Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Thomas N. Theis
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center


"For his major individual contributions at the forefront of semiconductor science, and his inspiring and insightful leadership in the management of industrial research in nanoscale science and technology."


Thomas Theis is on assignment from the IBM Corporation to serve as the Executive Director of the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), and is based at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. The NRI is a public-private partnership which supports university-based research aimed at new devices for computing. Tom received his B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972 and his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University in 1978. He joined the IBM Watson Research Center in December of 1978 where he contributed to the fundamental understanding of the electronic properties of some technologically important materials. As a manager and technical strategist, he contributed to the development of technology products including IBM's introduction of copper wiring for integrated circuits in the late 1990's. As IBM’s world-wide director for research in the physical sciences from 1998 to 2010, he championed successful new research initiatives in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, exploratory memory devices, quantum computing, and special projects addressing energy, the environment, and infrastructure. In June of 2010, he was named Program Manager, New Devices and Architectures for Computing, and assumed his present position in July of 2012. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the IEEE and serves on numerous advisory boards and committees. He has authored or co-authored over 70 scientific and technical publications. His current research focuses on new devices for computing and the physical principles by which such devices can evade certain fundamental limits of the field effect transistor.

Selection Committee:

Corey Tracy, Chair; M. Bernius; S. Rosenbum; S. Compton; M. Gordon; G. Meisner