Augustine O. Esogbue

December 25, 1940

Brief Biography

Esogbue Speaker Portrait

Nigerian-born Augustine O. Esogbue has made significant contributions to fuzzy sets theory and health care applications of operations research. Educated at St. John’s College Kaduna, Esogbue was a foundation student at the Federal Emergency School of Science in Lagos. In 1961, he moved to the United States on a scholarship from The African-American Institute to study electrical engineering at the University of California-Los Angeles. Esogbue went on to receive graduate degrees in industrial engineering and operations research from Columbia University and the University of Southern California. His PhD dissertation, which he completed in 1968 under the supervision of Richard E. Bellman, dealt with the application of stochastic service systems to hospitals and other health care facilities. Esogbue accepted his first academic position at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

In 1972, Esogbue joined the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, taking a joint appointment in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Health Systems Research Center. In 1974, he obtained a postdoctoral certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Dynamics of Health Systems Modeling. Five years later, Esogbue was promoted to full professor. He was the first black man to become a fully tenured professor at Georgia Tech and the first African at that level in a top ranked American engineering research university. In 1985, he served as Founding Director of the Intelligence Systems and Controls Laboratory, developing a hybrid approach to the investigations of intelligence control via fuzzy sets and neural networks.

In 1982, Esogbue, Bellman, and I. Nabeshima co-authored Mathematical Aspects of Scheduling and Applications in the International Series in Modern Applied Mathematics and Computer Science of Pergamom Press. The text touches upon a number of subjects including network flow and control problems, applications to artificial intelligence and games, scheduling problems and combinatorial programming, the nature of sequencing problems, sequencing involving capacity expansion, flow-shop scheduling problems, and the job-shop scheduling problem. Esogbue edited The Mathematics of Systems and Computations (1988) and wrote several influential articles in the 1990s on fuzzy sets theory and fuzzy dynamic programming.

A significant portion of Esogbue’s work has been applied to a variety of socio-technical systems such as health care, water resource management, disaster control planning, and safety critical systems. In 1989, he published Dynamic Programming for Optimal Water Resource Systems Analysis, bringing his interest in dynamic programming to a prevalent real-world problem.

From 1990 to 1992, Esogbue chaired the Health Applications Technical Section of the Operations Research Society of America. In 2000, he was named a Fellow of both the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. Esogbue has been recognized by the Nigerian government and several Diaspora organizations for his professional devotion to the promotion of Nigerian sciences and the nation’s global image. In 2006, he received country’s high honor, the Nigerian National Order of Merit. Esogbue was elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences in 2004. 

Other Biographies

Georgia Institute of Technology School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. FacultY: Augustine Esogbue. Accessed May 1, 2015. (link

Nigerian Academy of Engineering. Engr. Prof. Augustin O. Esogbue, NNOM. Accessed June 1, 2015. (link)

University of Buffalo. Mathematicians of the African Diaspora: Augustine O. Esogbue. Accessed June 1, 2015. (link

NSBE (2014).Dr. Augustine Esogbue: Meeting the Mission, in Retirement.  National Society of Black Engineers Magazine, March-April 2014 Convention Issue. Accessed January 3, 2016 (link)


University of California-Los Angeles, BS 1964

Columbia University, MS 1965

University of Southern California, PhD 1968 (Mathematics Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow 1972

National Society of Black Engineers Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Education 1999

Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow 2000

Nigerian Academy of Engineering 2000

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2004

Nigerian National Order of Merit 2006

Professional Service

ORSA Health Applications Technical Section, Chair 1990-1992

Selected Publications

Bellman R. E., Esogbue A. O., & Nabeshima I. (1982) Mathematical Aspects of Scheduling and Applications. Pergamon Press: New York. 

Esogbue A. O. & Elder R. C. (1983) Measurement and valuation of a fuzzy mathematical model for medical diagnosis. Fussy Sets and Systems, 10(1): 223-242.

Bellman R. E. & Esogbue A. O. (1984) Fuzzy dynamic programming and its extensions.TIMS Studies in Management Science, 20: 147-167. 

Esogbue A. O., ed. (1988) The Mathematics of Systems and Computations. Pergamon Press: New York.

Esogbue A. O. (1989) Dynamic Programming for Optimal Water Resource Systems Analysis. Prentice Hall: Engelwood Cliffs, NJ.

Esogbue A. O., Guo K., & Theologidu M. (1992) On the application of fuzzy sets theory to the optimal flood control problem arising in water resources. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 48(2): 155-172.

Esogbue A. O. & Kacprzyk J. (1996) Fuzzy dynamic programming: main developments and applications. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 81(1): 31-45. 

Baoding L. & Esogbue A. O. (1999) Decision Criteria and Optimal Inventory Process. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Boston, MA. 

Esogbue A. O., ed. (1999) Sixth International Workshop of the Bellman Continuum. Pergamon Press: New York.