Heike Riel, an IBM fellow and executive director of the IBM Research Frontiers Institute and IoT Technology, was named to the EDITION F "25 Women Award" in Germany. She received the award June 26 in Berlin.
The award focuses on 25 women whose inventions have helped change the world, and contenders were limited to women from Switzerland, Austria or Germany.
Riel was nominated for her role in the development of the active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AMOLED display.
AMOLED displays are used in mobile devices, including laptops and smartwatches, and consist of an organic compound that forms an electro-luminescent material. This material reduces the response time to less than a millisecond, and consumes significantly less energy compared to LCD screens, for example.
Riel studied physics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and received a Ph.D. from the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
She joined IBM Research – Zurich in 1998 where she developed the technology.
The award winners were chosen by EDITION F, a German news and lifestyle website for women, with cooperation by some of Germany's leading news outlets that asked for nominations of women whose inventions have made life easier, better and more enjoyable.
Prior to her work in technology, Riel apprenticed as a woodworker, creating furniture. It’s something she continues to do today as a hobby.