Personnel Detail

Robert McGwier
  • Chief Scientist, Office of the Executive Director
  • Research Professor, Hume Center
  • Research Professor (by courtesy), Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Research Professor (by courtesy), Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
  • Affiliate Research Professor, Mathematics



wireless communications, applied cryptography, satellite systems, machine learning, quantum information processing


Dr. Robert McGwier is the Chief Scientist of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology, and holds Research Professor appointments (by courtesy) in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech.

McGwier is responsible for overall technology strategy for the Hume Center and its three research laboratories, in addition to development of new strategic initiatives that cut across academic discplines, industry partners, and government sponsors.  He has core expertise in the areas of wireless communications, applied cryptography, satellite systems, machine learning, and quantum information processing.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Dr. McGwier spent 26 years as a member of the technical staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses' Center for Communications Research in Princeton, NJ, 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. His work on behalf of the federal government has earned him many awards, including one of the intelligence community's highest honor in 2002.

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 State VHF Society Chambers Award in 2007 for his work in software defined radio and its application to amateur radio.