IBM Fellow

An IBM Fellow is an appointed position at IBM made by IBM's CEO. Typically only four to nine (eleven in 2014) IBM Fellows are appointed each year, in May or June. Fellow is the highest honor a scientist, engineer, or programmer at IBM can achieve.

IBM Fellow
Awarded forPosition at IBM appointed by the IBM CEO
Sponsored byIBM
DateMay or June


The IBM Fellows program was founded in 1962 by Thomas Watson Jr., as a way to promote creativity among the company's "most exceptional" technical professionals. The first appointments were made in 1963. The criteria for appointment are stringent and take into account only the most-significant technical achievements. In addition to a history of extraordinary accomplishments, candidates must also be considered to have the potential to make continued contributions. Francis E. Hamilton is believed to be the first IBM Fellow, appointed in 1963 for amongst other things his work on the development of the IBM 650.[1][2] In 1989, Fran Allen became the first female IBM Fellow.

IBM Fellows are given broad latitude to identify and pursue projects in their area of expertise.

As of 2016, only 278 IBMers have earned the IBM Fellow distinction, and 98 of them remain active IBM employees. IBM Fellows have generated 9,329 patents, received five Nobel prizes, thousands of government and professional citations and have a massive store of published research in scientific journals.[3]

List of IBM Fellows

In chronological order, as of 2018:


  1. "There are but a few," IBM Corporation, 1981
  2. 650 Chronology, IBM Corporation, retrieved June 16, 2013, Refinement of the concepts and engineering design of the eventual production 650 system were carried out in the early-1950s, principally at IBM's laboratory in Endicott, N.Y., under the direction of Frank E. Hamilton, Ernest S. Hughes, Jr., and James J. Troy, who were the chief inventors.
  3. 2016 IBM Fellows
  4. David W. Kean, "IBM San Jose A Quarter Century of Innovation" IBM Corp. circa 1977
  5. Herman Heine Goldstine, MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland.
  6. Richard Goering: “Bill Beausoleil, 1950s Computer Pioneer, Shapes RTL Emulation Technology Today”, Industry Insights Blog, Cadence. November 15, 2012.
  7. ″Harlan D. Mills retires,″ press release, IBM Federal Systems Division. June 23, 1987. (Last page in linked document.)
  8. "Honorary Fellows - 2003 - Professor Sir Alec Broers". Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  9. "Computer Pioneers – George Radin". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  10. "IBM Names Three Fellows For Technical Contributions". Computerworld. May 25, 1981. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  11. DRAM - the Team
  12. Short bio in: "Two-level coding for error control in magnetic disk storage products", IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 470-484, 1989.
  13. “Five top innovators named IBM Fellows”, IBM. 2004.
  14. 2012 IBM Fellows, IBM.
  15. "IBM Awards Highest Technical Honor to Eight New Fellows as Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Program". IBM. April 3, 2013.
  16. 2014 IBM Fellows
  17. 2015 IBM Fellows
  18. 2017 IBM Fellows
  19. "2018 IBM Fellows", IBM. Retrieved 2018-04-13.


  • The Corporate Technical Recognition Event (CTRE) commemorative book for each year lists the IBM Fellows designated in that year. In 2009, a similar Corporate Technical Recognition (CTR) book was published, but there was no CTRE. The following have been used to verify the names and dates for those years in the list above:
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 58, 1984
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 1114, 1987, Orlando, Florida
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 1619, 1988
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 47, 1990
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 58, 1995, San Diego, California
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 912, 1998, San Francisco, California
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 811, 1999, Naples, Florida
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 58, 2000
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 29June 1, 2001
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 47, 2002
    • IBM CTRE Book, June 25, 2003
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 2528, 2004
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 2427, 2005
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 2326, 2006
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 1417, 2007
    • IBM CTRE Book, May 1215, 2008, Phoenix, Arizona
    • IBM CTR Book, individually distributed, 2009
    • IBM CTR Book, individually distributed, 2010
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