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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Lisa Su, 32

Hardware

IBM

People often ask Lisa Su why she works for IBM—after all, aren’t startups where the glamour is? Su’s response: “I can run a group that’s like a startup, yet I have the resources available at IBM.” Her Emerging Products group focuses on low-power and broadband semiconductors as well as biochips. Its first product is a microprocessor that improves battery life in handheld assistants and cell phones. Su hired the group’s 10 employees and says their role is to develop broadband products that will “give my mom instant, unlimited access to information, anytime, anywhere, in any form.” After joining IBM in 1995,Su, who has a PhD in electrical engineering, played a critical role in integrating copper connections into semiconductor chips, solving the problem of preventing copper impurities from contaminating the devices during production. The technology, unveiled in 1998,led to chips that were 10 to 20 percent faster than those with conventional aluminum connections. Su showed she had management acumen and was allowed to start Emerging Products. “Lisa became an IBM executive in five years,” says colleague Scottie Ginn, “quicker than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

2002 TR35 Winners

Andrew Barrows

Transportation

Elisabeth M. Belding-Royer

Telecommunications

Vincent Berger

Telecommunications

Eric Bonabeau

Software

Daniel Branagan

Materials

Arnaud Brignon

Hardware

Howie Choset

Hardware

Michelle Effros

Telecommunications

Alexander Fay

Transportation

Claire Gmachl

Telecommunications

Michael Hansen

Hardware

Tom Hyongsok Soh

Telecommunications

Matt Keyser

Energy

Kara Kockelman

Transportation

Paul Krajewski

Transportation

Der-Horng Lee

Transportation

Ihor Lys

Hardware

Larry Mianzo

Transportation

Chahab Nastar

Software

Bill Nguyen

Telecommunications

Rajesh Reddy

Telecommunications

Vincent Rijmen

Software

Jonathan Rosenberg

Telecommunications

Steven Shaw

Energy

Anna Stefanopoulou

Transportation

Lisa Su

Hardware

Vahid Tarokh

Telecommunications

Steve Tuecke

Software

Les Welch

Transportation

Sean Willems

Software

Neil Young

Entertainment

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