WPI will present Robert L. Diamond '56 with the university's third annual Innovator of the Year Award this evening. The award recognizes a graduate or friend of WPI who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishments, showcasing individuals who have excelled in driving innovation within enterprises of all kinds.
"Bob Diamond has a remarkable capacity for envisioning potential applications for innovative technologies; the technical sophistication to convert those technologies into new products, processes, and services; and the drive to build new businesses to commercialize them," said Mark Rice, dean of WPI's School of Business. "WPI honors and celebrates his innovations and his entrepreneurial successes."
Diamond, who is co-founder and CEO of Xeleum Lighting in Mount Kisco, N.Y., a designer and manufacturer of LED lighting products, received an honorary doctorate in engineering from WPI in 2005 and the Robert H. Goddard '08 Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement during his 50th Reunion in 2006. He received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1996.
In 1988 he co-founded CIDCO Inc. (Caller ID Co.), serving as executive chairman until 1997. He is the holder of a caller ID engineering patent. He was also a co-founder of Xanboo Inc., developer of the first smart home management system with real-time video, notification, and device control that enabled users to control and monitor their homes or businesses from anywhere in the world, via the Internet. Xanboo was purchased by AT&T in 2010.
His first business venture was Robert Diamond Inc., an engineering consulting and manufacturer's representative firm, which he started in 1971. As a manufacturer's representative, his firm was involved in the adaptation of the Hughes CMOS chip technology for use in the first electronic watch for Timex, and in portable game technology for Milton Bradley (Simon).
Diamond attended Worcester Junior College prior to enrolling at WPI. He studied electrical engineering while working part-time in a bakery, in a factory, and in a variety of construction jobs. He graduated in 1956, second in his class, with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. While an undergraduate, he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and the Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi honor societies. Outside of WPI, he joined the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and received the Wilfred L. Peel contest prize for the development of "Food from the Ocean," a concept joining the fields of engineering and economics.
His engineering career began at Philco as a senior engineer. He also held positions at North American Philips's Broadcast Equipment Division as director of marketing and at FXR, a microwave equipment manufacturer, where he served in marketing, business development, and sales management positions.