IBM Names Eight New IBM Fellows, But Forgets One
May 30, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are a researcher or engineer who works for a big company like IBM, there’s nothing quite so good as being bestowed with the title of an IBM Fellow. In 43 years, IBM has only named 162 IBM Fellows, and it is these top thinkers, who have demonstrated their ability to push big and innovative technologies from the whiteboard to the data center, that are given a tremendous amount of freedom to pursue future interests.
Last week, Big Blue named eight new IBM Fellows, who join the 62 active fellows who are still working at the company. A number of these people have graced the virtual pages of the IT Jungle. Tom Bradicich, who works at IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, and who was instrumental in the creation of the “Summit” chipset for high-end X86 servers and the BladeCenter blade servers–as well as steering IBM’s efforts to create and push the InfiniBand interconnect with Intel, is one of the new fellows. Alan Gara, the chief architect of the BlueGene/L Linux supercomputer, which was designed for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is now a reasonably successful commercial product, one of the few that came out of IBM Research, is another new fellow. Daniel Edelstein, chief architect of IBM’s copper chip technologies, has directly all AS/400 and iSeries shops, as has his colleague, John Maxwell Cohn, who designs the electronic design automation software that allows IBM to create and manufacture its Power processors. So has Gennaro Cuomo, one of the creators of the WebSphere middleware stack, which started out as an accelerator for the Nagano Olympics for Windows NT systems, is a new fellow hailing from Software Group. He is joined by Carol Barton, who delivered the first releases of the commercialized WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Developers Studio kickers to that initial WebSphere product; Barton is now handling the development of IBM’s Workplace collaboration software. Kerrie Holley and Ray Harishankar, who hail from Global Services, are key IBMers involved in the nascent field of service oriented architectures, and now they, too, are IBM Fellows.
There is, of course, one name that is missing from the list: Frank Soltis, the chief architect of the System/38, AS/400, iSeries, and System i5 product lines. The architecture Soltis outlined so many years ago in his PhD thesis was a truly innovative and brilliant design, and it is responsible for tens of billions of dollars in sales for Big Blue. It is about time IBM not only recognize that, but give Soltis some leeway and power to help forge a new IBM System. It’s time for Future Systems, Part 3.