College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Lucky Onyekwelu is looking for links between computer hardware and evolving AI

Lucky Onyekwelu
Lucky Onyekwelu

“During my undergraduate days back home in Nigeria, I studied computer engineering. However, after working at a computing startup, I decided I’d need more in-depth knowledge in a graduate program to become a leader in the quickly evolving world of computing and software.

I learned about Iowa State when I searched for the top U.S. engineering colleges and saw Iowa State ranked as one of the best graduate programs in computer engineering. I was also intrigued by professor of electrical and computer engineering Yong Guan’s work at the intersection of software, hardware, and AI. It increased my enthusiasm for this institution.

At Iowa State, I’m in the middle of a fast-moving field that will undoubtedly shape the world’s future. And ever since the first day I stepped on campus, the learning environment has been welcoming. Faculty mentors, like my connections with ECpE professor Yong Guan, associate professor Goce Trajcevski, professor Suraj Kothari, Vicky Thorland-Oster in ECpE student services, and many others, have been supportive.

My primary research objective is exploring co-design strategies for generative AI models and specialized hardware. This endeavor aims to enhance performance and efficiency by optimizing the model architecture and the underlying hardware infrastructure. While AI models have made significant strides in addressing code-writing challenges, the persistence of errors in AI-generated code remains a critical concern.

I am currently detecting and mitigating the repercussions associated with AI-generated synthetic content. I aspire to contribute to developing more comprehensive solutions for this issue, potentially leading to substantial improvements in various domains. By addressing this problem effectively, we can contribute to a better and safer world enabled by artificial intelligence.

Because that’s what I want to do, I’ve always believed that my purpose is to positively impact the world with my engineering knowledge and skills. Also, I think the best way to live your life is courageously. Coming to Iowa State for graduate school was both a step of courage and a step toward making engineering discoveries that help people.”