Raspberry Pi Architect Eben Upton Gets Engineering Nod from UK’s Royal Academy

Broadcom engineer and Raspberry Pi inventor Eben Upton has been raking in the accolades of late, with glowing write-ups in national news outlets like Wired UK, the New York Times and the BBC and a spot last year on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “35 Innovators Under 35” list.

Upton has been recognized the world over for being among the architects of the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized computer that’s inspiring kids, hobbyists and hackers to get hands-on with programming.

Related: Raspberry Pi: Everyone Wants a Taste

Behind the Raspberry Pi’s skyrocketing success, of course, is an incredible business story: The instant popularity of the Pi, which saw more than 100,000 pre-orders on the first day it was listed for sale, was unpredictable. Now, that business success story is also being recognized as Upton was recently awarded a silver medal by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering for the “outstanding commercial success” of the Raspberry Pi.

Along with three other entrepreneurs, Upton is set to be awarded his medal at the Academy’s annual awards dinner in London later this month.

Upton and his team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a Cambridge, U.K.-based nonprofit organization, have sold more than a million of the mini-computers. The bulk of the proceeds have been plowed back into the Foundation and continue to fund its efforts around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Those efforts include developer and DIYer meetups and published user guides in multiple languages.

More importantly, Upton has used the visibility of his efforts and those of the foundation to promote computer literacy and programming in grade schools, to raise awareness about the urgent need to bring computer science education into schools and showcase how the $25 Raspberry Pi device can be a low-risk entrée into a lifelong career in a STEM-related field.

Upton is a technical director in the Mobile & Wireless Group at Broadcom’s Cambridge office. He created the first Raspberry Pi prototype using a Broadcom chip, and went on to co-design the single-board computer, which runs on the Linux operating system.

He has worked as a software engineer at IBM and a visiting researcher at Intel.  He holds a Ph.D. in computer science and a master’s degree in business from the University of Cambridge.


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