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

An IBM Fellow is a position at IBM appointed by the 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 Donna Dillenberger

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 and is granted in recognition of outstanding and sustained technical achievements and leadership in engineering, programming, services, science, design and technology.[1] 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.[2][3] 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 April 2022, only 331 IBMers have earned the IBM Fellow distinction, and 84 of them remain active IBM employees. IBM Fellows have generated over 9,329 patents and thousands of government and professional citations, received five Nobel Prizes and five Turing Awards, and created a massive store of published research in scientific journals.[1]

List of IBM Fellows

In chronological order, as of 2023:


  1. ^ a b IBM Fellows homepage on
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "There are but a few," IBM Corporation, 1981
  3. ^ 650 Chronology, IBM Corporation, 23 January 2003, 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.
  4. ^ a b c d e 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. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "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. ^ "IBM Fellows - United States". 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  14. ^ a b c d e “Five top innovators named IBM Fellows”, IBM. 2004.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h “IBM Appoints Eight New Fellows to Drive Innovation”, IBM. 2006.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h “IBM Honors Eight Employees with Highest Technical Award”, IBM. 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g 2012 IBM Fellows, IBM.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h "IBM Awards Highest Technical Honor to Eight New Fellows as Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Program". IBM. April 3, 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 2014 IBM Fellows
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 2015 IBM Fellows
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 2016 IBM Fellows
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 2017 IBM Fellows
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h "2018 IBM Fellows", IBM. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h "IBM 2019 Fellows". IBM. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2020.