Co-founder, president, and chief technology officer, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., Rochester Hills, founded 1960. The son of a Lithuanian-born dealer in scrap metal collected from the foundries and machine shops in Akron, Ovshinsky opened a machine shop after high school, but eventually focused his research on the semiconductivity of certain types of metals. The research led to world-changing breakthroughs in photovoltaics, information storage, batteries and more.

WHERE BORN: Akron, Ohio

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My father and my wife Iris.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I always read four or five books in parallel, but the last one I finished was ‘Einstein 1905’ by John Rigden.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “I think it would be better for somebody else to describe me.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The foundation of the global economy is energy and information, and in my scientific view, information is just encoded energy. We’re in the business of replacing fossil fuels and minimizing climate change gases and global pollution and eliminating wars over oil. We do that by solving the problems that have held back replacements for fossil fuels. We’re also seeking technologies to replace flash memory.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “Since technology and science have been my life since I was child, I really have no favorites. It’d be like asking which is my favorite child.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Home and the plant. Home is a sanctuary, but the plant is a sanctuary, too.”

FAVORITE HOBBY: “Learning. I’m learning all the time. I swim a lot, too.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Good food that’s international. Iris is a wonderful cook. Anything she makes is my favorite food.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Scientists know my talents. Machine builders and inventors know my talents.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As somebody who did what he said he was going to do and somebody who changed the world and made it a better place.”