IBM honors former Research chief with endowed physics prize

James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials to be offered by American Physical Society

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Yorktown Heights, NY - 16 Mar 1998: -- Today IBM honored a former director of IBM Research by endowing an annual award for outstanding achievements in the science and applications of new materials.

The James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials will be offered by the American Physical Society. The award, which was recently approved by the Council of the American Physical Society, was announced by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman and CEO of IBM Corporation.

"Jim McGroddy played a key role during one of the most exciting and productive periods in IBM Research's history," said Gerstner. "We are proud to endow this award as a unique way to honor him and encourage discovery and innovation in materials science, a field in which Jim, as a research scientist, made significant contributions."

The prize is intended to stimulate the discovery of new classes of materials, the observation of novel phenomena in known materials that lead to both fundamentally new applications and scientific insights, and theoretical and experimental work that contributes significantly to the understanding of new materials phenomena.

Initially, the prize will provide a $5,000 award and an allowance to cover travel to the American Physical Society meeting, where the award will be bestowed. Nominations are open to scientists worldwide, irrespective of where their work has been carried out.

Dr. McGroddy, who headed IBM's Research Division from 1989 through 1995, received a bachelor of science degree in physics from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1958. He joined IBM Research in 1965 after receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland in College Park. He began his career as a materials physicist, studying diverse phenomena in semiconductors, such as silicon, germanium and III-V compounds. His early work led to the first observation of the Gunn effect in ternary alloys of III-V compounds.

In 1977, McGroddy entered management as the first director of the newly formed Semiconductor Science and Technology Department within IBM Research. Shortly thereafter, he was named research vice president for logic, memory and packaging. From there, he moved on to become the director of development for the Information Systems/Communications Group and vice president of development and manufacturing in the General Technology Division. In 1987, McGroddy was named assistant general manager within the technology products line, where he helped build the world-class integrated circuit design and process capability that resulted in the PowerPC microprocessor family, developed jointly by IBM with Motorola and Apple.

Named director of research in 1989, McGroddy led the effort to expand the depth and reach of the organization, establishing laboratories in Austin, Texas and Beijing, China. His efforts to establish joint projects programs between IBM Research and product divisions helped speed the transfer of technology into products. McGroddy was also instrumental in establishing Display Technologies Inc., the joint venture with Toshiba to manufacture liquid-crystal flat-panel displays for IBM's ThinkPad line of notebooks. In July 1994, he was named IBM Senior Vice President of Research, with responsibility for directing all research activity and setting strategic direction for IBM's technology investments. He retired from the company in 1996. McGroddy is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

McGroddy currently spends much of his time in public service. He is currently serving as chairperson of the National Institute of Science and Technology's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. He also serves as a trustee of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY, of the Health Star network of hospitals in Westchester County, NY, and as a trustee of his alma mater. At St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia he serves on a number of National Academy and National Research Councils committees and studies.

He is chairman of the board of Integrated Surgical Systems, a company which has commercialized the Robodoc® surgical robot technology developed at IBM Research, and is director of Paxar, Inc. He has also been awarded the IEEE Frederick Philips medal, and was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Maryland.

In 1995, McGroddy received the APS George E. Pake Prize for his scientific accomplishments and leadership. In 1996, he was honored with the Shield of Loyola Award as a distinguished alumnus of St. Joseph's University. He resides with his wife in Briarcliff Manor, NY.

IBM Research is staffed by about 2,800 researchers working at laboratories in the United States, Switzerland, Japan, Israel and China. Major areas of research include computer systems, applications and solutions, systems technology, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, storage and communications.

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