Obituary: Professor Ogunlade Robert Davidson

It is with profound sadness that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has learned of the death of former IPCC Vice-Chair, Professor Ogunlade Robert Davidson. Professor Davidson passed away on 8 October 2022 in Sierra Leone after a short illness.  

He was involved with the IPCC in different capacities from 1993 including as one of the three IPCC Vice-Chairs from 2008 to 2014. He was also a Co-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III during the fourth assessment cycle.

A renowned scientist both nationally and internationally, Professor Davidson directed and taught at the Energy and Development Research Centre of South Africa’s University of Cape Town from 2000 to 2003. He served as Sierra Leone’s Minister of Water and Energy for two and a half years.  From 1993 he was a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Sierra Leone where he had been since 1978. Davidson was involved with various international bodies including the African Academy of Sciences, the International Network of Engineers and Scientists. In 2003 he was Co-Chair of the steering committee of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development.

In his scientific career, Professor Davidson published over 300 publications including conference papers. His research interests include the development of African energy systems and policies, power sector reform and renewable energy policy. He was a senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley in USA in 1986 and a visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Riso National Laboratory in Denmark.

Davidson obtained his Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at the University of Sierra Leone in 1972; a Master of Science in thermo fluids from the University of Manchester in the UK in 1975; and a doctorate in heat transfer from the University of Salford in the UK in 1979.

Born on 26 May 1949, he is survived by his 7 children and 6 grandchildren.