2013 William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture

The Impact of Wireless on Logistics and the World from OmniTRACS to Ubiquitous Smart Devices

2013 Distinguished Patterson Transportation Lecturer:

Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Founding Chairman & CEO Emeritus of Qualcomm Inc.

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April 24, 2013

Dr. Jacobs discussed his adventures at Qualcomm from its first commercial product, OmniTRACS, a communications and asset location system for the trucking industry, to the latest smart devices and sensors impacting all aspects of our lives.  He focused on the growing scope of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and described an experiment currently underway in London on wireless charging curb-side of electric vehicles, a positive for broad acceptance.

About Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs

Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs is founding chairman and CEO Emeritus for Qualcomm. As CEO through 2005 and Chairman through 2009, he led the growth from startup to Fortune 500 Company. As CEO, Dr. Jacobs oversaw Qualcomm’s revolutionary innovations in Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a technology fundamental to today’s 3G mobile wireless standards.

Dr. Jacobs previously served as co-founder, CEO and chairman of LINKABIT Corporation, leading the development of Very Small Aperture Earth Terminals (VSATs) and the VideoCipher® satellite-to-home TV system. LINKABIT merged with M/A-COM in August 1980, and Dr. Jacobs served as executive vice president and a member of the board of directors until his resignation in April 1985. Over 100 San Diego communications companies trace their roots to LINKABIT.

From 1959 to 1966, Dr. Jacobs was an assistant, then associate professor of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1966 to 1972 he served as professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). While at MIT, Dr. Jacobs co-authored with Jack Wozencraft a textbook in digital communications Principles of Communication Engineering. First published in 1965, the book remains in use today.

Dr. Jacobs holds fourteen CDMA patents and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Cornell University and master of science and doctor of science degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1957 and 1959, respectively.

Dr. Jacobs was named Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute In November 2006 and Chair of the National Academy of Engineering in July 2008.

For more about Dr. Jacobs and the Patterson Lecture, read the official NU press release.