Medtronic, one of the world’s leading medical device manufacturers, has appointed Iowa State alumnus Charles Sidebottom (BSEE’68) a technical fellow. The appointment acknowledges his 31 years of leadership and exemplary contributions to the company.
Medtronic established the Technical Fellow Program to recognize top technical employees who are distinguished in their field. Of the approximately 40,000 people employed at the Minneapolis-based company, only 80 are active technical fellows, and over its history the company has recognized a total of 150 people.
Upon receiving word he was elected fellow, Sidebottom felt honored to join this elite group of individuals. “I was very pleased,” he said. “In my eyes the technical fellowship is a recognition of the contributions I have made during my career and serves as an accolade for all my hard work.”
Throughout Sidebottom’s 31 years with Medtronic, he has been involved in several areas of the company, but he attributes his selection as fellow to the work he has done over the last 20 years in standardization. Specifically, he has been leading the Medtronic Corporate Standards program since 2000, which has been essential to both the company and the medical industry.
Sidebottom describes the standardization program as important because it directly impacts patient and worker safety. “There is a great deal of satisfaction coupled with the job because you can see a direct connection between what we do and the effect it has on others,” explained Sidebottom.
Along with recognition, technical fellows are also entrusted with a variety of responsibilities, including organizing and running the annual science and technology conferences. These conferences, which include a large event in the United States and a smaller one in Europe, showcase research and development projects while providing opportunities for Medtronic scientists, inventors, and engineers to interact and learn from each other.
Additionally, Sidebottom says his appointment will be a great opportunity for him to prepare the next generation so they, too, can succeed. “As a fellow, the most important role is being a mentor and providing technical leadership in your discipline,” Sidebottom explained.
Other honors he has received for his work in standardization include the Robert Fairer Award in 2005 and the Patrick G. Laing Award in 2009, both from ASTM International, along with the 2007 Standards Developer Award from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. Each of these awards, coupled with Sidebottom’s recent appointment as technical fellow, speak to his influence in the profession.