Our Principal Investigators Offer Expertise Across Dozens of Fields

If there is one core guiding principle at IBM Research, it’s this: We are better together than we could ever be alone. By housing scientists of many disciplines together, we’ve deliberately created an environment where any given problem can be viewed from many angles. Our researchers aren’t just diverse in their technical expertise, either. They hail from all over the world and possess a broad array of passions, hobbies, and interests. Which is to say, they’re people — people of the highest order. In this space, we’re giving you the opportunity to learn about them — as scientists, as family members, and most importantly, as fellow human beings.

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Luisa Bozano

Luisa Bozano, PhD

Cogniscent
IBM Research – Almaden


Luisa Bozano, PhD

Luisa Bozano has been a research scientist at IBM’s Almaden Research Center since 2000. Her research focuses on discovering and developing methods for making self-assembling molecular electronics, such as memories, aimed at being significantly cheaper than today’s silicon-based devices. A native of Genova (Genoa), Italy, Luisa earned her PhD in Physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001.


Giaocomo Nannicini

Giaocomo Nannicini, PhD

Quantum Computer Science
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Giacomo Nannicini, PhD

Giacomo Nannicini is a Research Staff Member in the Theory of Quantum Computing and Information group at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Before joining IBM, he was an assistant professor in the Engineering Systems and Design pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. His main research interests are optimization and quantum algorithms. Giacomo received several awards, including the 2016 COIN-OR Cup, the 2015 Robert Faure prize, and the 2012 Glover-Klingman prize.


Daniel Sanders

Daniel Sanders, PhD

Accelerated Materials Discovery
IBM Research – Almaden


Daniel Sanders, PhD

Dan Sanders is a Principal Research Staff Member and Manager of the Electronic Materials and Accelerated Materials Discovery research groups at IBM Research – Almaden.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Polymer Science and Engineering in 1996 and Master’s degree in Macromolecular Science in 1999, both from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH).  Later, he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA).  In 2004, he joined IBM’s Almaden Research Center as a Research Staff Member in the Lithography group, of which he has been the manager since 2012. In 2018, he added management responsibility for the Accelerated Materials Discovery group, which seeks to apply informatics, AI, and automation to speed the discovery of new materials. As part of his responsibilities, Dan is currently the principal investigator of the Accelerated Materials Discovery project within the IBM Research Frontiers Institute.


John Collins

John Collins, PhD

MicroBattery
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


John Collins, PhD

John Collins received his PhD in Physical & Analytical Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014. After finishing postdoctoral work at Texas A&M in spectro-electrochemical chemistry and the University of California, Santa Barbara in Graphene Quantum Dot Synthesis, John joined the IBM team at the T.J. Watson Center for Research in 2016.

During his 3 years at IBM he has focused on electrochemical 3D & 2D device architecture, electrode/electrolyte synthesis and in-situ control of interfacial chemistry for parallel applications in both energy storage and neuromorphic devices at multiple scales. His current research interests involve the scalable design and fabrication of combined silicon wafer-encapsulated and silicon electrode-active energy storage devices as well as development of novel Electrochemical-RAM (ECRAM) MEM-resistor devices. John’s utilization of IBM’s silicon technology know-how combined with wafer-level integration of 3D composite active materials enable remote power sources and electrochemical-based memory devices at the millimeter-scale and beyond.


Daniel Friedman

Daniel Friedman, PhD

Small Computer
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Daniel J. Friedman

Daniel J. Friedman received his PhD in Engineering Science from Harvard University in 1992. After completing consulting work at MIT Lincoln Labs and postdoctoral work at Harvard in image sensor design, he joined the IBM in 1994. His initial work at IBM was the design of analog circuits and air interface protocols for field-powered RFID tags.

Since 2009, Daniel has been manager of the communication circuits and systems group, adding responsibility for teams in millimeter-wave wireless and digital communications IC design. His current research interests include high-speed I/O design, PLL design, and circuit/system approaches to enabling new computing paradigms.


Augusto Vega

Augusto Vega, PhD

Adaptive Swarm Intelligence
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Augusto Vega, PhD

Augusto Vega is a Research Staff Member within the Efficient & Resilient Systems group at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. He has been involved in research and development work in the areas of highly-reliable power-efficient embedded designs, cognitive systems and mobile computing. He is a driver and promoter of the swarm intelligence (a.k.a. cloud-back mobile cognition) paradigm with potential application to autonomous/connected vehicles, drones, wearable devices, mobile health monitoring and cyber-physical systems, among others. He has several pending/issued patents and published papers, and has served on conference technical program committees in the area of highly-reliable power-efficient systems.

Augusto Vega holds a Ph.D. degree on Computer Architecture from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Spain, and a M.Sc. degree on Computer Architecture, Networks and Systems from the same university.


Alberto Valdes Garcia

Alberto Valdes Garcia, PhD

AI Technology for the Invisible
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Alberto Valdes Garcia, PhD

Alberto Valdes Garcia is a Research Staff Member and manager of the RF Circuits and Systems Group at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2005 Best Doctoral Thesis Award presented by the IEEE Test Technology Technical Council (TTTC), and the 2007 National Youth Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements. Alberto is an industry leader with over 100 authored or co-authored publications, and his scholarly work has received more than 2,000 independent citations. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology.

At IBM Research, Alberto has been motivated by the opportunities offered by multi-disciplinary collaborations. Some of his recent projects include the world’s first graphene integrated circuit, the first IEEE standard for 60GHz communications, and radio technology for future 5G mobile communications. Alberto is currently working to derive real-time insights about invisible physical phenomena, and to make these insights available to various industries, including security, quality control, and healthcare.


Ralf Kaestner

Ralf Kaestner, PhD

Spatial Cognition
IBM Research – Zurich


Ralf Kaestner, PhD

Dr. Ralf Kaestner (male, PhD 2013). RSM Foundations of Cognitive Solutions. Dr. Kaestner received his Diploma in Computer Science in 2006 from the Ilmenau Technical University and his Ph.D. degree in robotics from ETH Zurich (Switzlerand) in 2013. He was a visiting researcher at the Stanford Robotics Lab under the supervision of Dr. Thrun in 2004/2005. In his doctoral thesis, he developed perception algorithms for robotics mapping and localization and then remained at ETH Zurich as a PostDoc where he conducted several EU- and industry-funded robotics projects. In 2016, Dr. Kaestner joined IBM Research – Zurich with a focus on perceptual computer vision algorithms for spatial cognition problems. In 2018, he was promoted to RSM.


Leo Gross

Leo Gross, PhD

Nanoscopes
IBM Research – Zurich


Leo Gross, PhD

Leo Gross is a Research Staff Member at IBM Research in Zurich. Leo joined IBM after receiving his PhD in Physics from the Free University of Berlin. His work is focused on atomic and molecular manipulation by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), as well as nanostencil lithography. In 2009, he and his coworkers pioneered atomic resolution on molecules by AFM using functionalized tips. Leo is the recipient of the 2012 Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology and the Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award in 2010.

Leo is currently working on developing a powerful nanoscope technology that will help gain direct insight of nano-landscapes relevant across industries. The resulting technology will help gain a vantage point into new phenomena and inherent heterogeneity previously not visible, for a deeper understanding on which to build disruptive solutions.


Hendrik Hamann

Hendrik Hamann, PhD

Macroscopes
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Hendrik Hamann, PhD

Hendrik F. Hamann is a Principal Research Staff Member and Senior Research Manager at the T.J. Watson Research Center. He received his PhD from the University of Göttingen in Germany, and since joining IBM, has worked on a wide breadth of projects, from the combination of physical models, machine-learning, and big data technologies; internet of things (IoT), sensor-based physical modeling; system physics with applications in renewable energy; and energy management; as well as nanotechnology.

An IBM Master Inventor and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, Hendrik has authored and co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds over 90 patents, and has over 70 pending patent applications. A career innovator, he was the first to develop a novel, near-field optical microscope to study single molecules at high spatial resolution. He helped IBM win a Vintage Report Innovation Award for the wine industry, by co-developing a prototype irrigation system based on IoT technology. Outside of the lab, Hendrik is an avid long-distance runner, admiring its simplicity and using it as a means to explore nature.


Abram Falk

Abram Falk, PhD

Nanopixel Spatial Light Modulator
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Abram Falk, PhD

Abram Falk is an IBM Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY. Prior to joining IBM in 2014, Abram obtained is Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was awarded the Elings Prize in Experimental Science.

 

Abram is in expert in nanophotonics and solid-state quantum optics. His Ph.D. work on electrical plasmon detection demonstrated the viability of electrically integrated quantum plasmonic circuits. He then developed a method for optically pumping room-temperature nuclear polarization in silicon carbide, a first for a material that plays a leading role in the semiconductor industry.

 

In the past few years, he has researched how the plasmon resonances of low-dimensional materials can confine light to the true nanometer scale. These sorts of systems can exhibit fascinating phenemona like ultrastrong light-matter interactions, hyperbolic dispersion, and single-photon nonlinearities. The integration of nanophotonic components into electrically driven devices promises to bring forth a new generation of optical technologies, including holographic displays, solid-state LIDAR systems, and optically linked quantum networks.


Chandra Narayanaswami

Chandra Narayanaswami, PhD

Physical Blockchain
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Chandra Narayanaswami, PhD

Chandra is passionate about innovating and tries to deeply influence both the industry and the academic communites, and transitively our society, with his efforts. He earned his PhD in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Bombay. Chandra is an IEEE Fellow, a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, and holds 102 US Patents and 174 patents worldwide.

Chandra is currently investigating applications of blockchain technologies for supply chain, freight and logistics, food safety and provenance. Interesting challenges abound in operating infrastructure and efficiency, business value and financial incentives, organizational dynamics and behaviors in blockchains, data standards and interoperability, in situ blockchain applications, and in enabling data to be born on the blockchain.

Ahmet Ozcan

Ahmet Ozcan, PhD

Machine Intelligence
IBM Research – Almaden


Ahmet Ozcan, PhD

Ahmet S. Ozcan is the manager of the Machine Intelligence group at the IBM Almaden Research Center in California. He received his PhD in Physics from Boston University and joined IBM in 2006. He had worked in IBM’s Microelectronics division and contributed to the development of several CMOS technology nodes, which were commercialized in IBM P and Z server products and in mobile devices through JDA partnerships. In 2015, after an assignment in France on FDSOI technology development, Ahmet took a big interest in brain-inspired computing and moved to Silicon Valley. He and his team work on developing new algorithms guided by neuroscience and cognitive psychology. An IBM Master Inventor, Ahmet has authored and co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, holds over 45 patents and over 50 pending patent applications. Outside the lab, Ahmet enjoys photography and music.


Lior Horesh

Lior Horesh, PhD

Interpretable ML: Symbolic Regression
IBM Research – Thomas J Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights


Lior Horesh, PhD

Dr. Lior Horesh is a Principal Research Staff Member, Master Inventor and a Senior Manager of the ‎Mathematics of AI group at IBM Research. His group’s mission is to approach some of the big ‎challenges the field of AI is facing, from a principled mathematical angle. This involves both conceiving ‎and bringing in state-of-the-art mathematical theories, algorithms and analysis tools, in hope of ‎advancing fundamentally generalizability, scalability and interpretability of AI. Additionally, Dr. Horesh ‎holds an adjunct Associate Professor position at the Computer Science department of Columbia ‎University where he teaches graduate level Advanced Machine Learning and Quantum Computing ‎courses. Dr. Horesh Received his Ph.D. in 2006 from UCL and joined IBM in 2009. His own research ‎work focuses on algorithmic and theoretical aspects of tensor algebra, numerical analysis, simulation ‎of complex systems, inverse problems, non-linear optimization, experimental design, quantum ‎computing and the interplay between first principles models and AI. Dr. Horesh is the PI of AFRL ‎‎(Quantum Computing Algorithms), DARPA (AI Research Associate) and RFI (Interpretable ML: Symbolic ‎Regression) grants. 


Patrick Ruch

Patrick Ruch, PhD

Hypertaste
IBM Research – Zurich


Patrick Ruch, PhD

Patrick Ruch is a Research Staff Member in the Science & Technology department at IBM Research – Zurich. Patrick studied Materials Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where he received his PhD degree in 2009 for work on electrochemical capacitors performed at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI). His main research interests are in energy conversion and storage with applications to efficient computing systems and sustainable energy technologies.

He is currently responsible for exploratory and applied research regarding electrochemical energy conversion, electrochemical sensing and solid sorption heat pump technology.


Martin Rufli

Martin Rufli, PhD

Spatial Cognition
IBM Research – Zurich


Martin Rufli, PhD

Martin Rufli is a Research Staff Member and the technical lead of the Spatial Cognition Team at IBM Research Zurich. He holds a PhD in Robotics from ETH Zurich.

At IBM Research, Martin has been shaping the spatial cognition roadmap with a special emphasis on camera-based environment modelling (including visual odometry and 3D reconstruction) and visual reasoning / question answering. His previous interests include robotic motion planning and control.