Illinois Tech Elects Bob Surrette, President of Technology Law Firm, to Board of Trustees

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CHICAGO—Robert “Bob” A. Surrette (LAW ’97)—a Chicago-Kent College of Law alumnus who serves as president of one of the nation’s premier, full-service intellectual property and technology law firms—has been elected to the Illinois Institute of Technology Board of Trustees.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I am humbled to be appointed as an Illinois Tech trustee. I am also honored to be able to serve our Illinois Tech community,” says Surrette. “Innovation lies at the core of our university’s mission. As a trustee and an attorney who practices at the intersections of law, technology, and intellectual property, I will work with all facets of the Illinois Tech and Chicago communities to ensure our students develop the education and experience necessary to lead such innovation.”

The law firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy—where Surrette is president and a shareholder—specializes in complex technology matters with an emphasis on patent, trademark, trade secret, and trade dress litigation, and has a history of litigation success. Surrette has worked in a myriad of technological areas, including medical technologies such as surgical control systems, wrist implants, medical image capture systems, and implantable pacemakers and defibrillators, as well as with other diverse technologies such as digital jukeboxes, electronic dartboards, exhaust systems, and contact lenses. Before joining the firm in 1998, Surrette clerked for the Honorable John A. Nordberg, senior judge of the United States District Court for the  Northern District of Illinois. Surrette also worked for five years at Pratt & Whitney, a leading aerospace manufacturer and a division of United Technologies (now Raytheon Technologies). There, he held various engineering positions, including special assistant to the vice president of quality assurance and product integrity.

“Bob is a leader in law and technology,” says Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi. “His experience will be invaluable to the Illinois Tech community, and his expertise will continue to drive us forward as we liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all.”

Surrette is also a member of the Chicago-Kent Board of Advisors, and has served as president of the law school’s Alumni Board of Directors. As a former adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent, he taught an upper-level writing and research course focusing on intellectual property. “Bob’s commitment to educating the next generation of lawyers and technologists is outstanding, and I’m thrilled for his election to our board,” says Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78), chair of Illinois Tech’s Board of Trustees. “His experience will be indispensable for the future success of our student leaders.”

Surrette earned an M.B.A. in 1992 and a M.S. in mechanical engineering in 1994 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He graduated in 1989  from the University of Massachusetts with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Chicago-Kent awarded Surrette its Distinguished Service Award in 2011, and Illinois Tech awarded Surrette its Professional Achievement Award in 2021. Crain’s Chicago Business named Surrette to its 2021 Notable Gen X Leaders in Accounting, Consulting, and Law. 

“I am excited that someone with such a strong background of accomplishment and innovative legal thinking will be joining the Board of Trustees,” says Ernie Iseminger, vice president of advancement at Illinois Tech. “Bob has dedicated his life to technology and the law, and I look forward to working alongside him as we continue to expand on Illinois Tech’s founding mission.”

Illinois Institute of Technology

Based in the global metropolis of Chicago, Illinois Tech was born to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. It is the only tech-focused university in the city, and it stands at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. Illinois Tech students are guaranteed hands-on experiences, personalized mentorship, and job readiness through the university's one-of-a-kind Elevate program. Its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Its faculty and alumni built the Chicago skyline. And every day in the living lab of the city, Illinois Tech fuels breakthroughs that change lives. Visit iit.edu.

Media contacts

Petra Kelly
Communications Director
Illinois Institute of Technology
Cell: 773.771.1064
pkelly6@iit.edu 

Howard J. Lee
Director, Advancement Communications
Illinois Institute of Technology
Cell: 202.487.5722
hlee122@iit.edu