Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin
Innovation Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
While an engineer-scientist 1965-78, Bob Metcalfe was an Internet pioneer, inventing Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1973. Today, over a billion new wired and wireless (WiFi) Ethernet ports are shipped annually. While an entrepreneur-executive 1979-90, Bob grew 3Com Corporation, the billion-dollar networking company. 3Com went public in 1984, did $5.7 billion in sales during 1999, and joined HP in 2010.
During the 1990s, Bob was Publisher of IDG InfoWorld, where for eight years he wrote an Internet column read weekly by over half million information technologists. His two books include Packet Communication and Internet Collapses.
Bob was a General Partner of Polaris Venture Partners 2001-2010 and continues as Emeritus Partner of the Massachusetts-based venture capital firm. Bob earned two bachelor’s degrees, in electrical engineering and in industrial management, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard. He served as Consulting Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford 1975-1983, Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University 1991-1992, and is a Life Trustee of MIT.
Bob is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and International Engineering Consortium. He received the Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Bell Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Public Understanding of Science Award from the Exploratorium, and IEEE Medal of Honor.
In 2005, Bob received the National Medal of Technology for “leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet.” He entered the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007 and Computer History Museum Hall of Fellows in 2008.
Bob is now five years into his 10-year mission of helping UT Austin help Austin be a better Silicon Valley.