Qualcomm cofounder Prof. Andrew Viterbi said he is donating $50 million to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion.
Viterbi, a native of Italy who grew up in the United States, has donated to Technion in the past, but the new grant makes him the university’s largest private donor.
This is not Viterbi’s first donation to the Technion, but it is his largest.
He co-founded the Qualcomm chip company and invented the Viterbi Algorithm for decoding signals.
Prof. Viterbi’s visisted and lectured at Technion in 1967, when he was on Sabbatical from UCLA, and he was granted an honorary Doctorate in 2000, when also was named a Technion Distinguished Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering.
Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie said:
This is the greatest honor for a professor at the Technion, and has been granted up until now to only six people, three of whom were Nobel Prize winners. The degree enables Viterbi to come to the Technion whenever he wants, and there was a period when he visited here every year.
Viterbi said after announcing the latest donation, “Technion electrical engineering graduates are in large part responsible for creating and sustaining Israel’s high-tech industry, which has been essential for Israel’s economic success.”
Technion graduates have been responsible for founding and managing 1,602 high-tech companies, he added.
The grant will enable Technion to enlarge the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.