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Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Keith McAuliffe
Keith McAuliffe

Keith McAuliffe

Distinguished Engineer



Electrical Engineering Technology – 1981



At Time of Nomination in 2016

Keith McAuliffe is Vice President and Chief Technologist of the HPE Servers Global Business Unit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a world leader in information technology platforms, solutions and services. With more than 35 years of innovation leadership, McAuliffe is an industry pioneer and highly respected technologist with a successful track record leading engineering teams, managing businesses and creating strategic technology visions. At HPE, he is chartered with driving long-term technology and intellectual property strategy to help insure that HPE continues to deliver industry- and market-leading products aligned with customer needs.

A native Texan, McAuliffe grew up in the Houston area. He enrolled at Texas Tech in 1976 where he majored in electrical engineering technology. In 1980, with the support of department chair, Dr. Larry Masten, McAuliffe began work as a co-op student at Texas Instruments on the product engineering team for one of the earliest consumer computers, the TI 99/4A Home Computer, designed and built in Lubbock, Texas. After graduating in 1981, McAuliffe worked full time at TI, in optoelectronics, bipolar logic semiconductors and personal computing.

In 1984, McAuliffe joined Compaq Computer Corp. in Houston, where he was a design and product engineer for the company’s first desktop PC, the Deskpro. The personal computing industry was exploding in the 80s and Compaq was a growth leader, second only to IBM in PC revenue. Compaq was the fastest company to reach $1 billion in revenue as the business quickly became global. During this period, McAuliffe went from being an individual contributor, to an engineering manager and then engineering director. His teams were responsible for designing many of the desktop PCs Compaq offered in the late 80s.

In the early 90s McAuliffe, as director of hardware engineering, became a founding member of Compaq’s Systems Business, chartered to innovate around PC technology and associated scale economics to satisfy the emerging needs of businesses for departmental file sharing and shared printing. Compaq launched the first two families of PC-servers: SystemPro and ProSignia. These brands were consolidated into the brand that exists today -- ProLiant. Like the early PC days, the x86 PC-server business, led by Compaq, saw rapid growth. As vp of server engineering, McAuliffe’s increased responsibilities included product design and innovation for all of Compaq’s x86 servers. As of this nomination, ProLiant and its lineage have close to 20 years of x86 server market leadership -- 79 consecutive quarters.

In the late 90s the Internet began to have a profound effect on computing and computer infrastructure. During this dot-com boom, McAuliffe moved to be vp and general manager of a global business unit, bringing all of Compaq’s assets to bear on the exploding Internet data center market, then dominated by Sun Microsystems’ Unix servers. Under McAuliffe’s leadership, Compaq was able to grow its Internet and dot-com business to over $1 billion and pass Sun as the Internet data center server volume leader.

In 2000, McAuliffe joined startup RLX Technologies to lead the development of a new class of low-power blade server, specifically targeting Internet data centers and web hosting. Rather than using the more powerful Intel microprocessor chips of contemporary servers, RLX servers utilized extremely low-power microprocessors, thus potentially saving large data centers millions of dollars in electricity costs. As the economy faltered, so too did the industry’s need for highly-efficient computers. RLX was ultimately purchased By Hewlett-Packard.

For the next decade, McAuliffe worked with venture capital firms to accelerate the success of technology startups. McAuliffe held executive roles in VC portfolio companies, including: virtualization provisioning company Surgient, purchased by Dell; centralized client computing and remote desktop company ClearCube Technology; security acceleration and fabless semiconductor company Britestream Networks. During this time, McAuliffe was a director on the board of Silicon Image, a publicly-traded fabless semiconductor company specializing in high speed interconnect chips for consumer and IT markets. Following his startup roles, McAuliffe became an executive engineering consultant for Imerj Design, a subsidiary of Flextronics. McAuliffe worked with the Imerj team to successfully develop a highly-advanced foldable Android smartphone for global markets.

In 2012 McAuliffe joined HPE, which had acquired Compaq and its server portfolio, as VP and Chief Technologist for Industry-Standard Servers. Since 2012, McAuliffe has led the server technology vision and strategy for one of the most innovative and successful server portfolios in the industry, including ProLiant, Apollo, Integrity, Moonshot, Cloudline and Edgeline. He continues to discover and develop over-the-horizon technologies that will benefit HPE’s customers around the world.

McAuliffe has passions for diversity in the technology industry, career mentoring and informed use of technology. He served on the technology committees of St. Vincent DePaul School and St. Agnes Academy in Houston. Through the IEEE, McAuliffe has been a judge for technology fairs held at HISD elementary schools. At HPE McAuliffe is an executive sponsor of his business unit’s summer intern program and he sponsors HPE Code Wars, the largest company-sponsored coding competition for high school students, with events in company sites around the world. He is also the executive sponsor of his business unit’s technical career path program, promoting technical advancement for engineers, distinct from, but aligned with the company’s management career path. At Texas Tech, McAuliffe has served on the industrial advisory boards of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering.

McAuliffe is married to his wife of more than 30 years, and fellow Red Raider, Lisa Paikowski. They live in Houston and have two children, Matt, beginning a career in the computer game design industry, and Kerry, a Marshall Scholar currently pursuing her PhD in digital humanities. McAuliffe enjoys music, travel and the outdoors, including biking, fishing and camping.

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