Lawrence G. Roberts

Award Recipient
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Lawrence G. Roberts is currently Chairman and CTO of Packetcom, Inc. Packetcom is designing advanced IP router/switches with improved QoS for the Internet.

Dr. Roberts has B.S., M.S., and PhD. Degrees from MIT. In 1967 he joined ARPA to manage a wide range of computer-communication research and development for the government. While at ARPA he was responsible for the design, initiation, planning and development of ARPANET, the world’s first major packet network, now called the Internet.

After ARPA, Dr. Roberts founded the world’s first packet data communications carrier, Telenet, and was the CEO from 1973 to 1980. Telenet was sold to GTE in 1979 and subsequently became the data division of Sprint. In 1982, Dr. Roberts became President and CEO of DHL Corporation. From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Roberts was Chairman and CEO of NetExpress, Inc., an electronics company specializing in packetized facsimile and ATM equipment.

From 1993 to 1998 Dr. Roberts was President of ATM Systems, a division of Connectware, Inc., an AMP company. At ATM Systems he has designed an advanced ATM Enterprise Switch with Explicit Rate ABR for the Enterprise and carrier network market and an Ethernet switch with QOS and Explicit Rate flow control. He proposed explicit rate to the ATM Forum in 1994 and spearheaded its development into the ATM Forum recommendation TM 4.0 in 1996. He has also led the development of a protocol for ATM over Ethernet called Cells In Frames.

Dr. Roberts has received numerous awards for his work, including the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Harry Goode Memorial Award from the American Federation of Information Processing, the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award, the Interface Conference Award, and, in 1982, the L.M. Ericsson prize for research in data communications. In 1992, he was awarded from the IEEE Computer Society W. Wallace McDowell Award. In 1998 he received the ACM SIGCOMM communications award.


1990 W. Wallace McDowell Award
“For architecting packet switching technology and bringing it into practical use by means of the ARPA network.”
Learn more about the W. Wallace McDowell Award

1976 Harry H. Goode Memorial Award
“In recognition of his contributions to the architectural design of computer-communication systems, his leadership in creating a fertile research environment leading to advances in computer and satellite communications techniques, his role in the establishment of standard international communication protocols and procedures, and his accomplishments in development and demonstration of packet switching technology and the ensuing networks which grew out of this work.”
Learn more about the Harry H. Goode Memorial Award