About: As a 3M corporate scientist, Dr. Andy Ouderkirk’s role is to create new business opportunities by combining market trends, manufacturing capabilities and technologies.
Andy, who has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Northwestern University, has been with 3M since 1985. He is an inventor on 192 issued U.S. patents and has more than 50 publications and invited presentations. Recognitions over the years include the Fast Company Fast 50 award, Finance and Commerce Innovator of the Year, American Chemical Society National Award for Creative Invention and the R&D Magazine Innovator of the Year. He is also a member of the 3M Carlton Society, a “hall of fame” of 3M scientists.
He is quick to share his hard-won knowledge and expertise with others. Andy is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and sits on the board of advisors for the Center for Global Innovation at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, as well as the board for the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center at Northwestern University. He served on the advisory boards of the Singapore National Research Foundation, the Singapore Economic Strategy Committee and the MIT/Singapore alliance. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota developing a program to develop innovators.
“Leadership in platform development is in applying existing platforms to solve current customer problems, and developing teams that expand and create new platforms to provide growth,” Andy says.
One example of his putting this philosophy into action is the development of 3M’s Multilayer Optical Film (MOF) business. He led teams that developed films used in smart cards and windows, broadband reflectors used in displays and solar collectors and advanced polarizing film commonly used in smartphones.
The MOF opportunity was identified and developed in 3M using a new framework for managing market-disruptive products. Andy is one of the lead developers of this framework, called new platform architecture. He is currently leading a technical team expanding platform applications for Virtual and Augmented Reality.