GEM Receives 2022 Presidential Award for Excellence in promoting STEM

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David Watts, PhD

Dr. Watts currently serves as Vice President, IBM Z System Development. He is responsible for developing and delivering the next generation of differentiated IBM Z systems into new and existing clients and markets. He serves on multiple councils with top IBM clients such as the IBM Z Design Council (ZDC) or the General Manager’s Advisory Council (GMAC). He is also the creator and executive sponsor of multiple programs within IBM serving underrepresented minority (URM) employees and students such as Black in STEM, DOers, Spectrum, and STAR.


Prior to this Dr. Watts was Vice President, IBM Systems Strategy for the IBM Systems Business Unit. He was responsible for establishing and implementing the strategic direction for IBM Systems in collaboration with the IBM Systems CFO, brand General Managers, sales, and marketing. He has also served as Director, IBM Systems Technology Development leading a global organization across multiple sites in countries such as the USA, Germany, Israel, and India, with teams responsible for development and delivery of next generation IBM servers.  Dr. Watts has also owned driving the Research and Development Joint Program for the Vice President of Technology Development. He collaborated with executive leaders in IBM research to achieve strategic and tactical priorities within the program.  Dr. Watts also has a wealth of experience and expertise in computer device technology development, beginning at Motorola’s Advanced Products Research and Development Labs (APRDL), where he successfully developed and ramped into manufacturing an industry leading process for the first ever 6-level copper semiconductor devices at the 180 nm technology node and beyond. He continued his innovative contributions at small startup and mid-sized companies prior to joining IBM, where he developed qualified semiconductor device fabrication processes for enhanced yield as well as capital and materials cost reduction. He managed technology development at IBM’s Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC), where his work in collaboration with IBM Alliance partners such as AMD, Samsung, Toshiba, Chartered, Infineon, and Freescale, enabled the successful integration of advanced technology nodes from research to manufacturing.

Dr. Watts has demonstrated innovative excellence throughout his career with numerous high value patents, publications and invited or keynote presentations. He received his undergraduate and graduate education from Carleton College in Minnesota (BS), the University of California at Berkeley (MS) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (PhD).