UTinSV Connects UT & Silicon Valley Innovators

The distance between Silicon Valley and The University of Texas at Austin seems closer than ever, with UTinSV connecting industry leadership with faculty and research expertise.

The distance between Silicon Valley and The University of Texas at Austin seems closer than ever since the inaugural UTinSV event on March 6 in Silicon Valley. Sponsored by UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering, UTinSV connected industry leadership in Silicon Valley with UT faculty and research expertise.

UTinSV group photo

Left to right: Tom Fallon, president and CEO of Infinera Corporation; Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of technologies at Apple; Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet co-inventor and UT Austin professor of innovation; Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering; and Mark Papermaster, AMD senior vice president and chief technology officer.

The March event focused on the future of heterogeneous wireless networks and exploring new territory with nanomanufacturing. The highlight was a lively discussion between Ethernet co-inventor and UT professor of innovation Bob Metcalfe and Apple Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield.

The inaugural UTinSV was held at AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., with Silicon Valley Advisory Council members Mark Papermaster, AMD senior vice president and chief technology officer, and Tom Fallon, president and CEO of Infinera Corporation, serving as local hosts. Cockrell School of Engineering Dean Gregory L. Fenves gave an overview of Cockrell School's research initiatives and ways in which the school and university hope to foster increased connections between companies in Silicon Valley and students and faculty at UT.

The Wireless Panel discussed technical challenges facing the mobile computing industry such as the spectrum crunch, better optimization of video downloads and keeping cloud computing secure. The Nanomanufacturing Panel covered a range of research that is ramping up at the new UT Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) Engineering Research Center (ERC). NASCENT is forming industrial partnerships with companies to explore applications utilizing nanosculpting, nanometrology and nanomanufacturing. Students from the Cockrell School were also on hand to present their research projects to attendees. 

The main attraction of UTinSV was an animated conversation between the Bobs (Metcalfe and Mansfield) that mostly touched on Mansfield's career path, which has culminated in his current leadership role guiding Apple's technologies. He spoke of his first encounter with Steve Jobs, the mutual respect they developed for one another during their 14 years working together and the uniqueness of the Apple culture, where creativity is fostered at all levels.

The UT Silicon Valley Advisory Council has already started planning upcoming events, including a Virtual Career Fair in fall of 2013 and UTinSV 2014 that will take place next January. To join the UTinSV conversation, check out the UTinSV LinkedIn group or send the Cockrell School UTinSV planning a group an email with questions and thoughts.