African-American Mark E. Dean is one of the top engineering minds at the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation.
He made his first mark in the industry in the early 1980s, when he and a colleague developed a system that allowed computers to communicate with printers and other devices. Every time you print something, you can thank Dean. In all, Dean holds 20 patents (he holds three of IBM’s original nine PC patents), and was honored as one of the “50 Most Important African Americans in Technology” by the California African-American Museum in 2000.
In 1996, he was named an IBM fellow, the first African-American ever to receive the honor. A year later, he was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was tapped to be a member of the National Academy of Engineers. Dean feels the need to increase awareness of the contributions of African American engineers to the African American community and the engineering industry in general.
He is currently the John Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, was previously Chief Techology Officer (CTO) for IBM Middle East and Africa, and was an IBM Vice President overseeing the company’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California prior to that.