President, retired
Pixar & Disney Animation

Edwin Catmull

Dr. Ed Catmull
Former President
Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios

Dr. Ed Catmull is a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, and served as President of Pixar for 33 years, while also serving as President of Walt Disney Animation Studios for 13 of those 33 years. Previously, Dr. Catmull was vice President of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he managed development in the areas of computer graphics, video editing, video games, and digital audio.

Catmull's book, the New York Times bestseller, “CREATIVITY, INC.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration,” and which Fast Company described as "what just might be the most thoughtful management book ever," was published by Random House in 2014.

Dr. Catmull founded three of the leading centers of computer graphics research – including the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Pixar Animation Studios. These organizations have been home to many of the most academically respected researchers in the field and have produced some of the most fundamental advances in computer graphics, including image compositing, motion blur, subdivision surfaces, cloth simulation, and rendering techniques, texture mapping, and the z-buffer. Dr. Catmull is one of the architects of the RenderMan rendering software, which has been used in over 90% of Academy Award® winners for Visual Effects over the past 20 years.

Dr. Catmull has been honored with five Academy Awards, including two Oscars for his work and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Catmull also received the ACM SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award for his lifetime contributions in the computer graphics field, the Progress Medal and the Fuji Gold Medal awards from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and the animation industry’s Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancements in the art or industry of animation.  Additionally, he was the recipient of the IEEE’s John von Neumann Medal for fundamental contributions to computer graphics and pioneering use of computer animation in motion pictures.

He is active in several professional organizations.  Dr. Catmull is an ACM Turing Award Laureate; He is a Fellow of the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), the Computer History Museum, and a dedicated participant in ACM SIGGRAPH for nearly 40 years.  Dr. Catmull also is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering the Visual Effects Society, and the IEEE’s Computer Society. Dr. Catmull was inducted as a Visual Effects Society Fellow, and into the Visual Effects Society’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Catmull earned B.S. degrees in each of physics and computer science and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah.  In 2005, the University of Utah presented him with an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Engineering, and in 2015 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Johns Hopkins University.