The National Academy of Engineering recently elected 66 new members, bringing the total membership to 2,254. The academy does not disclose the racial makeup of its membership, but past JBHE research has shown that Blacks make up less than one percent of the members.
In both 2010 and 2011, there was one Black scholar elected to membership. In 2010 Percy A. Pierre, professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University was the only African American among the 65 new members. In 2011, Roderich I. Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, was the only African American among the 68 new members. Dr. Pettigrew, a graduate of Morehouse College, previously taught at Emory University and Georgia Tech.
This year the recent pattern holds true. JBHE research finds only one Black scholar among the 66 new members elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, the William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering and interim dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware, was elected to NAE membership. He is being honored for “advances in process systems, process engineering practice, and systems engineering education.”
Professor Ogunnaike joined the faculty at the University of Delaware in 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and a master’s degree in statistics and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin.