Irwin Jacobs, Founder of Qualcomm, to Speak at Colorado State University April 27

Note to Reporters: Media interested in scheduling an interview with Irwin Jacobs should contact Emily Wilmsen no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, April 26. A photo of Irwin Jacobs is available with the news release at

Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm who oversaw the development of the 3G wireless network that runs all cell phones, will speak at Colorado State University on Friday, April 27.

Jacobs will talk about “How to Succeed without Venture Capital: Innovative Business Approaches at Linkabit and Qualcomm.” His talk will be 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Cherokee Park Ballroom of the Lory Student Center University Club.

Because of limited space, tickets are free, but registration is required for attendance. For more information, go to

“CSU is dedicated to taking innovations developed by our faculty and students at the university to the marketplace. Dr. Jacobs’ story is a fantastic example of the impact of how to succeed in technology transfer, which leads to building successful companies that impact the local and national economies,” said Randy Bartels, electrical and computer engineering professor who invited Jacobs to campus. Bartels is a recipient of a prestigious Keck grant to build a microscope that could help scientists unravel how cells communicate chemically.

“Plus, Qualcomm is responsible for technology that runs the 3G cellular network,” Bartels said. “That’s something that just about everyone in the community can relate to: their cell phone.”

Jacobs received the National Medal of Technology for developing that core technology.

Jacobs will also give an ISTeC Distinguished Lecture and more technical talk at 11 a.m. in the Bohemian Auditorium in Rockwell Hall-West. The lecture, titled “Technology Innovation at Linkabit and Qualcomm: Generating Leading-Edge Products,” will be preceded by a reception at 10:30 a.m.

Sponsoring organizations include the College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, ISTeC, Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Vice President for University Advancement.

Jacobs is founding chairman and CEO Emeritus for Qualcomm Incorporated. As CEO through 2005 and chairman through 2009, he led the growth from startup to Fortune 500 company and oversaw Qualcomm’s revolutionary innovations in Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a technology fundamental to today’s 3G mobile wireless standards.

Previously, Jacobs had served as co-founder, CEO and chairman of Linkabit Corp. Linkabit merged with M/A-COM in August 1980, and Jacobs served as executive vice president and a member of the board of directors until April 1985. More than 100 San Diego communications companies can trace their roots to Linkabit.

From 1959 to 1966, Jacobs was assistant then associate professor of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1966 to 1972, he was professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California-San Diego. While at MIT, he co-authored a textbook in digital communications, “Principles of Communication Engineering.” First published in 1965, the book remains in use today.