAG laser for detection of mechanical breakdown of nuclear coated-substrate interface in nanoscale in 2001, for which he received several awards. In 2002, he joined the European Space Agency (Netherland) as a Senior Research Scientist, where he successfully evaluated the use of advanced composite structures in primary structure of a reusable launch vehicle (RLV). He led in a design and delivery of flight modules of a European SOCRATES reusable launch vehicle and Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). As Project Manager at Airbus UK and Reader at Cranfield University, he led a successful cost evaluation of Hydraulic Power Systems of Airbus aircraft modules including the A380 series (2004).

He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of California as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 2005. Professor Daniel is currently conducting research in the areas of aerospace structural dynamics, and hypervelocity impact of composites, bio-inspired and intelligent structures with applications to morphing aircraft structures, intelligent unmanned area vehicle (IUAV), Cybersecurity, bio/medical sensing, intelligent vehicle and highway systems (IVHS).

Past work on composites includes the discovery of a “before unobserved type of impact damage due to composite shell material/structural interactions.” Professor Daniel is a recipient of a UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Fellow Award and a European Training and Mobility in Research (TMR) Award. He established Aeronautics and Astronautics programs at KWASU, AUST, which led to his appointment by the National University Commission (NUC) as a Resource Person to review and approve the Basic Minimum of Academic Standards (BMAS) in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering for Nigerian Universities in 2013.

Teaching Interests

Prof. Daniel has taught graduate courses and introduced bio-inspired aerospace structures at MIT from 2008 to 2010 ( ). He has received several teaching awards for undergraduate and graduate teaching in the areas of launch vehicle development, aircraft design, composites, nanomaterials, bio-inspired aerospace structure, and intelligent structures, morphing aircraft structures, intelligent unmanned area vehicle (IUAV), Cybersecurity and bio/medical sensing. Others include fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, structural dynamics and aeroelasticity.

Honors and Awards

  • 2009 - MIT Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Award, USA
  • 2006 - Fellow (FRAS): The Royal Aeronautical Society, UK
  • 2005 - Associate Fellow (AFAIAA): American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, USA
  • 2004 - Fellow (FIMMM): Institute of Materials, Mineral & Mining, UK
  • 2004 - Chartered Scientist (C.Sci.): The Science Council, UK


  • Ph.D. - 2000, Queen Mary and Imperial College, Univ. of London (sponsored by UK MOD & EPSRC)
  • M.Sc. - 1990, Soviet Academic of Sciences
  • B.A. - 1989, Soviet Academic of Sciences