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Optical Film Inventor Honored

Andy Ouderkirk named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.

Andy Ouderkirk, a scientist in 3M's Electronics Markets Materials Division, was named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.

A top 3M scientist has been recognized for his work in optical film development. Andy Ouderkirk, corporate scientist in 3M's Electronics Markets Materials Division, was named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.

3M's Andy Ouderkirk. Image: 3M

Ouderkirk was honored for his work in inventing advanced optical films, and furthering practical development processes. Ouderkirk helped develop 3M's Multilayer Optical Film, which has light management properties that conserve energy. It is used in a variety of consumer electronics, including computer displays, tablets, phones and other gadgets. He holds 170 patents.

The films developed at 3M have aided the mobile computing and television markets in improving brightness, reflectivity of incident light, and operational efficiency. Ouderkirk helped 3M anticipate the shift to LED backlights in the LCD industry, and formed the team responsible for the first pico projector. According to the magazine, Ouderkirk was also selected because of his ability to “pursue materials development in parallel with new manufacturing processes.”

“3M’s culture of openness, networking and freedom to cross disciplines and boundaries and take risk are all incredibly important to the success of the company and in nurturing employees’ creativity and growth,” said Ouderkirk. “My work and the collaboration with my colleagues and with customers are pathways to impact and transform people’s lives with new ideas that come to life. I am deeply honored to be recognized as the 2013 Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.”

3M's optical film  line now includes the Enhanced Specular Reflector (ESR), a “mirror film” that the company says is the most reflective surface on the planet.It provides mirror-like reflectivity over the entire visible spectrum at all angles. The most recent addition to the film group is Collimating Multilayer Optical Film (CMOF), which aligns light rays and broadens the viewing angle of an LCD display.

Source: R&D Magazine

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Brian Albright

Brian Albright is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at

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