Dr John E Kelly III, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research has been conferred with an honorary degree by Dublin City University. Dr Kelly, the seventh person to hold this position, has worked for IBM for 43 years and currently directs the worldwide operations of IBM Research and its approximately 3000 employees, helping to guide the company's overall technical strategy.
In delivering the Dr Kelly's citation, Professor Alan Smeaton, DCU School of Computing said,
"Innovation is an intrinsic part of society today and being innovative is a fundamental characteristic and a marker, almost like a genetic fingerprint, of success. It is well-recognised that, in order to survive and to grow, all organisations must innovate. In most cases, however, innovation cannot be done alone and requires collaboration with others. Through collaborating we can tackle bigger problems and we can have greater ambition. Creating a culture and strategy of innovation is not easy – it requires a certain kind of leadership in order to make it work effectively."
Professor Smeaton continued,
"In only 5 years as Director, Dr John E Kelly III has completely revolutionised the operation of IBM Research. His tenure has been marked by collaboration and diversification, working on large, ambitious projects, some of which have a 20-year horizon. In these times of difficult economic conditions, his is indeed a bold and daring leadership, going on the offensive and following a long-term strategic vision. Under his leadership of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the industry came together. Government and regulatory authorities, private industry and investors formed an open consortium, working collaboratively and collectively, advancing the field. The impact of his dynamic leadership at that time can still be felt today. Dr Kelly leads what is probably the greatest group of scientists and engineers working in a single organisation in the world. By accepting this honorary doctorate from Dublin City University, this global leader and visionary has indeed honoured us."
Over the last 50 years, IBM Research has played a critical role in the development and application of technologies which have literally changed the world. These include the personal computer, magnetic disk storage, dynamic RAM memory, relational databases, laser eye surgery, supercomputing, cryptography, UPC barcodes. These inventions have come from a group of scientists which can boast, among them, five Nobel Laureates, nine US National Medals of Technology, five US national Medals of Science and six Turing awards. Today, the annual budget of IBM Research stands at over 6.5b.