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Icons of Progress

Smarter Water Management

The team behind SmartBay, like all Smarter Water Management projects, was diverse and widespread. IBMers, government officials, policy advocates and international IBM Business Partners worked together on unprecedented levels to demonstrate the capabilities of collaboration. Below is the biographical information for some of the key players involved in this Icon of Progress.

  • Sharon Nunes 

    Sharon Nunes
    “You’ll get the students excited about wanting to change the world … if they understand that science and technology and math and engineering are at the core of that.”

    Currently vice president of Big Green Innovations in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, Sharon Nunes has held numerous executive positions at IBM, including a one-year special assignment as vice president of technology, working with IBM’s chairman and senior executive team to set the company’s technical agenda. In 2009, Nunes launched IBM’s program in advanced water management as part of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. She was responsible for the launch of IBM’s Computational Biology Center in 1997, and played a key role in developing IBM’s business opportunities in the life sciences market. Nunes received her PhD in materials science from the University of Connecticut in 1983. An advocate for women in technology, she was awarded the 2004 Fran Allen Mentoring Award at the IBM Women in Technology meeting, as well as the 2006 National Association of Female Executives Women of Excellence national award for her impact in mentoring technical women. Nunes is co-chair of the global Women in Technology committee at IBM.

  • Cameron Brooks 

    Cameron Brooks
    “My hope is that through this work with the water industry, we will not only provide solutions to the developed world, but also perhaps help raise the quality of life for these people as well.”

    Starting his IBM career in Burlington, Vermont, as a development engineer, Cameron Brooks held several technical roles in the IBM Systems and Technology Group before becoming program director for the IBM Blue Gene® supercomputer. Today, he is director of Smarter Water Management for IBM’s Big Green Innovations Group—growing IBM’s portfolio of environmentally focused initiatives, and leading a worldwide team of technical experts and business development executives to execute IBM’s Advanced Water Management solutions for government, utility and enterprise customers. Brooks holds a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, as well as an MBA degree from the New York University Stern School of Business. Brooks has been issued six US patents and authored more than 20 technical papers. He currently resides in Westchester County, NY, with his wife and two daughters.

  • Peter Williams 

    Peter Williams

    Holding the title of IBM Distinguished Engineer, Peter Williams is currently the chief technology officer for IBM’s Big Green Innovations incubator, and has more than 20 years of management consulting experience. His focus areas include photovoltaic technologies, developing greenhouse gas reduction solutions and, especially, services and water management solutions that cover entire water resources, utility infrastructures and enterprise water management. He was also heavily involved in creating the intellectual foundation for IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. In 1986, Willams received his PhD from the School of Management at the University of Bath, England. He was born in the UK and moved to California in 1999, where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

  • Robert McCarthy 

    Robert McCarthy began his career at IBM more than 10 years ago. Today, he is business development manager for IBM Research in Dublin, Ireland, with a specific focus on advancing IBM’s Smarter Water Management solutions. McCarthy was instrumental in establishing IBM’s Dublin Innovation Centre, which collaborates with local organizations to help build their technical skills, test their business solutions, and advance their research and development projects. He is also heavily involved in IBM’s Water Management Centre for Excellence in Dublin, which tackles a broad agenda—from water availability and quality to distribution and consumption—through the advanced monitoring, managing and forecasting of data related to environmental fluctuations and manmade infrastructure.

  • Harry Kolar 

    An IBM Research Distinguished Engineer Harry Kolar has held numerous roles at IBM ranging from technical positions to executive offices. In the latter, he advanced cross-industry applications of technology, including advanced analytical methods, data mining and sensor-based, cyberphysical systems. Kolar is currently the chief architect for sensor-based solutions and a senior technical staff member in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group. His main focuses include environmental monitoring and management within IBM’s Big Green Innovations initiative—with particular emphasis on advanced water management and energy management. Kolar earned both his BS and MS degrees in physics, and he holds a PhD in materials science and engineering. He is also an adjunct professor of physics at Arizona State University and a district advocate for the American Physical Society.

  • Carey Hidaka 

    “We’re not going to create more water. But we can help people be proactive and be smarter about how we deal with the water we have.”

    For the first nine years of his professional career, Carey Hidaka used his masters in environmental engineering to work with commercial and government clients, designing water and wastewater treatment plants as a consulting engineer in the early days of the US Clean Water Act. Once funding for the legislation dried up, Hidaka joined IBM, initially working as a marketing representative. He took a brief hiatus from the company before returning in 2001 to join IBM’s Big Green Innovations. Today, Hidaka is an advanced water management subject matter expert for IBM’s Global Business Services and has been involved in some of IBM’s most exciting water projects, including the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, the SmartBay project in Galway, Ireland, and the Sonoma County Water Agency in California.

  • Djeevan Schiferli 

    “Dare to dream, collaborate beyond your comfort zone, and start your journey today with pragmatic initiatives.”

    In his native Netherlands, Djeevan Schiferli is currently a business development executive for climate change and water management at IBM’s Centre of Excellence for Water Management in the Netherlands. Schiferli regularly speaks to clients to understand how climate change is affecting their organizations and then translates those responses into IBM capabilities and technologies that address them. Prior to holding this position, Schiferli identified water management as a potential revenue stream for IBM and set out to characterize the landscape. Three months later, he had created a presentation with 250 slides of data that helped to form IBM’s climate change position in three areas: energy, carbon and water. Schiferli regularly participates in the World Conference on IT in Amsterdam, and has been involved the World Water Forum in Istanbul and the WATEC Conference in Israel.

  • Glenn R. Wightwick 

    Glenn R. Wightwick

    Since joining IBM in 1987, Glenn Wightwick has worked on the application of large-scale UNIX® systems to complex problems in computational chemistry, seismic processing and weather forecasting. Today, he is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and director of IBM Research and Development in Australia, leading a team of 650 software engineers and technical specialists. In this lab, which was announced in October of 2010, Wightwick is focused on rapidly accelerating Smarter Planet initiatives, such as water management, into the market—leading work that spans natural resources, disaster management and healthcare analytics. In 2000, Wightwick was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology and to the Academy Technology Council in 2003. He has served a three-year term on the Australian Research Council College of Experts and was named an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne in 2010. Wightwick is a Senior Member of the IEEE.