John E. Kelly III Biography
Dr. John E. Kelly
Bueche Award
IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, IBM
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  • Bueche
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Arthur M. Bueche Award
Go To Award

Dr. John E. Kelly III is senior vice president and director of IBM Research. In this position he directs the worldwide operations of IBM Research, with approximately 3,000 scientists and technical employees at 12 laboratories in 10 countries around the world, and helps guide IBM’s overall technical strategy. His top priorities are to stimulate innovation in key areas of information technology and quickly bring those innovations to the marketplace to sustain and grow IBM’s business, to create the new businesses of IBM’s future, and to apply these innovations to help IBM clients succeed.

He also leads the company’s worldwide intellectual property efforts. IBM has led the world in US patents for 20 consecutive years, generating more than 6,000 in 2012 and delivering approximately $1 billion per year in income to its intellectual property.

Dr. Kelly joined IBM in 1980 and held a series of management and technical positions related to the development and manufacturing of IBM’s advanced semiconductor technologies. In 1990, he was named director of IBM’s Semiconductor Research and Development Center. He then held several VP and GM positions across IBM’s businesses from 1994 to 2000, when he was named senior vice president and group executive for IBM’s Technology Group, where he was responsible for developing, manufacturing, and marketing IBM’s microelectronics and storage technologies, products, and services. Before beginning his current assignment in 2007, he was senior vice president of Technology and Intellectual Property, responsible for IBM’s technical and innovation strategies.

Dr. Kelly has received numerous technical and business leadership awards, including both the semiconductor industry’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award (2009), and the IEEE’s top R&D management award, the Frederik Philips Award (2010). In 2013, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the US semiconductor industry through technology innovations and strategic leadership.

Dr. Kelly is chairman of the board of governors of the IBM Academy of Technology, a board member and former chair of the Semiconductor Industry Association, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the Board of the New York Academy of Sciences. He also serves on the boards of trustees for Union College and RPI.

He earned his undergraduate degree in physics from Union College in 1976, his MS in physics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978, and his PhD in materials engineering from RPI in 1980. In 2004 he received an honorary doctorate of science from the Graduate School at Union College and in 2012 an honorary degree from the Dublin City University.

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  • Bueche
  • 2013
  • For his leadership in driving US semiconductor technology excellence through the creation of world class government, university, and corporate R&D partnerships.