Innovation

The Innovative Impact of IBM Fellows

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Having been appointed an IBM Fellow in 1992, I have a long perspective on the program, and immense respect for what it allows one to accomplish.

What makes the IBM Fellow program perhaps most exceptional is that it was launched in 1963, by T.J. Watson Jr. This was an era where large corporations traditionally handled non-conforming individuals by driving such square pegs into round holes via the use of a bigger hammer.  Wild ducks that stepped out of line ended up a l’orange.  In direct opposition to that tradition, Watson recognized the value that such out-of-the-box thinkers brought to a company already long known for its motto, THINK.

IBM’s Fellows class of 2017 (l-r): Hugo Krawkzyk, Sridhar Muppidi, Rachel Reinitz, Sam Lightstone, Ed Calusinski, Eric Herness, Matthias Steffen, Dakshi Agrawal, Matt Huras, Hillery Hunter, and Charlie Hill.

This week, IBM announced its 2017 class of Fellows.

It is incumbent upon our Fellows to carry on the tradition of using this appointment to accelerate their ability to create differentiation where there was none, invent the improbable and see their innovations through to market, all the while bringing their colleagues along with them.

The global technical community of IBM is immense and unrivaled in its depth and breadth. Our Fellows are being recognized as leaders of that community.  My experience as a Fellow has taught me many things, but chief among them is that we cannot get the really important stuff done on our own, and we are not the world’s expert at everything.

I recall sitting at dinner a number of years ago with four colleagues one evening in a pub near Hursley, England, preparing to join those colleagues at a technical community meeting focused on IBM’s long tradition of enabling a technical leadership path for those choosing that option. It was well into dinner that it occurred to me I was unique at that table, being the sole individual present who had not won a Nobel Prize.  As I said, we’re not the expert at everything, but we can bet that there are colleagues out there in our global technical community who can fill any skill gaps that stymie us, and will come running when asked to do so.

The obligation of our Fellows is of course the converse, so that when others reach out for help, we respond in kind.

Our Fellows are part of the technical bedrock of IBM, and are members of a small community that is expected to stand and deliver in the face of daunting technical and business challenges. This will, on occasion, require them to stand their ground in the face of withering pushback given the disruption they may create.

IBM is one of those very rare companies where, in my 25 years as a Fellow, I have found that without exception, “data wins.” When the facts say that you and your collaborators are correct, it is your responsibility to make your voices heard.

As an IBM Fellow, be assured the folks that matter will listen.  We should never fear that as the octagonal peg we will be hammered into the square hole. The Fellow program has its roots in the prohibition of that very behavior, recognizing the tremendous value we have brought to this company, and what more we will bring.

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Rosanne DeVries

Congratulations to our new Fellows! Amazing accomplishment and contributions!

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Eduardo Patrocinio

Congratulations Rachel Reinitz! I’m very happy for you!

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Adam McPadden

Big Congratulations to all. Hillery, very happy for you !

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Kevin Galloway

Congratulations!

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Prabs

Congratulations to all. Great accomplishment. Special wishes to Dakshi!!

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Joefon Jann

Congratulations to all our new Fellows !
Especially great congratulations to Hillery !

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Saravanan Sethuraman

Congratulations to all the new IBM Fellows! Special mention @Hillery Hunter.. great achievement! I am really really happy for you!

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Srinivas Mudagonda

Congratulations to all on this occasion !

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Amit Dave

Congratulations to all!

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Paulo Coelho

Congratulations to all new IBM Fellows. Keep doing the good work.

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Rupam Bhattacharjee

Congratulations to our Fellows on this outstanding achievement! And thanks for this inspirational article.

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Kelly L. Groth, MSN RN

Fantastic – absolutely an inspiration. The expertise of IBMers is humbling and it is an honor to work alongside the best. We all become better with these fellows in our midst. Thank you all for your dedication to your craft and the relentless pursuit of innovative excellence.

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Mark Carlson

Congratulations to all of you, but especially Rochester’s Eric Herness!

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Jack Hergenrother

Congratulations to all of our new IBM Fellows on this fantastic career accomplishment!

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Al Fakhrzad

Congratulations to all!!! Especially happy for Ed Calusinski, my first mentor at IBM.

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Leo Kluger

Congratulations on your amazing achievements, and a special salute to Sam Lightstone!

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Sunil K. Murthy

Congratulations! Great to see talented minds recognized with one of the highest honors in the industry.

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Peter Sohn

Congratulations to all our new Fellow, with personal special applause for Sam Lightstone and Charlie Hill!

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Dave Twiggs

Less than 10% women.

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Marek Michalski

Speaking of data. Do we have any data for success rates/percents on commercialization of technology/research? I would be very curious to see how it stacks up against other large research institutions like a college. I would hope we are crushing their numbers!!

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Adrian D-W. Farquharson

Thank you for your contributions to IBM and the world. Congratulations

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Otis Jones

Congratulations to all of the newly appointed IBM Fellows.

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Inhi Cho Suh

Huge Congratulations to the Class of 2017 IBM Fellows! Special thanks to the fellows who gifted me and other teammates with their time and knowledge at different stages in their careers – Dakshi in Streams, Eric in BPM, Matt & Sam in Database, and Charlie in Design! Amazing contributions to our clients, industry and IBM!

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Ram Viswanathan

Congratulations to the class of 2017 IBM Fellows.. You have joined the exalted group..

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Catherine Lord

Congratulations to all the new 2017 Fellows & thank you for your inspiration!
Congratulations to Charlie Hill – wonderful to see !

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Mohamed Nawas

Congrats “IBM Fellows”.
It is wonderful to see all with remarkable achievements.
I dream one day I will become an IBM Fellow.
Congrats once again.

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Rashida Hodge

Congratulations to all the newly appointed fellows!

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Sandip Patel

Congratulations to our new Fellows – a great achievement! A special call out to Ed Calusinski … look forward to continue working with you in this new role!

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Sreeni Pamidala

Congratulations to 2017 batch of IBM Fellows. Special shout out to Rachel Reinitz and Sridhar Muppidi for achieving the highest technical honor in IBM.

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Pablo Varela

Congratulations to all of you, and thankful to IBM that allows to you all and your predecessors to advance the technology, thoughts and science. We need more of this in the World we live.

Proud to be an IBMer

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M N Arunkumar

Congratulations! you make us proud.

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Onkar Urkudey

Congratulations to our fellows for great achievements and best of luck for future projects

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Michael P. Haydock

Well said Bernie! Being a Fellow is an honor and a responsibility to IBM and those that need the help. It is an awesome journey! Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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Laura Gilligan

Congratulations to all the new Fellows! Such an accomplishment! And I send very special congratulations to Ed Calusinski, a dear friend and colleague. I am so proud of you!

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JoAnne Swaine

Congratulations to all the new Fellows! Your passion and commitment is striking.

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Dave Thiessen

Congratulations to all our new IBM Fellows, and especially to the one that I know, Rachel Reinitz. Incredible achievement and just the start of great things.

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Sandra Misiaszek

Congrats to all! And what an awesome and inspiring post! Going to face those challenges head-on, knowing we’re not alone – we have stellar colleagues all around us, willing to jump in when we get stuck.

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Srinivas Manda

Congratulations to all. Special shoutout to Hillery !!!

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Dayle Aldrich

Sridhar, Congratulations!

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Dayle Aldrich

Congratulations Sridhar on becoming the newest member.

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Jenny Ang

congrats to all! well done!
and especially to ed calusinski, well deserved recognition!

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Chuck Kichler

Congratulations. What an amazing accomplishment. How fortunate IBM is to have such amazing minds.

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Lynne Hamilton

Congrats to all… amazing minds!

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Mukesh Mohania

Congratulations!!! all. Great recognition of your hard work. Very proud of you and your achievements.

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Ron Gottschalk

Congratulation team – what an acknowledgement of the amazing IBMers that you are! Well done.

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charles noble

I am in awe of what IBM Fellows represent for IBM and the contributions that they make today and will make tomorrow for IBM and our clients. Thank you and congratulations.

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Vadiraj Joshi

Congratulations to all the new “IBM Fellows” & thank you for your contributions. You make us proud and truly an inspiration to all !

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Tony Stein

Congratulations to all. Thank you for making our world a better place!

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Rudy Baron

Congratulation to the 2017 Fellows

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Ganesh Borhade

Hearty Congratulations to our New Fellows !! All the Best for Successful future !! Keep Rocking !!

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Imran Mohammed

Congratulations Leaders…

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Amy Hirst

Congratulations to all on this appointment and career milestone.

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Slade Foster

Huge congrats to all of this year’s field.
Special shout out to Sridhar Muppidi on this amazing career achievement.

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Nadia Karch

Congratulations Everyone! you are an inspiration.

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Gerry Abreu

Super accomplishment par excellence folks — please keep those absolutely amazing patents coming while IBM takes giant strides ahead of the competiton, thank you very much!!!

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Sharon Stanley

Congratulations to the class of 2017 – Incredible inspiration and innovation!

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Rebecca Gott

Congratulations to all the new Fellows of 2017 and a special Congratulations to Hillery Hunter!

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Prasad

Congrats to all the IBM Fellows!

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Keshri Nandan

congratulations to all..

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Grazyna Jedryka

Congratulations to all of you!

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Pushp Sirohi

Congratulations to 2017 batch of IBM Fellows..best of luck for future and feel proud to be a part IBM after watching your achievements.

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Amitabh

What is the path to get here or around this position please?

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Roochir Purani

Congratulations, Fellows! This team makes us all proud IBMers!

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Amit Puri

Congratulations to all the fellows.

Bernie…I trust you are still working towards the Nobel 🙂

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Allen Chan

Congratulations to our new Fellows!

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Frank Speer

Congratulations to our all of you for your recognition as a new Fellow. It’s inspiring to read about your passions and accomplishments.

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ramesh sigamani

Congratulations to IBM Fellows of 2017!! Great accomplishment!!!

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srinivasa

Congrats

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Maria Ward

Congratulations to all the new IBM Fellows!

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Sherry Bennett

It is amazing what this group has been able to accomplish! Way to go and Congratulations!!

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Debasisha Padhi

Hearty Congratulations to all of you….!!!

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Karin Dürmeyer

Congratulation Rachel,
I’m very happy for you and I’m exciting about the new Method to develop applications with clients.
Hope that you stay with the good balance between family, friends and work……

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Jan Sinclair

Many congratulations to the new fellows and fellow-ettes ! You join a community of technical giants. All the hard work has paid off, do take some time to celebrate in style this is an excellent achievement.

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David Cox

Congratulations Sridhar, Rachel, and Eric!

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Christian Strassmair

Congratulations to all new Fellows!
11 out of 11 new Fellows are located in NA and NOT in Services.
Just as an observation…

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Chitra Dorai

Hearty Congratulations to all the new Fellows!

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