Science History Institute Mourns Death of Board Member Babatunde Ogunnaike

The Nigerian-born chemical engineer passed away February 20, 2022, at the age of 65.

February 23, 2022

The Science History Institute is saddened by the loss of chemical engineer Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, an esteemed member of our Board of Directors who died February 20, 2022, at the age of 65. The award-winning researcher, author, and scholar was a longtime donor to the Institute, joining the Board in 2017 and serving on both our international and nominating committees.

Ogunnaike became a professor at the University of Delaware (UD) in 2002 and was named the William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering in 2008. He was also the former dean of UD’s College of Engineering, a position he held from 2013 to 2018 after serving as interim dean beginning in 2011. He received both a master’s degree in statistics and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Lagos in Nigeria where he was born, Ogunnaike entered a government-led competition seeking lyrics for a new Nigerian national anthem and was one of five whose entries were combined to create “Arise, O Compatriots,” which replaced the country’s original anthem in 1978.

In addition to holding a U.S. patent for a predictive regulatory controller, Ogunnaike also received several prestigious honors throughout his career, including the 2018 Warren K. Lewis Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which also named him a fellow in 2009.

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