Babatunde A. Ogunnaike has been named a 2014 National Academy of Inventors Fellow.

NAI Fellow

Dean Ogunnaike named 2014 fellow of National Academy of Inventors


1:11 p.m., Dec. 17, 2014--Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering, is among 170 distinguished innovators who have been named 2014 fellows by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

In addition to his duties as dean, Ogunnaike is the William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering and a professor in the Center for Systems Biology at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute

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He leads research in control and systems theory and in systems biology, considering the development of effective control techniques with application to complex industrial processes and also working to understand biological control systems. The latter is the means by which mammalian organisms maintain stable, efficient and “near optimal” performance in the face of external and internal perturbations.

One of the recent inventions is technology for a next generation “regulatory controller” that Ogunnaike developed with his graduate student, Kapil Mukati. They were granted a patent in April 2007.

Ogunnaike joins several other innovators with UD ties to have been honored by NAI. UD President Patrick Harker was named a charter fellow in 2012, alumnus Wayne Westerman and adjunct professor John Elias of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering were named fellows last year, and John F. Rabolt of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering was selected for NAI membership earlier this year.

“We’re extremely proud of this prestigious honor bestowed upon Dr. Ogunnaike,” said Provost Domenico Grasso. “It clearly demonstrates how we are meeting the needs of society through life-changing research and innovation. Tunde is a dynamic leader and a shining example of the daring imprint UD is leaving on the world.”

“I am truly humbled about this honor, and grateful to the people who nominated me,” Ogunnaike said. “Many UD alumni and current faculty have been similarly honored. This is therefore more an honor for the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive at the University of Delaware than it is an individual honor.”

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted during a ceremony on March 20, 2015, as part of the fourth annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. 

The 2014 NAI Fellows will be recognized with a full-page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Jan. 16 issue, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

"We are delighted to recognize the 2014 NAI Fellows and their unparalleled commitment to excellence in academic invention," said NAI President Paul R. Sanberg. "Their many discoveries have made a truly significant impact on society and we are proud to honor them for these contributions."

With the addition of the new members, the total number of NAI Fellows is now 414, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 208 members of the other national academies, 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, 21 Nobel Laureates, 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 112 AAAS Fellows, and 62 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.  

Collectively, the 414 NAI Fellows hold nearly 14,000 U.S. patents.

About Babatunde A. Ogunnaike

Babatunde A. Ogunnaike joined the UD faculty in 2002 as a professor with appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering (now the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute’s Center for Systems Biology, after a 13-year research career with DuPont.

He was appointed William L. Friend Professor of Chemical Engineering in 2004 and William L. Friend Chaired Professor in 2008. He became deputy dean for the College of Engineering in 2010, interim dean of engineering in 2011 and dean in 2013.

Ogunnaike was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Nigerian Academy of Engineering in 2012.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Lagos in Nigeria in 1976, he earned a master's degree in statistics and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1981.

Ogunnaike is the author or editor of four books and more than 75 papers and book chapters, and his textbooks have been used to educate and train engineers in instrumentation, systems and control at more than 29 universities.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Photo by Ambre Alexander Payne

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