Trew Leading ECCS in NSF Directorate for Engineering

May 27, 2009

Dr. Robert J. Trew, ECE Department, NC State University 
Dr. Robert J. Trew, ECE Department, NC State University

Robert J. Trew, the Alton and Mildred Lancaster Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University, joins the National Science Foundation (NSF) as director of the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) in the Directorate for Engineering.  His term at NSF begins today.

During his extensive academic career, Trew has spent a total of 11 years serving as the head of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at three universities:  NC State, Virginia Tech, and Case Western Reserve University.  At each institution, he focused on building the research programs, especially in emerging areas; recruiting diverse, high-quality faculty; strengthening student organizations and their participation in department activities; and providing opportunities for undergraduate research.

Trew has also been a leader in government research.  As director of research at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), he oversaw the $1.3-billion-per-year basic research programs, including the DOD University Research Initiative, and represented DOD in many interagency activities, such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative.  In addition, Trew has experience as a program manager in the U.S. Army Research Office.

"The Directorate for Engineering is extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Trew," said NSF Assistant Director for Engineering Thomas Peterson.  "He has demonstrated both extensive leadership within the professional community and deep, long-term engagement in academic and government research and administration.  These experiences will enable valuable connections between NSF and the ECCS research and education community."

Trew's research focuses on nanoelectronics and microwave, millimeter wave, and terahertz solid state devices and systems.  He is also interested in photonic, radio frequency, analog, and digital devices, and in power electronics and power systems.  He has authored or co-authored more than 170 publications and 20 book chapters, and he holds nine patents.

Trew has received many awards for distinguished teaching and scholarship, including the 1998 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Distinguished Educator Award and the 2001 IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award.  He is a Fellow of the IEEE and is currently serving as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Proceedings.  He was awarded a B.S. degree from Kettering University and earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, all in electrical engineering.

ECCS addresses fundamental research issues underlying device and component technologies, power, controls, computation, networking, communications, and cyber technologies.  ECCS supports the integration and networking of intelligent systems principles at multiple scales for applications in healthcare, disaster mitigation, energy, telecommunications, environment, manufacturing, and other systems-related areas.  ECCS research and education investments emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration and the convergence of technologies to take on major technological challenges for the next generation of innovative devices and systems.

- Cecile J. Gonzalez, NSF, cjgonzal@nsf.gov


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.