Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

About Bob

Photo of Bob Metcalfe

Dr. Bob Metcalfe, inventor of today's local-area networking standard, Ethernet, is professor of innovation at the Cockrell School of Engineering. He is Fellow of the Clint W. Murchison Sr. Chair of Free Enterprise and is a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. This fall, Metcalfe is teaching 1 Semester Startup, a class aimed at helping students form interdisciplinary teams to start companies, assisted with a semester-long program of startup acceleration.

Metcalfe brings to the Cockrell School a variety of experiences and career contributions. He has been a partner of Polaris Venture Partners since 2001 and will continue to advise the Massachusetts-based firm as a venture partner. During the 1990s, Metcalfe was publisher of InfoWorld and wrote an Internet column with half a million weekly readers. During the 1980s, Metcalfe founded IPOed, and grew the billion-dollar computer networking company, 3Com Corp., which merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2010. In the 1970s, Metcalfe worked in the Computer Science Laboratory of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he invented today's local-area networking standard, Ethernet. Metcalfe also served as a consulting associate professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University (1975-83), where he taught early courses in distributed computing.

Metcalfe holds two bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and industrial management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master's degree in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard University.

In 1980, Metcalfe received the Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and in 1988 received the Bell Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 1995, Metcalfe was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1996 he received the IEEE's Medal of Honor. In 1997, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1999 to the International Engineering Consortium. In 2003, Metcalfe received the Marconi Prize. In 2005, he received the National Medal of Technology for his "leadership in the invention, standardization and commercialization of Ethernet." Metcalfe entered the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Computer History Museum Hall of Fellows in 2008.