Maxwell alumna Phaedra Stewart ’91 finds it difficult to look at the world without seeing opportunities to connect with people, raise their spirits and empower them to make their lives better. A self-described serial entrepreneur (some might say a serial…
IBM technology leader talks about creating a culture of innovation during Nunan Lecture at Syracuse University
IBM technology leader talks about creating a culture of innovation during Nunan Lecture at Syracuse UniversityApril 09, 2008Tricia Hopkinsthopkins@syr.edu
Syracuse University alumnus Nicholas Donofrio G’71, executive vice president of innovation and technology for the IBM Corp., will deliver the 2008 Nunan Lecture, “Creating a Culture of Innovation,” at Syracuse University on Wednesday, April 16.
The lecture, sponsored by the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) and co-sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in Lender Auditorium, located in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management building. Donofrio will be introduced by Guy Chiarello, chief information officer at JPMorgan Chase.
The lecture is free and open to the public, with parking available in the University’s visitor pay lots.
The Nunan Lecture is held in conjunction with Nunan Research Day, which gives graduate students an opportunity to display their work through poster sessions and presentations. The poster competition and presentations will take place from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Link Hall and are open to the University community. Prizes will be awarded to the top presenters from each of the four departments in LCS: biomedical and chemical engineering; civil and environmental engineering; electrical engineering and computer science; and mechanical and aerospace engineering. Additionally, students participating in the competition are invited to join a roundtable discussion with Donofrio prior to the poster sessions.
During the evening lecture, Donofrio will talk about the open, collaborative, multidisciplinary and global nature of innovation in the 21st century and illustrate how, by building its own culture of innovation, IBM is helping its clients and partners become innovators.
“The nature of innovation is changing in the 21st century, and so are the relationships among business enterprises, governments, academic institutions and their partners,” says Donofrio. “Information technology, while crucially important, is no longer the necessary and sufficient condition for satisfying the most pressing needs of those institutions, as well as our global society.
“Innovation is what counts — the ability to transform invention and discovery into products, services, methods, processes and policies that meet today’s complex business and societal challenges,” he says.
Donofrio’s responsibilities within IBM include research, governmental programs, technical support and quality, corporate community relations, and environmental health and product safety. He is vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chair of the board of governors for the IBM Academy of Technology.
He joined IBM in 1967 and 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.
Throughout his career, Donofrio has been focused on advancing education, employment and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women. He served for many years on the board of directors of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) and was board chair from 1997-2002. He currently serves on the board of directors for INROADS, a nonprofit organization focused on the training and development of talented minority youth for professional careers in business and industry. He is also co-chair of the New York Hall of Science.
In 2005, Donofrio was appointed by the U.S. Department of Education to serve on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a 20-member delegation of business and university leaders charged with developing a new national strategy for post-secondary education that will meet the needs of America’s diverse population and also address the economic and workforce needs of the future.
He holds seven technology patents and is a member of numerous technical and science honor societies. Donofrio received a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1967 and a master’s degree from SU in 1971, both in electrical engineering. In 2005, SU honored him with the George Arents Pioneer Medal, the highest alumni honor the University bestows, for excellence in technology and innovation. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from Polytechnic University (1999), the University of Warwick (2002), Marist College (2005) and the University of Edinburgh (2006).
The Nunan Lecture Series, made possible by a gift from the estate of Jim Nunan ’37 and his wife, Marge, in 2006, includes a major lecture held each spring. The lecture is given by a top researcher with expertise in the fields represented by LCS, while at the same time maintaining relevance in the University’s other schools and colleges.
Along with the lecture and research day, the Nunans’ gift established the Nunan Graduate Travel Fund, which provides financial assistance to enable doctoral students to present their work at conferences.
For more information on the Nunan Lecture and Research Day, contact Ellen Robb at (315) 443-4777 or visit http://www.lcs.syr.edu.