Tatung, SRI, Global Crossing, GM, Avaya, Terra Lycos Leaders Convene on the Future of IT at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Barcelona Summit

WPI's Corporate Leaders Roundtable Explores the Future Impact of IT on Academics and Industry

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announces its first WPI Corporate Leaders Roundtable, Friday April 20, 2001 at the Hotel Majestic in Barcelona, Spain where global visionaries from corporate and academic sectors convene to explore the future impact of information technology (IT) on academics and industry.

"This one-day event hosts presentations from leaders of Terra Lycos, Tatung, Global Crossing, SRI International, General Motors and Avaya as well as thoughtful discussions from WPI professors," said Edward Alton Parrish, President, WPI. "Together, this distinguished group will explore the future impact of IT on their industries."

"This is a timely and important discussion. Our exchange about the future of global information technology will help us all become ever more active participants in that future," said David Walsh, President and COO, Global Crossing. Walsh joins Donald Peterson, Chairman and CEO, Avaya, Ron Zarrella, President, General Motors North America, Curt Carlson, President and CEO, SRI International, W.S. Lin, President of Tatung Company, and Joaquim Agut, Executive Chairman, Terra Lycos.

"I'll be sharing insights into how businesses and organizations can assure that Internet technology successfully and effectively supports all the vital tools of communications, including voice connections, allowing them to get closer than ever to their customers and suppliers," said Donald K. Peterson, Chairman and CEO, Avaya.

The all-day format will include half-hour presentations from each speaker, a question-and answer session, and an idea exchange. "The idea exchange should be a very powerful component of the roundtable," said Ron Zarrella, President, General Motors North America. "It has the potential to dramatically change how all of us look at and interface with our customer base."

"I am pleased to be part of this roundtable because, in a world that moves increasingly fast, learning about best business practices and new business opportunities from other business leaders becomes essential for survival," said Curt Carlson, President and CEO, SRI International.

Additionally, participants are pleased that WPI has both the contact base and the initiative to set up this important discussion. "I am looking forward to meeting with corporate leaders from many different sectors to share our successes and to learn from each other. WPI's mission of blending research and academics with practical application is truly illustrated by this important conference," said Joaquim Agut, Executive Chairman, Terra Lycos.

Distinguished WPI Professors contributing to the program include Diran Apelian, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Metal Processing Institute, on Materials; Nancy Burnham, Associate Professor of Physics, on Nanotechnology; Kaveh Pahlavan, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, on Wireless Information Networks; Ryszard Pryputniewicz, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Holographic Studies and Laser Micromechatronics, on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS); William Michalson, Associate Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director, Center for Satellite Navigation, on Personal Navigation Systems, and John Zeugner, Professor of History, on Cultural Dynamics.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) - the third oldest private university of engineering, science and technology -- was founded in 1865 on the revolutionary concept of blending classroom learning and practical application. This approach has prepared generations of problem solvers: individuals whose new ideas and inventions have literally changed the world. WPI graduates have added innumerable chapters to the annals of progress, have won patents too numerous to count, and have been responsible for advances that continue to shape our world today. WPI has been a pioneer in globalizing technological education, with a network of renowned off-campus project centers that span the globe. Notable WPI alumni include program participants Carlson, Peterson, and Zarrella as well as Robert Goddard, namesake of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; Harold Black, inventor of the negative-feedback amplifier; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety systems; Richard T. Whitcomb, who formulated the Area Rule and developed the supercritical wing, and Dean Kamen, who invented the first wearable infusion pump while still an undergraduate physics major at WPI in the early 1970s.

Members of the news media are invited to visit the roundtable's media page for more information about the event and relevant links.