Cockrell School’s Bob Metcalfe Named MIT Visiting Innovation Fellow

Ethernet inventor and Cockrell School professor of innovation Bob Metcalfe joins MIT this fall to serve as a visiting innovation fellow during the 2015-16 academic year. He will continue in his current role at UT Austin but will engage in entrepreneurship activities for one week a month at the MIT Innovation Initiative and in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Metcalfe, an MIT alumnus, will mentor students in their startup activities, participate in campus innovation events and roundtables, and serve as an adviser to the Lab for Innovation Science and Policy.

bob metcalfe

“Innovation drives the virtuous cycle of freedom and prosperity,” Metcalfe said. “Startups out of research universities have proven to be among the most effective ways of innovating — startups built the Internet. It is exciting to have this opportunity to link the startup ecosystems of Austin and Boston.”

Metcalfe is an Internet pioneer and entrepreneur, founding and growing the multibillion-dollar networking company 3Com, now part of Hewlett-Packard. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and, in 2003, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

At UT Austin, Metcalfe serves as faculty director of the Cockrell School’s Innovation Center, where he advises and mentors faculty members and students who are exploring entrepreneurial endeavors. He also works closely with the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization to help guide faculty and researchers on the path to commercialization of the products and solutions they develop in their labs. Metcalfe joined UT Austin in 2011 and is a professor in both the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the McCombs School of Business.

Metcalfe earned two bachelor’s degrees, in electrical engineering and in industrial management, from MIT in 1969. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in applied mathematics and his Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard University.

“I have known Bob Metcalfe for more than 15 years,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “Bob’s influence in today’s Internet-centered world is hard to overstate. He has a discerning mind that engages creatively on a very wide range of topics, and he asks the kind of tough questions that push you to imagine something entirely new.”