MIT officials say 52-year-old Vanu Bose, a member of the school's governing body and the founder of Lexington-based communications company Vanu Inc., died Saturday from a sudden pulmonary embolism.
Vanu Inc. uses cellular base stations to provide cell phone coverage to remote areas around the world.
In October, Bose spoke to WBUR's All Things Considered about the company's efforts to restore communications to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Vanu Inc. sent more than 40 of its stations to Puerto Rico for free. Cell phone coverage is enabled in about a 3-mile radius from each station, which Bose said aided Puerto Ricans trying to locate family members and services.
"We are so dependent now on our mobile phones for information that without it you're really kind of lost," Bose said.
Bose said he recognized that following a disaster, restoring communication to a devastated area was always slow — and that he was exploring how Vanu Inc. could be involved in more humanitarian efforts.
"How can we make this part of our business so that we can rapidly deploy in emergency?" Bose said. "And not just around the U.S. — anywhere in the globe. We're deployed to India, we're deployed to Africa. We should be able to support disasters there as well, and I'm looking forward to get a minute to think about that."
Bose earned three degrees at MIT and was active in the school's community.
He was the son of the late Amar Bose — who started the Bose Corporation and was an MIT professor for almost 50 years.
In a press release, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said that "Vanu embodied the very best of the MIT community" and that the Bose name "has long been synonymous with brilliance, humility, leadership, and integrity."