Ogunnaike brings academic and industry experience to the Chemical Heritage Foundation board of directors

Babatunde Ogunnaike, William L. Friend Chair and dean of the University of Delaware College of Engineering, has been named to the board of directors of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His term extends until June 30, 2020.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation, based in Philadelphia, preserves scientific history and examines how science has shaped modern life.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to serve the scientific community and beyond,” says Ogunnaike.

He adds: “It’s humbling to be selected for this group.”

“We at UD are proud of Dean Ogunnaike and his many accomplishments, both on and off our campus,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “He is a true Renaissance engineer, an accomplished scholar and an inspiring leader. On behalf of the whole University, we congratulate him on this honor.”

Board member Eduardo D. Glandt, dean emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, was one of those who nominated Ogunnaike for the board.

“Dean Ogunnaike is a most unusual individual, someone who has excelled on three very different fronts: industrial practice, scholarly research and education, and academic leadership. One would be very hard pressed to find someone with his level and breadth of achievement,” said Glandt.

Ogunnaike has been dean of the College of Engineering since 2011 and a member of the UD faculty since 2002. Before joining UD, he worked in research and development for DuPont for 14 years. He has also taught classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Lagos and African University of Science and Technology. Ogunnaike earned his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981.

Ogunnaike will attend his first CHF meeting in October, after which he will join committees within the board. The organization includes four programmatic areas:

The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History, which houses books, papers, and photographs from prominent scientists and scientific organizations.

The Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education, which includes the organization’s museum, magazine, podcast, and other public programs and exhibitions. In 2015, the film series “Scientists You Must Know,” which featured five scientists who changed the world, included UD alumnus Robert Gore, the developer of Gore-Tex.

The Institute for Research, which houses the Center for Oral History and Center for Applied History to bring science history to a wide audience. The Center for Oral History includes oral histories from several engineers who attended or taught at UD, including:

  • Elizabeth Dyer, who joined UD as an instructor in the Department of Chemistry in 1933, rose to the rank of full professor by 1951, and retired as a professor emeritus in 1987.
  • Burnaby Munson, who joined UD as an associate professor of chemistry in 1967, was a full professor by 1976, and served as C. Eugene Bennett Chair from 2005 to 2011.
  • Jean H. Futrell, who joined UD as a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in 1986 and served as a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1993 to 1998.
  • Howard E. Simmons Jr., who was an adjunct professor at UD from 1970 to 1997 and received an honorary D.Sc. degree in 1993.
  • James M. Goldey, who earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from UD in 1950, followed by a doctoral degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was director of the Linear and High Voltage Integrated Circuit Laboratory Bell Labs.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, which supports a community of visiting fellows who contribute to CHF programming.