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Angie Antonopoulos
University Information Technology Services

Allison Buckner

Last modified: Monday, May 22, 2006

Michael McRobbie honored as technology "trailblazer"

May 22, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Michael A. McRobbie, interim provost of Indiana University Bloomington and vice president for academic affairs for IU, received Techpoint's Trailblazer in Technology Award on May 19 during the technology trade group's annual Mira Awards at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.

The award recognizes individuals and entities whose efforts and vision have advanced technology and have made a lasting contribution to the state of Indiana.

Michael A. McRobbie has overseen the improvement of student, faculty and staff access to information techonology on IU's eight campuses

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McRobbie, 55, who joined Indiana University in 1997 as vice president for information technology and chief information officer, has led an extensive transformation in information technology, and has directed the development of several new, major research projects and initiatives for the university, all driving IU's world-class cyberinfrastructure. Most recently, he helped seal a deal with IBM to acquire one of the world's 20 most powerful supercomputers, ensuring IU's continued leadership in national research initiatives such as the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid, which links the nation's most powerful supercomputers.

This cyberinfrastructure has provided IU with one of the greatest capacities worldwide for sharing and storing massive amounts of data in real time. Such functionality is critical for tackling large-scale complex research problems, such as those funded by the federal government, in areas such as genomes, the brain, astronomy and the life sciences, and the prediction of natural disasters.

McRobbie also directed the development of I-Light, an integrated, high-speed optical fiber network that linked IU Bloomington, IUPUI and Purdue University -- and now includes other universities -- providing students and faculty with a rich research and computing environment. His foresight led to IU's involvement and management of Internet2's Abilene network, a national, high-speed data network that supports research between universities across the country, and has also fostered relationships for high-speed connections around the world. He also founded IU's Pervasive Technology Laboratories, funded in 1999 by a $30 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

During McRobbie's tenure at IU, research grants awarded to the university have more than doubled, increasing from $200 million in 1996 to $477 million last year. IU's research activities now support more than 8,000 jobs across the state.

A native of Australia, McRobbie earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Queensland and a Ph.D. degree at Australia National University, where he was a professor and CEO of the Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Computational Systems. He's been a visiting professor at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and a Fulbright senior fellow and visiting scientist at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. McRobbie is an author, co-author and editor of several books and nearly 100 academic papers.

Techpoint is Indiana's only statewide technology trade group. The recipient of the Trailblazer in Technology Award is selected by the Techpoint Board of Directors. Previous winners include David Becker, Jim Eifert, Mark Hill, Martin Jischke, Sen. David Ford, Rep. Brian Hasler, Don Willis and the Lilly Endowment Inc.

For more information, please contact Angie Antonopoulos, University Information Technology Services, at 317-274-5009 or, or Allison Buckner, Techpoint, at 317-275-2086 or