18. Rob Carter

CIO, FedEx Corp.

Rob Carter, 51, bombed out of premed before deciding to indulge his fascination with computers. His latest innovation combines his tech expertise with his early interest in health care: FedEx's SenseAware technology, launching in June, monitors the whereabouts of heart valves, knee implants, and other critically sensitive life-science shipments. "One of the basic needs we saw was a sensor-based logistics industry that wasn't solidifying as quickly as we thought it should," says Carter. Developing the system, which uses light and temperature signals to notify recipients if a package has been opened before it meets its intended destination, took him and his team three years. The FAA finally approved it for use on FedEx flights last year.

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