Dr. John E. Kelly III

IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research


Computer performance continues to advance at an astonishing rate. We have passed through the "Tera" era and have entered the "peta" era. And work is already underway for the "exa"-scale era.

The real question is: how can we apply these advanced systems to improve the human condition?

The presentation will focus on the grand challenges these systems can address, as well as highlight the importance of collaboration in achieving these breakthroughs. Finally, he will outline the opportunity for New York State to be a global leader in high performance computing (HPC).


Dr. John E. Kelly III is IBM senior vice president and director of Research. In this job he directs the worldwide operations of IBM Research, with more than 3,000 technical employees at eight laboratories in six countries around the world, and helps guide IBM's overall technical strategy.

Dr. Kelly's top priority as head of IBM Research is to stimulate innovation in key areas and quickly bring those innovations into the marketplace to sustain and grow IBM's existing business, and to create the new businesses of IBM's future. IBM applies these innovations to help our clients succeed.

Dr. Kelly also leads IBM's worldwide intellectual property business as well as the company's open source and open standards strategies and practices.

Prior to beginning his current assignment in July of 2007, Dr. Kelly was senior vice president of Technology and Intellectual Property, responsible for IBM's technical and innovation strategies.

In 2000, Dr. Kelly was group executive for IBM's Technology Group, where he was responsible for developing, manufacturing and marketing IBM's microelectronics technologies, products and services.

Dr. Kelly joined IBM in 1980. Between 1980 and 1990, he held numerous management and technical positions related to the development and manufacturing of IBM's advanced semiconductor technologies. In 1990, he was named director of IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center. In 1994, he was appointed vice president of business process reengineering for the Microelectronics Division.

In 1995, he was named vice president of systems, technology and science for the IBM Research Division. In this role, Dr. Kelly was responsible for the company's most advanced research activities. The following year, he was named vice president of strategy, technology and operations for the Microelectronics Division. In 1997, he was appointed vice president of server development (from work stations to supercomputers) for IBM. In January of 1999, he was appointed general manager of IBM's Microelectronics Division, a position he held until August 2000.

Dr. Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Union College in 1976. He received a Master of Science degree in physics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978 and his Doctorate in materials engineering from RPI in 1980. In 2004, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from The Graduate School at Union College.

Dr. Kelly is on the Board of Governors of The IBM Academy of Technology; a board member and former chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association; a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and on The Board of Trustees of Union College.

updated: 2008-10-02