John E. Kelly, III

John E. Kelly, III
John E. Kelly, III
Associated organizations
Fields of study
IEEE Frederik Philips Award, IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal, Arthur M. Bueche Award


The technical and business leadership skills of John E. Kelly, III have driven technology advancements at IBM and have impacted the global semiconductor industry, resulting in cutting-edge semiconductor research. The founder of IBM’s Semiconductor Research and Development Center in 1996, Dr. Kelly was the driving force in merging IBM’s separate R&D organizations into a seamless structure, increasing innovation and bringing technology to market more quickly. Under Dr. Kelly’s leadership, IBM set the pace in semiconductor technology development, unveiling back-end-of-the line copper interconnect technology ahead of industry, introducing the transition to 200-mm wafer scale, and bringing silicon-on-insulator technology to the high-end processor market. Dr. Kelly is responsible for 12 research laboratories and over 3,000 scientists located around the world, and he has opened IBM’s labs to close collaborations with clients, bringing leading-edge research to bear on their toughest challenges. He has been instrumental in establishing important IBM alliances with many of the world's leading semiconductor companies, such as Samsung and Toshiba, that have helped to disseminate leading-edge process technology throughout the industry at a significantly reduced cost through resource sharing. He also helped develop a new patent strategy that opened up access to much of IBM’s intellectual property, allowing collaborative efforts with partner firms across organizational and industrial boundaries. Dr. Kelly also cofounded the Center for Semiconductor Research at the State University of New York, Albany, NY, USA, which serves as a model of collaboration among corporate entities, university faculty and students, and government agencies. His reputation and network of global relationships have attracted a literal who’s who of semiconductor technology to the Center. He has authored numerous technical publications and recently published the book "Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing" with writer Steve Hamm on Columbia University Press.

Dr. Kelly is Senior Vice President and Director of Research with IBM Corporation, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA. He is an IEEE Fellow, recipient of the 2010 IEEE Frederik Philips Award, the 2014 IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, and in October 2013 he received the NAE’s Arthur M. Bueche Award.