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 was 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.
In his role as one of the company’s top scientists and member of 3M’s 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..
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.
The Innovator 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 took place Nov. 7 in Orlando.
For more information, visit www.3M.com.