SRI celebrates three “inflection points” in a nearly 80-year history of innovation

Technology pioneers Ron Rider, John Shoch, and Bob Metcalfe, and SRI CEO David Parekh

SRI received three new IEEE Milestone awards for the development of laser printing, the Alto computer, and Ethernet.

At an event in May, SRI celebrated the creation and development of three world-changing innovations by receiving IEEE Milestone awards for the laser printer, the Alto personal computer, and Ethernet.

The event honored the individuals and teams behind the development of these transformative technologies. Among them was Bob Metcalfe, a Turing Award winner, who spearheaded the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet technology. It also included John Shoch and Ron Rider, two individuals who were instrumental in the development of these technologies while at PARC in the 1970s, and who said they were representing the work of many people in the audience, as well as those who could not attend.

In addition to leaders from IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization, speakers also included Vint Cerf, co-creator of the now-ubiquitous TCP/IP protocol — an innovation that has earned him distinction as one of the “fathers of the Internet.”

With these three awards, SRI brings its total number of Milestones to nine, including three that honor innovations from two iconic labs: Sarnoff Corp. (formerly RCA Labs), which SRI acquired in 1987, and the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which SRI acquired as a donation from Xerox in 2023.

“We look back on inflection points in history and how that has been made possible by the work of these organizations,” SRI CEO David Parekh said at the event. And, he added, it’s particularly exciting to think of the SRI researchers working in labs across the country “identifying what the next inflection points are.”

YouTube player

Read more from SRI