Two IBM (NYSE: IBM) researchers – Drs. Abdigani Diriye and Fabian Menges – have been recognized as honorees on the Innovators Under 35 list released today by MIT Technology Review. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

The two scientists, from IBM’s Research labs in Kenya and Switzerland, are focused on improving financial access for all Africans and enhancing our understanding of the thermal phenomena that occur in nanoscale structures and devices.

  • Dr. Abdigani Diriye is a scientist and a manager at  IBM Research – Africa in Nairobi and he has been recognized as a visionary for his work. Diriye leads the financial services research group, which is focused on technologies to enable people in Africa to access financial services easily. The team has recently developed and deployed a credit scoring system, which is now giving millions of people access to micro-loans through cellphone apps, including funds to meet medical emergencies or to operate a small business. Diriye has also launched an accelerator for startups in his native Somalia, which has ignited a community of innovators, engineers, NGOs and private-sector companies who now support and invest in the local startup tech scene.
  • Dr. Fabian Menges is a post-doctoral researcher in the materials integration & nanoscale devices group at IBM Research in Zurich and he has been recognized as a pioneer for his work. Menges’ research focuses on the experimental characterization of thermal energy transfer and conversion processes in electronic devices. Recently, Menges and his colleagues invented and patented a thermometer for the nanoscale. The research was motivated by the challenge to understand the thermophysical processes which occur at the scale of individual transistors to support the development of novel materials for energy harvesting and cognitive computing. Menges has recently accepted the prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship with which he will continue his research at the University of Colorado in collaboration with IBM.

This year’s honorees are featured online at www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35starting today, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on August 29. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference November 6–9 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.EmTechMIT.com).