Bio


At Stanford University since 1995, Professor Tom Byers focuses on education regarding high-growth entrepreneurship and technology innovation. He is the first holder of the Entrepreneurship Professorship endowed chair in the School of Engineering and also a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He has been a faculty director since the inception of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which serves as the entrepreneurship center for the School of Engineering. His current activities at STVP include its Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK) project regarding applied ethics education, its Mayfield Fellows work/study program for undergraduates about entrepreneurial leadership, and its Stanford eCorner collection of thought leader videos and podcasts. He is a co-PI on the Hacking for Defense project sponsored by the Office of Naval Research to better connect entrepreneurship education with national security challenges. He was the director and PI of the Epicenter project, funded by the National Science Foundation to stimulate entrepreneurship education at all US engineering and science colleges. Tom is a co-author of the Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise textbook from McGraw-Hill, now in its 5th edition.

Tom is a Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Gordon Prize by the National Academy of Engineering in the USA and Stanford University's Gores Award, which is their highest honor for excellence in teaching. He is a member of the board of trustees at Menlo College and advisory boards at Harvard Business School and Conservation International. Tom was executive vice president and general manager of Symantec Corporation during its formation, and started his career at Accenture. Tom holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He also earned a PhD in Business Administration (Management Science) at UC Berkeley.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Faculty Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) (1995 - 2021)
  • PI, Office of Naval Research's Hacking for Defense Project (2017 - 2021)
  • Director and lead PI, NSF's National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) (2011 - 2017)

Honors & Awards


  • Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor, Duke University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2018-2021)
  • Department Undergraduate Teaching Award, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University (2015)
  • Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award, American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) (2015)
  • Entrepreneurship Professorship in the School of Engineering (endowed chair), Stanford University (2013-present)
  • Gordon Prize, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) (2009)
  • Olympus Innovation Award, VentureWell (2007)
  • Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award, United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) (2005)
  • Gores Award, Stanford University (2005)
  • Kauffman Award, American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) (2005)
  • Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (2002-present)
  • Tau Beta Pi Award, School of Engineering, Stanford University (2002)
  • Innovation in Pedagogy Award, Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management (1998)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Advisory Board, Stanford President’s Ethics, Society and Technology Hub (2019 - Present)
  • Faculty Advisors, Stanford's Distinguished Careers Institute (DCI) (2018 - Present)
  • Program Advisory Committee, Stanford Committee on Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) (2018 - Present)
  • Board of Trustees, Menlo College (2017 - Present)
  • Leadership Council, Conservation International (2009 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, Harvard Business School’s California Research Center (2000 - Present)

Program Affiliations


  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education


  • BS, UC Berkeley, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (1975)
  • MBA, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Business Administration (1980)
  • PhD, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Business Administration (Management Science) (1982)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Applied ethics, responsible innovation, and global entrepreneurship education (see http://peak.stanford.edu).

Projects


  • Principled Entrepreneurial Action and Knowledge (PEAK) project: applied ethics and technology innovation, Stanford University

    Location

    Stanford CA

  • Hacking for Defense sponsored project for the Office of Naval Research: entrepreneurship and national security, Stanford Univerisity (9/1/2017)

    Supported by ONR, Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a university-sponsored class that allows students to develop a deep understanding of the problems and needs of government sponsors in the US Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. In a short time, students rapidly iterate prototypes and produce solutions to sponsors' needs. For universities, it keeps their programs attached to real-world problems and provides students with an experiential opportunity to become more effective in their chosen field, with a body of work to back it up. For government agencies, it allows problem sponsors to increase the speed at which their organization solves specific, mission-critical problems. This project helped spread the curricula to over 40 colleges in the US and its national security allies by 2021.

    Location

    Huang Engineering Center

    For More Information:

  • National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) for National Science Foundation, Stanford University

    Epicenter was funded by the National Science Foundation from 2011 to 2016 and directed by Stanford University. Epicenter's mission was to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. Epicenter offered faculty, students, researchers and academic leaders engaging ways to support entrepreneurship and innovation learning in undergraduate engineering education. Each of these three programs has continued after Epicenter's National Science Foundation funding ended in 2016. Visit http://epicenter.stanford.edu to learn more.

    Location

    Stanford, California USA

    Collaborators

    • Sheri Sheppard, Professor, Stanford University

    For More Information:

Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Empowering Future Engineers with Ethical Thinking The Bridge: 50th Anniversary Issue Byers, T. H., et al 2020; 50 (S)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Engineering Education Advances in Engineering Education Byers, T., et al 2016; 5 (1)
  • Entrepreneurship: Its Role in Undergraduate Education The Bridge Byers, T., et al 2013; 43 (2)
  • Entrepreneurship Education in Asia Foreword ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN ASIA Byers, T., Thomas, H., Kelley, D. 2011: XI-XII