Spring 2009 Bovay Lecture

Enernet: What Energy Can Learn from the History of the Internet

Dr. Robert Metcalfe

Tuesday, April 7

Dr. Robert M.Metcalfe’s career is technological innovation, where he is best known for inventing Ethernet (1973), founding 3Com (1979), and writing eight years of Internet columns in InfoWorld, collected in his book, INTERNET COLLAPSES (2000), still available down the long tail at Amazon.com. In 2005, President George W. Bush invited Bob to the White House with his parents to receive the National Medal of Technology, for “leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet.”

Dr. Metcalfe is a venture capitalist, since 2001 with Polaris Venture Partners in Waltham, MA. He is a director of Polaris-backed technology start-ups including 1366, Ember (chairman and past CEO), GreenFuel (chairman and past CEO), Infinite Power Solutions, Mintera, SiCortex (past chairman), SiOnyx, and an energy storage start-up currently spinning out of MIT. Bob is also advisor/director/trustee to Avistar, National Academy of Engineering, St. Mark’s School, USC Stevens, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ’68, Life Trustee), and MIT’s Technology Review Magazine, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Energy Initiative, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Dean of Engineering, and Dean of Science.

The talk engaged undergraduate, M.Eng, and graduate students from majors across the college, including the business school, as well faculty members. Dr. Metcalfe’s ‘deliberately provocative’ speaking style challenged and inspired the audience to take on the issue of cheap, clean energy – one of the most pressing engineering and social issues of today (and the future!).

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Spring 2009 Bovay Lecture