IndustryWeek began naming the Technology Leader of the Year in 1993 with the induction of Dr. George H. Heilmeier – one of the most decorated and celebrated innovators of his day.
Since then the list has grown to honor the achievements of the industry's most influential players when they were still rising stars in their fields.
Over the years, we have honored the early work of Bill Gates and Netscape founder Jim Clark who built digital empires when the Internet was still a wild, untamed terrain. We celebrated the work of GE's Jeff Immelt. and DuPont's Charles Holliday when they defined technology's role in the early days of the sustainability movement. And, after a brief hiatus, in 2013 the title went to the inexhaustible innovator, Elon Musk. This year, we celebrate the work of Greg Morris, the additive manufacturing leader at GE Aviation, whose work has helped put industrial 3-D printing on the map.
The one thing these winners all have in common is that they've changed the industry around them. These leaders arrived on the scene at the front edge of their fields and provided the last push to achieve gigantic, transformational breakthroughs that echoed through their industries.
These are the legends in the field, the leaders that changed technology forever.