ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Andy Ouderkirk, Corporate Scientist for 3M’s Electronics Markets
Materials Division, has received the 2013 R&D Magazine
Innovator of the Year Award. This award honors Ouderkirk for
demonstrated skills in leadership and innovation.
He is cited for excellence in research for inventing advanced optical
films used in consumer electronics and furthering practical development
processes. Ouderkirk’s research led to the creation of 3M Multilayer
Optical Film with light management properties that conserve energy. The
thin film is used in smart phones, computer displays, e-books, tablets
and other consumer electronics devices to help improve battery life.
“Every year, the R&D Innovator of the Year Award goes to individuals, or
teams of innovators, who display a rare mix of capabilities. First, it
recognizes the ability to advance research and technology development in
a fundamental way and, second, the ability to see how these discoveries
could be applied, benefiting people in daily life,” said Paul
Livingstone, member of the judging panel. “They show an awareness of the
marketplace even as scientific curiosity drives them. These are the
characteristics that have been displayed continuously by Andrew
Ouderkirk in his work at 3M Company, and why R&D Magazine has chosen him
as 2013 Innovator of the Year,” said Livingstone.
In his role as one of the company’s top scientists and member of 3M’s
prestigious Carlton Society, Ouderkirk propagated materials research and
shared technologies and knowledge in optics, lasers and polymer
processing, adding to the company’s proprietary Light Management
technology platform. Light Management serves as a core for product
development of thin films. He is known for teaching and sharing his
passion for the innovation process – both within 3M and in academia.
A physical chemist by training, Ouderkirk focuses on evaluating
innovative practices that can lead to breakthroughs in new discoveries.
Analysis holds that incremental discoveries are predictable within a
lead market, while breakthrough innovations impact adjacent markets.
Thus, inventions like Multilayer
Optical Film first found application in electronics displays. Today,
are also used in smart cards, solar panels, window
light bulbs and with current research holding promise in
Ouderkirk’s studies indicate innovators bring different skills to the
invention process. Specialists bring depth of knowledge in a discipline.
Specialist-generalists explore both depth in their research with
world-class expertise, plus knowledge across disciplines and patent
familiarity. Both are critical to the innovation process. Ouderkirk,
himself, holds 170 patents.
“3M’s culture of openness, networking and freedom to cross disciplines
and boundaries and take risk are all incredibly important to the success
of the company and in nurturing employees’ creativity and growth,” said
Ouderkirk. “My work and the collaboration with my colleagues and with
customers are pathways to impact and transform people’s lives with new
ideas that come to life. I am deeply honored to be recognized as the
2013 Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.”
Ouderkirk is a respected author and teacher who has more than 50
publications and invited presentations. He has been recognized by the
American Chemical Society with the National Award for Creative
Invention. He was elected into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Andy has served on the advisory board of the Singapore National Research
Foundation and the University of Southern California Center for Global
Innovation. He is a Scientist-in-Residence with the Center for
Innovation Research in Cultural Intelligence and Leadership at Nanyang
of the Year Award is presented each year to an individual or team
who has demonstrated leadership, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and
success in the pursuit of science and technology. This year’s ceremony
was held November 7 in Orlando, Fla.
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms
them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative
collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies
that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops
inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide
and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information,
or follow @3MNews on Twitter.
3M is a trademark of 3M Company.
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