Andy Hopper

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Andy Hopper
Andy hopper.jpg
Born Andrew Hopper
(1953-05-09) 9 May 1953 (age 64)[1]
Warsaw, Poland
Residence Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire, UK
Nationality British
Fields Computer Technology
Institutions University of Cambridge
Swansea University
Alma mater Swansea University (BSc)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
Thesis Local area computer communications networks (1978)
Doctoral advisor David Wheeler[2]
Doctoral students
  • Sherif Akoush[2]
  • Alastair Beresford[2]
  • David Greaves[2]
  • Paul Mills[2]
  • Andrew Rice[2]
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Alison Gail Smith (m. 1988)[1]

Andrew Hopper CBE FRS FREng FIET (born 1953)[1] is the Professor of Computer Technology and Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge[6][7] and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[8]


Hopper was educated at Quintin Kynaston School in London[1] after which he went to study for a Bachelor of Science degree at Swansea University before going to the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1974 for postgraduate work.[2] Hopper was awarded his PhD in 1978 for research into Local area computer communications networks supervised by David Wheeler.[9]

Research and career[edit]

Hopper's PhD, completed in 1977 at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, was in the field of communications networks, and he worked with Maurice Wilkes on the creation of the Cambridge Ring and its successors.[citation needed]

Hopper's research interests include computer networks, multimedia systems,[10] Virtual Network Computing[3] and sentient computing.[11] His most cited paper describes the indoor location system called the Active Badge.[12] He has contributed to a discussion of the privacy challenges relating to surveillance.[13]

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.[14]

Hopper has supervised approximately fifty PhD students.[citation needed]

Commercial activities[edit]

In 1978, Hopper co-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 on the NASDAQ 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) to further develop the 'Wireless ATM' project started at ORL in the early 90s. 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 and was involved in its initial public offering (IPO) in June 2011.[15]

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.

From 2005 until 2009, Hopper was chairman of Adventiq, a joint venture between Adder and RealVNC, developing a VNC-based system-on-a-chip.

In 2013 Hopper co-founded TxtEz, a company looking to commoditise B2C communication in Africa.[16]

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.

Awards and honours[edit]

Hopper was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering[1] in 1996 and awarded their Silver Medal in 2003. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2007 to 2010.[17]

In 1999, Hopper gave the Royal Society's Clifford Paterson Lecture[11] 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. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society between 2009 and 2011.

Hopper is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) and was a Trustee from 2003 until 2006,[18] and again between 2009 and 2013. In 2004, Hopper was awarded the Mountbatten Medal of the IET (then IEE)[19] and in 2010 he was appointed deputy president of the organisation.[20] He served as president of the IET between 2012 and 2013.[21]

In the 2007 New Year Honours, Hopper was made an CBE for services to the computer industry.[22]

After more than 20 years at Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, Hopper was elected 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 Association for Computing Machinery's SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award.[23]

In July 2005, Hopper was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Swansea University.

In December 2008, Hopper was a member of the team carrying out the Capability Review of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.[24]

In 2010 Hopper was awarded an Honorary Degree from Queen's University Belfast.[25]

In 2011 Hopper was elected as member of the Council and Trustee of the University of Cambridge and a member of the Finance Committee.[26]

Hopper serves on several academic advisory boards. In 2005, he was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Institute of Electronics Communications and Information Technology at Queen's University Belfast.[27] In 2008 he joined the Advisory Board of the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.[28]

In 2013 Hopper was part of the RealVNC team to receive the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert award.[29]

Hopper was Chairman of the Emerging Technologies and Industries Steering Group of the UK Technology Strategy Board and is on the Technical Advisory Council for BP.

In 2015 he presented the Morgan-Botti lecture.[citation needed]. In 2017, he will give the Bakerian Lecture.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Hopper married Alison Gail Smith in 1988[1][31] Professor of Plant Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. They have two children, William and Merrill.[citation needed] He is a keen flyer with over 5,000 hours logged, including a round the world flight, and his house near Cambridge has an airstrip from which he flies his six-seater Cessna light aircraft.


  1. ^ a b c d e f HOPPER, Prof. Andrew. Who's Who. 1998 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Andy Hopper at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b Richardson, T.; Stafford-Fraser, Q.; Wood, K. R.; Hopper, A. (1998). "Virtual network computing" (PDF). IEEE Internet Computing. 2: 33. doi:10.1109/4236.656066. 
  4. ^ Anon (2006). "Professor Andrew Hopper CBE FREng FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-23.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

  5. ^ Andy Hopper, IT innovator, awarded CBE
  6. ^ Andy Hopper at DBLP Bibliography Server
  7. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search[dead link]
  8. ^ Andy Hopper interviewed (film) by Alan Macfarlane 22 May 2008
  9. ^ Hopper, Andy (1978). Local Area Computer Communication Networks (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  10. ^ Hopper, A. (1990). "Pandora - an experimental system for multimedia applications" (PDF). ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review. 24 (2): 19. doi:10.1145/382258.382788. 
  11. ^ a b Hopper, A. (2000). "The Clifford Paterson Lecture, 1999. Sentient computing" (PDF). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 358 (1773): 2349–2310. doi:10.1098/rsta.2000.0652. 
  12. ^ Want, R.; Hopper, A.; Falcão, V.; Gibbons, J. (1992). "The active badge location system". ACM Transactions on Information Systems. 10: 91. doi:10.1145/128756.128759. 
  13. ^ "Dilemmas of Privacy and Surveillance" (PDF). Royal Academy of Engineering. March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "The Tech Lab: Andy Hopper". BBC. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  15. ^ "Ubisense IPO ends five and a half-year wait". Cambridge Business Media. 22 June 2011. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "TxtEz". Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Council News" (PDF). Royal Academy of Engineering. Autumn 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  18. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees". Institution of Engineering and Technology. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  19. ^ "Prestigious Mountbatten Medal Awarded To Professor Andy Hopper". Institution of Engineering and Technology. 10 November 2004. Archived from the original on 22 April 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  20. ^ "Results of ballot 2010 – The IET". Institution of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "The IET Welcomes its new President". 
  22. ^ "UK home computer pioneer honoured". BBC News. 30 December 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Outstanding Contribution Award" (PDF). SIGMOBILE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  24. ^ "Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills: Baseline Assessment" (Press release). Civil Service. December 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  25. ^ "Queen's University Belfast – 07-2010 Press Releases". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  26. ^ Anon (December 2011). Cambridge University Reporter. University of Cambridge. CXLI (7): 61. 
  27. ^ "Times Higher Education – On the move...". The Times. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "IC Advisory Board". École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "News and Publications – News Release". Royal Academy of Engineering. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  30. ^ "Computing for the future of the planet: Prize lecture". 
  31. ^ "Hopper, Andy (Part 1 of 7). An Oral History of British Science". British Library. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012.