Dr. Andy Ouderkirk, Corporate Scientist for 3M’s Electronics Markets Materials Division, has received the 2013 R&D Magazine Innovator of the Year Award. This award honors Ouderkirk for demonstrated skills in leadership and innovation.
3M's Dr. Andy Ouderkirk, inventor of 3M Multilayer Optical Film, named 2013 R&D Magazine Innovator of the Year. (Photo: 3M)
He is cited for excellence in research for inventing advanced optical films used in consumer electronics and furthering practical development processes. Ouderkirk’s research led to the creation of 3M Multilayer Optical Film with light management properties that conserve energy. The thin film is used in smart phones, computer displays, e-books, tablets and other consumer electronics devices to help improve battery life. “Every year, the R&D Innovator of the Year Award goes to individuals, or teams of innovators, who display a rare mix of capabilities. First, it recognizes the ability to advance research and technology development in a fundamental way and, second, the ability to see how these discoveries could be applied, benefiting people in daily life,” said Paul Livingstone, member of the judging panel. “They show an awareness of the marketplace even as scientific curiosity drives them. These are the characteristics that have been displayed continuously by Andrew Ouderkirk in his work at 3M Company, and why R&D Magazine has chosen him as 2013 Innovator of the Year,” said Livingstone. In his role as one of the company’s top scientists and member of 3M’s prestigious Carlton Society, Ouderkirk propagated materials research and shared technologies and knowledge in optics, lasers and polymer processing, adding to the company’s proprietary Light Management technology platform. Light Management serves as a core for product development of thin films. He is known for teaching and sharing his passion for the innovation process – both within 3M and in academia.