Ed Knapp

  • Chief Technical Officer, American Tower Corporation

Ed Knapp has enjoyed a storied career, especially for a young man who was the first in his family to attend college when he started his electrical engineering degree at what was then known as Poly.

Throughout his career, Knapp had a front-row seat to the evolution of 3G/4G/5G and Wi-Fi communications at Qualcomm’s Flarion Technologies. Serving as the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm, he built teams across the U.S., India, and Israel before becoming the CTO of the PacketVideo Corporation, where he worked on the streaming of MPEG4 video to mobile devices.

After working as Senior VP and CTO of NextWave Telecom, Knapp became Executive Director of technical services for Bell Atlantic/NYNEX Mobile (Verizon Wireless), where he was responsible for the design, build-out and operation of the New York Metro area cellular system.

Having watched the wireless and telecommunications industry change before his eyes, Knapp, who has four U.S. patents to his credit, encourages young engineers to look to the future to find the next disruptive advancements.

He cautions against seeking only money and status, though: “It’s more important to be in the right engineering environment, working with the brightest people, and solving important, interesting problems. Don’t get caught in the trap of caring about the corner office; that might come eventually, but it shouldn’t be your focus.”