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Andrew Hopper CBE FRS FREng FIET (b. 1953 in Warsawmarker, Polandmarker; UK citizen since 1964) is the Professor of Computer Technology and Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratorymarker and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridgemarker. He is probably best known for bridging the boundary between academia and industry and the formation of numerous high-tech businesses.


Hopper studied computer technology at the Swansea Universitymarker before going to the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Trinity Hall, Cambridgemarker in 1974 to start a PhD under the supervision of David Wheeler. Hopper was awarded his PhD in 1978.

Hopper’s PhD was in the field of communications networks and he worked with Maurice Wilkes on the creation of the Cambridge Ring and its successor, the Cambridge Fast Ring. The expertise gained in these networking projects put the Computer Laboratory at the forefront of research in chips for communications networks. The Cambridge Ring ran at 10 megabits per second and the Cambridge Fast Ring ran at 100 megabits per second (in 1980). The Cambridge Fast Ring was further developed into ATM.

Hopper has supervised approaching fifty PhD students.

Hopper's research interests include Sentient computing. His most cited paper describes the indoor location system called the Active Badge. He has contributed to a discussion of the privacy challenges relating to surveillance.

More recently, Hopper's research under the title Computing for the Future of the Planet examines the uses of computers for assuring the sustainability of the planet.

Since 2005, Hopper has been a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen's University Belfastmarker.Since 2003, Hopper has been on the advisory board of Fraser Research.


In 1999, Hopper gave the Royal Society's Clifford Paterson Lecture on Progress and research in the communications industry and was thus awarded the society's bronze medal for achievement.In May 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Hopper was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996 and awarded their Silver Medal in 2003.He has been a member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering since 2007.

Professor Hopper is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and was a Trustee from 2003 until 2006.In 2004 he was awarded the Mountbatten Medal of the IET.

In the 2007 New Years Honours List, Hopper was made an CBE for services to the computer industry.

After more than 20 years at Cambridge University Computer Laboratory he was elected to the Chair of Communications Engineering at Cambridge University Engineering Department in 1997. He returned to the Computer Laboratory as Professor of Computer Technology and Head of Department in 2004.

In 2004, Hopper was awarded the ACM SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award.

In July 2005, Hopper was awarded an honorary fellowship of Swansea Universitymarker.

In December 2008, Hopper was a member of the team carrying out the Capability Review of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.


In 1978, Hopper founded Orbis Ltd to develop networking technologies.

In 1978 Hopper worked with Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry, founders of Acorn Computers Ltd; Orbis became a division of Acorn in 1979 and continued to work with the Cambridge Ring. While at Acorn, Hopper helped to design some of the chips for the BBC Micro. When Acorn was acquired by Olivetti in 1985, Hauser became vice-president for research at Olivetti, in which role he co-founded the Olivetti Research Laboratory in 1986 with Hopper; Hopper became its Managing Director.

In 1985, after leaving Acorn, Hopper co-founded Qudos, a company producing CAD software and doing chip prototyping. He remained a director until 1989.

In 1993, Hopper set up Advanced Telecommunication Modules Ltd with Hermann Hauser. This company went public as Virata in 1999. The company was acquired by Conexant Systems on 1 March 2004.

In 1995, Hopper co-founded Telemedia Systems, now called IPV, and was its chairman until 2003.

In 1997, Hopper co-founded Adaptive Broadband Ltd (ABL) which was to further develop the ‘Wireless ATM’ project started at ORL in the early 90s. ABL developed a wireless broadband technology which offered high data rates over a point-to-multipoint radio link (25 Mbit/s operating in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed frequency band). High-speed connectivity at low-cost was made possible by a combination of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and packet-on-demand bandwidth management, based on ATM technology. ABL was bought by California Microwave, Inc in 1998.

In January 2000, Hopper co-founded Cambridge Broadband which was to develop broadband fixed wireless equipment; he was non-executive chairman from 2000 - 2005.

In 2002 Hopper was involved in the founding of Ubisense Ltd to further develop the location technologies and sentient computing concepts that grew out of the ORL Active Badge system. Hopper has been chairman since 2006 and a director since 2003.

In 2002, Hopper co-founded RealVNC and has served as chairman since the company's inception.

In 2002, Hopper co-founded Level 5 Networks and was a director until 2008, just after it merged with Solarflare Inc.

Since 2005, Hopper has been chairman of Adventiq, a joint venture between Adder and RealVNC, developing a VNC-based system-on-a-chip.

Hopper was an advisor to Hauser’s venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners from 2001 until 2005.He was also an advisor to the Cambridge Gateway Fund from 2001 until 2006.

Personal life

Hopper is married with two children. He is a keen flyer with over 5,000 hours logged, and his large house near Cambridge boasts its own airstrip from which he flies his six-seater Cessna light aircraft. In 2009 he flew solo west around the world in his Cessna.


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