Personal Computer Inventor to Join College of Engineering Faculty

Mark DeanMark Dean, co-inventor of the personal computer, will join UT’s College of Engineering faculty this fall.

Dean arrives at UT from IBM, where he most recently served as chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai.

He begins on September 1 as the John Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Dean, a 1979 engineering alumnus, is responsible for developing technology that allows us to plug anything into computers—keyboards, mice, monitors, modems, printers, speakers, scanners—and have the devices and PCs communicate seamlessly. He holds three of the nine original patents on the computer that all PCs are based upon, and more than forty patents overall.

“Mark is an outstanding addition to a college that is growing in size and achievement,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “His work has revolutionized the way we live and his computer science expertise will continue to be a game-changer in his research and mentoring here at UT.”

Dean’s other contributions include managing teams that developed the world’s first one-gigahertz processor chip and the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Blue Gene.

Dean was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1996, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001, and received the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 1997 and 2000. He was named an IBM Fellow, IBM’s highest technical honor, in 1996, has fourteen IBM Invention Achievement Awards and six IBM Corporate Awards, received the US Department of Commerce’s Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award in 1997, was named one of U.S. News & World Report‘s “Innovators of the 21st Century” in 2000, awarded the 2006 National Institute of Science Outstanding Scientist Award, and honored with the 2006 Distinguished Torch Award from the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow, and a National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished Engineer.

Dean was also honored with the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award, UT’s highest honor, and the 2005 College of Engineering’s Nathan W. Dougherty Award, the college’s highest honor. He has been a longtime member of the college’s Board of Advisors.

“Dr. Dean has had an outstanding career in his role as an engineer and scientist at IBM,” said Wayne Davis, dean of the college. “In his recent senior roles as vice president of technical strategy and worldwide operations and more recently in Africa and the Middle East, he brings tremendous insight with him that will assist the college with its corporate and global activities. We welcome Mark back to Tennessee!”

In his most recent position at IBM, Dean worked to provide necessary resources to create an environment through which African countries are able to create, manufacture, and distribute finished and inventive goods and services. Prior to moving abroad, Dean served as vice president at IBM and lab director of IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.

Dean was one of the College of Engineering’s first minority students to receive the Minority Engineering Scholarship, now called the Diversity Engineering Scholarship. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1979, graduating with highest honors. He later earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida Atlantic University and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

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