Episode 60 – And God said… Let there be patents!
Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen
Guest: Ruthie D. Lyle, PhD
This week’s episode features the Black woman believed to have the most issued patents in the entire world. Dr. Ruthie D. Lyle is an “emerging technology junkie” and has made her mark by being the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering to being one of the first African Americans to hold the title of IBM Master Inventor.
Listen as this multi-talented, multi-passionate leader shares what drew her to patent work and how we need to all focus on engaging youth in AI.
Dr. Ruthie D. Lyle is the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, previously Polytechnic University. In 2021 she was graced with the privilege of being the Commencement Speaker for the Tandon School of Engineering graduating class.
Her professional career began at IBM, where she held positions in hardware and software design, intellectual property management and technical project management. While at IBM, she recognized her innovation tendencies and successfully passed the Patent Bar becoming a registered United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Agent with credentials to prosecute patent applications before the USPTO. She is one of the first African Americans to hold the title of IBM Master Inventor and lead multiple IBM Enterprise-level Patent Review Boards.
She then spent almost a decade at USAA helping to create the Strategic Emerging Technology Research Program. A program focused on understanding emerging technologies and their impact through the USAA business lens.
She has distinguished herself as an Innovation Thought Leader. She has earned over 220 issued patents; and is believed to have the most inventions for any black woman in the world. In 2021, she earned over 21 patents and was listed as an inventor on 6.8% of the total patents granted to her previous employer, USAA, during that year.
Today she is a Principal Technical Patent Architect at NVIDIA. A role that really appeals to her because it serves both her analytical side and creative sides. In just two short years, she has had the opportunity to take on projects that align with her personal mission. She jumped at the chance to lead NVIDIA’s work on diversity in inventorship effort, and works closely with the USIPA consortium members. She also was encouraged when a proposal to define and pilot a new program, Pathways to AI was supported by her manager, even though it was not strictly in her organization. Pathways to AI is a program intended to help unserved constituents women, people of color and those without access to the type of AI education that someplace like Stanford could afford. Her thought was not to reach outside but to look internally at the NVIDIA technical talent pool, and provide opportunities for current employees to gain “real-world” AI and Machine Learning project experience, to even use this as a stepping stone to change career trajectories.
Among her current interests “AI for Good” and Augmented Intelligence come to the top of the list. As a committed lifelong learner, she is passionate about the impact of technology on society. She celebrates the NVIDIA’s culture and the “One Team” philosophy.
Ruthie is a wife, a mother, and an avid supporter of education and activities that encourage women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in STEM fields. She also enjoys recreational running.