Professor Frank Obed Kwami, Scholar, Engineer, Inventor, Educator, Author, Administrator. He was born eight decades ago at Hohoe in the Volta Region of Ghana to Rev. Benoni Gottfield Kwami, and Mrs. Janet Akosua Nani Kwami.
He had his secondary school education at Achimota School from 1947 to 1952 and his undergraduate education at Technical University, Berlin, Germany, between 1955 – 1961. Four years later, in 1965, he had obtained his PhD degree in Engineering from the same university.
He begun his academic career as a Research Fellow at the Federal Institute of Materials Testing; Berlin, Germany (1961) where he Researched on Brittle Anodic Coatings for Stress Analysis in Machine Elements and Components at the Technical University, Berlin (1961 – 1969). As a lecturer, he taught Machine Design and researched in the field of Fatigue Strength and Load Capacity of Machine Elements and Components including High Retightened Bolted Joints. Professor Kwami joined the staff of the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi in 1969, and by 1992, he had become Head of Mechanical Engineering Department (1972 – 1982); Dean of Faculty of Engineering (1974 – 1982); Pro Vice Chancellor (1982); Acting Vice Chancellor (1982-1984); substantive Vice Chancellor (1984 – 1992).
He was also a Founding Member and President of the Academic Staff Association, UST (1970-1978) and Founding Member of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG). He shared his expertise with the wider national community through his contributions to the restructuring of Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Services (GRATIS) and the establishment of its ENGINEERING DESIGN CENTRE, at Tema.
The specific and significant contributions he made to knowledge were in the areas of Mechanical Engineering Design in the field of Fatigue Strength and Load Capacity of Machine Elements and Components. These contributions are published in top German Engineering Journals, Konstruktion and Antriebs technik. He published a book in German on “Design of Torque Transmission Elements”414 Pages; Krausskopf – Verlag, Mainz. The former Vice Chancellor wrote a number of Conference Papers on Product Development in Developing countries and on Science, Technology and Development. His inventions include a working prototype of a Power Blender for blending local food stuffs including blending ‘fufu’ in a few minutes.
Professor Frank Obed Kwami made contributions at the national level in the field of Mechanical Engineering Design and Manufacturing and served on a number of Governing Boards of Companies and Institutions including the following • Lever Brothers • Ghana Railways Corporation • GIMPA Board of Governors • NCTE He carried out various assignments for the International Community on behalf of UNIDO, UNESCO, UNU, UNDP, ECA, and NUFU (Norway).
He was UNDP Chief Technical Adviser to the establishment of the African Regional Centre for Technology (ARCT) in Dakar, Senegal The impact he made to national and international effort was noticed. He was Fellow and Past President of the Ghana Institute of Engineers, FGhIE) and Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Kwami also received the degree of “Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D Sc h.c)” from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi and “Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques” by the French Ministry of Education.
The Republic of Ghana bestowed on Professor Frank Obed Kwami the national honour of “Companion of the Order of the Volta.” Ghana lost one of her fine engineers and educationists in his person. He was laid to rest at Ho after burial service at the Dela Cathedral of the EP Church on Saturday, 21st July 2012. May he rest in perfect peace. He leaves behind a wife, Mrs. Elaine Kwami and four children, Frank Obed, Joyce Catherine de Witte, Mark Edgar and Karl Andrew