Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Steven Willis

Steven Willis
Advisory Board
Engineer, executive, co-founder of networking companies Wellfleet and Argon


Steven Willis '78 is an engineer, executive and co-founder of networking companies such as Wellfleet and Argon. At BTU Engineering, he developed protocols allowing clusters of microprocessor based diffusion furnaces to communicate.

From 1982 to 1986, he worked as a developer at Interlan, one of the original Ethernet controller companies, developing commercial implementations of the XNS and TCP/IP protocols. In 1986, he co-founded Wellfleet Communications, an early Internet router company, where he ran software development for Wellfleet's high-performance, multi-protocol routers. In 1989 he started Wellfleet's Advanced Engineering Group that developed new networking standards and technology, such as the silicon based forwarding engine, for the next generation of Wellfleet technology. Wellfleet went public in 1991 and merged with Synoptics to create Bay Networks in 1994. In 1997, he co-founded Argon Networks, a maker of high-performance SONET based Internet core switch/routers, which was purchased by Siemens in 1991. In 2001, he joined Datapower, a company focused on innovative XML processing and data transformation, as the VP of Advanced Technology. In 2009, he co-founded Overlook Networks, a venture addressing new networking technology in the data center. His most current project is in the area of optical packet switching. Steve has contributed to the standardization of network management, BGP, IS-IS, ATM, Point-to-Point protocols, QOS and traffic management.

He recently co-authored "Cryptographic Rule Based Trading" in the 2012 Journal of Financial Cryptography and Data Security.  He is a member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service; a co-founder of Venture Valley Mentors; and an advisor to Solano Labs, Philo, and other startups in the Boston area. He holds multiple patents in the field of computer networking.

Steve received a bachelor's in BDIC with a concentration in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1978.