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"Father of Ethernet" Uses Avaya Immersive Web Collaboration Platform for Inaugural Lecture on Energy and the Internet

  • University of Texas at Austin Professor of Innovation and Ethernet Inventor, Robert M. Metcalfe, kicks off new appointment with lecture using Avaya web.alive

Robert M. Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, used Avaya web.alive to enable remote attendees to participate in his first lecture as professor of innovation at The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering.


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Avaya, a global leader in business collaboration systems, software and services, today announced that Robert M. Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, used Avaya web.alive to enable remote attendees to participate in his first lecture as professor of innovation at The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering. The lecture, titled "Enernet: Internet Lessons for Solving Energy” was simultaneously delivered in-person to listeners on the university's campus and in real-time to attendees using the Avaya web.alive collaboration environment on Thursday, January 20.


Avaya web.alive is an immersive, web collaboration platform that uses avatars, high-quality graphics, audio and analytics to bring a new dimension to real-time business collaboration among remote participants. Web.alive expands on traditional methods of collaboration, i.e. audio, video and webconferencing, to provide an engaging, interactive and intuitive environment that meets the requirements of users in any size business.
Metcalfe begins his appointment this month in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His inaugural lecture focused on applying the Internet model to one of the most pressing issues facing the globe today, energy. During the lecture, remote participants using their own personal Avaya web.alive avatars were able to see, hear, move and interact with Metcalfe's avatar and presentation materials in a manner similar to the in-person participants at the university.  More than 40 remote participants attended the lecture through the Avaya web.alive virtual environment, including industry analysts, corporate executives and academics from other institutions. 


Following the lecture, Metcalfe will also host office hours for students on an ongoing basis using the Avaya web.alive environment, making it easy for students to interact with him from a PC or laptop wherever they are located.
"The Internet has given us the ability to collaborate across an 'innovation infrastructure' through which we can brainstorm and mine for solutions to providing cheap, sustainable energy," Metcalfe said. "Avaya web.alive is a perfect example of the kind of innovative technology that can support these efforts and reduce our energy consumption at the same time. I anticipate using Avaya web.alive for additional lectures, forums and as a virtual office for meeting students and others."


"By revolutionizing both the audio and visual experience with 3-D spatial audio and video game graphics technology, Avaya web.alive makes business collaboration across broad geographies and organizations entertaining, productive and highly economical," said Mohamad Ali, senior vice president, Corporate Development and Strategy, Avaya. "Whether it’s providing interactive distance learning, immersive on-line customer service, or just a virtual ‘water cooler,’ this secure, enterprise-class virtual environment makes it easy, safe and fun to enable ad-hoc or scheduled collaboration." 


In addition to his appointment at The University of Texas at Austin, Metcalfe founded 3Com Corp. and is also a general partner of Polaris Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in information technology and life sciences. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2003 for leadership in the invention, standardization and commercialization of Ethernet and in 2007 was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on Ethernet technology.


For a free demo of Avaya web.alive, go to to download an avatar and sample immersive web collaboration. 


About Avaya

Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions, and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information please visit


About the Cockrell School of Engineering

With nearly 270 faculty members, more than 7,800 students and research expenditures exceeding $150 million a year, the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin is a top-ranked engineering school. It has nine internationally recognized undergraduate programs and nine acclaimed graduate degree programs that propel research and innovation, develop transformative technologies and cultivate solutions to advance society. Learn more about the Cockrell School online at


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