Nicholas M. Donofrio honored with the Industrial Research Institute’s 2010 Medal


Award celebrates Donofrio’s lifelong commitment to innovation

Seattle, WA, May 6, 2010 - The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) bestowed its 2010 medal award last night to Nicholas Donofrio, IBM Fellow Emeritus and Executive Vice President, Innovation and Technology (retired).

The Medal, established in 1946, recognizes and honors leaders of technology for their outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation which contribute broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society. Donofrio received the medal during IRI’s Annual Meeting for his vision, leadership and contributions to the advancement of the information technology industry. “Mr. Donofrio has elevated the relevance and diversity of technical professions around the globe and has been instrumental in leading IBM’s technical strategy for the last two decades,” said Ed Bernstein, IRI President.

“I’m honored to accept this award from an association that supports collaborative knowledge exchange in the management of technological innovation,” Mr. Donofrio stated. “Collaboration between people, institutions and technologies will be key to survival in this new age.”

Nick Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran who led IBM’s technology and innovation strategies from 1997 until his retirement in October 2008. He also was vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chairman of the Board of Governors for the IBM Academy of Technology. Mr. Donofrio's most recent responsibilities included IBM Research, Governmental Programs, Technical Support & Quality, Corporate Community Relations, as well as Environmental Health & Product Safety. Also reporting to Mr. Donofrio were the senior executives responsible for IBM's enterprise on demand transformation. In addition to that strategic business mission, Mr. Donofrio led the development and retention of IBM's technical population and enriched that community with a diversity of culture and thought. In 2008 IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano elected Nick IBM Fellow, the company’s highest technical honor.

Mr. Donofrio joined IBM as a college co-op student in 1964 and worked on the memory technology for the legendary IBM System/360 mainframe computing system. After being hired full time at IBM in 1967, he spent the early part of his career in integrated circuit and chip development as a designer of logic and memory chips. He held numerous technical management positions and, later, executive positions in several of IBM's product divisions. He has led many of IBM's major development and manufacturing teams – from semiconductor and storage technologies, to microprocessors and personal computers, to IBM's entire family of servers.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1967 and a Master of Science in the same discipline from Syracuse University in 1971. In 1999 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Engineering from Polytechnic University, in 2002 he received an honorary doctorate in Sciences from the University of Warwick in England, in 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Technology from Marist College, in 2006 he received an honorary doctorate in Sciences from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and he received an honorary doctorate from Pace University in 2008.


About the Industrial Research Institute
The Industrial Research Institute represents nearly 200 industrial and service organizations that have a common interest in effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies invest more than $100 billion annually, nearly half of the nation’s privately funded R&D dollars. Spanning diverse industries and competing globally, IRI member companies employ more than 10 million American workers. Together, they generate more than $2 trillion in annual sales, representing a substantial portion of our nation’s gross domestic product. IRI is the only organization providing the R&D community with insights, solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information call 703.647.2580 or visit