Prior to 2007

The Third IEEE Workshop on Wireless LANs

Michael Grady receives Newell Award for 2001-02


Michael J. Grady, EE class of 1971, was presented with the Hobart Newell ECE Alumni Award on April 25, 2002. Each year one graduate of the WPI ECE department is honored for outstanding professional contributions. Throughout his Career, Michael Grady has been at the forefront of innovation in the computer and telecommunications industries. Early in his Career, he joined Stratus Corporation as one of the founding engineers. That position afforded him the opportunity to help design and build the Stratus Fault Tolerant Operating System which made Stratus a world leader in fault-tolerant computing, a position which it continues to hOld today with a worldwide customer base including the largest stock exchange in Asia. In 1992, Michael joined Wellfleet Communications and built an engineering team from 60 to over 400 highly talented engineers and managers. When Wellfleet merged with SynOptics Communications, he took on the position of Senior Vice President of Engineering in the newly formed company, Bay Networks.

Returning to his entrepreneurial roots, Michael founded Argon Networks, developing high-performance core routers for the backbone of the Internet. It was the success of that company that led Siemens to acquire Argon as part of the formation of Unisphere Networks. After that successful acquisition, Michael again turned his leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit into a start-up venture, Chinook Communications, where as Executive Vice President of Engineering, he helped to develop revolutionary solutions for the broadband cable market. Michael Grady's vision and thoughtful approach to the challenges in the computer and telecommunications fields during the past three decades truly represent the excellence in professional accomplishments which the Newell Award is intended to recognize.

Previous recipients of the Newell Award include: William R. Grogan, '46, Paul A. Allaire, '60, Ronald L. Zarrella, '71, Robert E. McIntosh Jr., '62, John Lott Brown, '46, Donald H. Foley, '66, H. Richard Freeman, '61, Peter B. Myers, '46, Alfred A. Molinari, Jr., '63, John C. Petrillo, '71, and Robert Woog, '68.

The namesake of the award, Prof. Hobart Newell, was a leader of a much earlier telecommunications revolution, beginning his Career at Westinghouse Labs after his WPI graduation in 1918. While at Westinghouse, he was instrumental in establishing the pioneering broadcast station KDKA in Pittsburgh. Prof. Newell joined the WPI faculty in 1921, and taught electrical engineering here for 44 years. He brought modern electronics into a profession and a department that had been dominated by electric power engineering, and he received the first Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching at WPI. Prof. Newell was a Fellow of the IEEE.

Over 100 faculty and alumni were present at the banquet and presentation of the twelfth annual Newell Award. The range of class years represented was very broad and provided an opportunity both to renew Old acquaintances and to make some new ones while celebrating the success, not just of the Newell recipient, but of ECE graduates, in general.

April 25, 2002