2 IBM scientists named in MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators Under 35” list


Two IBM researchers – Dr Abdigani Diriye and Dr Fabian Menges – have been recognized as honorees on the Innovators Under 35 list released on August 16, 2017 by MIT Technology Review. For over a decade, the media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

The two scientists, from IBM’s Research labs in Kenya and Switzerland, are focused on improving financial access to all Africans and our understanding of the thermal phenomena which occur in nanoscale structures and devices.

(TOP: Dr Abdigani Diriye, one of the IBM researchers featured in the ‘Innovators Under 35’ list).

Dr Abdigani Diriye is a scientist and a manager at IBM Research – Africa in Nariobi and he has been recognized as a visionary for his work. Diriye leads the financial services research group which is focused on technologies to enable people in Africa to easily access financial services. The team has recently developed and deployed a credit scoring system which is now enabling several million people to have access to micro-loans through their mobile phones for applications, including medical emergencies or to operate their small business. Diriye has also launched an accelerator for start-ups in his native Somalia which has ignited a community of innovators, engineers, NGOs and private sector companies who now support and invest in the startup tech scene in the country. Dr Diriye will also be speaking at GlobalTED next week in Tanzania.

Dr Fabian Menges is a post-doctoral researcher in the materials integration & nanoscale devices group at IBM Research in Zurich and he has been recognized as a pioneer for his work. Menges’ work focuses on the experimental characterization of thermal energy transfer and conversion processes in electronic devices. Recently, Menges and his colleagues invented and patented a thermometer for the nanoscale. The research was motivated by the challenge to understand the thermophysical processes which occur at the scale of individual transistors to support the development of novel materials for energy harvesting and cognitive computing. Menges has recently accepted the prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship where he will continue his research in collaboration with IBM at the University of Colorado.

This year’s honorees will be featured online at Technology Review starting today, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on August 29. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference November 6–9 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.EmTechMIT.com).

The selection process begins with hundreds of nominations from the public, MIT Technology Review editors, and international partners who publish Innovators Under 35 lists in their regions. The editors then trim the list to about 80 people, who submit descriptions of their work and letters of reference. External judges are brought in to rate the finalists on the originality and impact of their work. Based on these ratings, the editors put together a final list of honorees.

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a digitally oriented independent media company whose analysis, features, reviews, interviews, and live events explain the commercial, social, and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review readers are curious technology enthusiasts—a global audience of business and thought leaders, innovators and early adopters, entrepreneurs and investors. Every day, we provide an authoritative filter for the flood of information about technology. We are the first to report on a broad range of new technologies, informing our audiences about how important breakthroughs will impact their careers and their lives.