Engineering Departments

Hume Center for National Security and Technology names McGwier director of research


Robert McGwier
Blacksburg, VA , June 02, 2011
Virginia Tech College of Engineering

The Virginia Tech College of Engineering has named Robert McGwier the director of research of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology, and a research professor in its Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

The Hume Center, administered jointly by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the College of Engineering, heads the university's educational and research programs in national security, and has taken a leading role in the university's growth in cyber security.

Since 1986, McGwier has served as a member of the technical staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses’ Center for Communications Research in Princeton, N.J., where he worked on advanced research topics in mathematics and communications supporting the federal government. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University in 1988. 

An expert in radio frequency electronics and signal processing, much of McGwier’s research has looked at leveraging recent advances in software-defined and cognitive radio technology to support the communications needs of the federal government. His work on behalf of the federal government has earned him many awards, including the intelligence community’s highest honor in 2002.

In his new position, McGwier will oversee the research portfolio of the Hume Center, lead center operations in Blacksburg, Va., and develop strategic research relationships within the industry and government working in the national security sector.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone with the unique experiences and capabilities of Dr. McGwier on board to oversee the Hume Center’s research agenda, particularly in the areas of digital communications and signal processing,” said Charles Clancy, director of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “His passion for combining research and education and depth of knowledge in the wireless field will be key components that will make the Hume Center a success.”

McGwier is an avid amateur radio operator (call sign N4HY) and has previously served as the vice president of engineering for the Amateur Radio Satellite Corporation as well as on the membership of its board of directors.  He is a member and former director of the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio. He won the Dayton Amateur Radio Association Technical Award in 1990 and the Central States Very High Frequency Society Chambers Award in 2007 for his work in software defined radio and its application to amateur radio.

Through the support of the institute and the College of Engineering, the Hume Center is the hub for national security research and education at Virginia Tech. A generous gift from Ted Hume, a 1975 electrical engineering alumnus of Virginia Tech, and his wife Karyn provides scholarships and fellowships to students interested in careers in national security. 

With the support of the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence program, students have access to a wide range of national security-related activities on campus, ranging from guest speakers to internship opportunities, and even a summer study abroad program. Through these diverse resources, the Hume Center is positioned to be a national resource for educating future government leaders.


Lynn Nystrom
(540) 231-4371