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 John McWhirter

John McWhirter

Distinguished Research Professor

School of Engineering

Email
mcwhirterjg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0627
Campuses
S0.06

John McWhirter graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Mathematics from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1970.  He gained a PhD from the same University in 1973 for research on atomic collision theory.  Immediately afterwards, he joined the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (now part of QinetiQ ltd) in Malvern. In 1979 he started a programme of personal research on digital signal processing (DSP) with particular emphasis on algorithms and architectures for adaptive filtering and beamforming.  His research covered a broad range of topics from novel mathematical techniques to parallel computing and VLSI design.  He gained international recognition for his work on the design of systolic array processors and is particularly well known for inventing the triangular QR array for adaptive beamforming which bears his name.  Other notable achievements include the QR least squares lattice algorithm for adaptive filtering and the design of a low-latency, bit-level systolic array for IIR filtering based on redundant number systems. He went on to develop and promote the concept of Algorithmic Engineering. This constitutes a simple but rigorous diagrammatic methodology for the design of signal processing algorithms and architectures.  It encapsulates much of his previous work in a form which makes it more accessible to other DSP engineers. Professor McWhirter was a founder member of the IEE professional subgroup for signal processing (E5) and was awarded the JJ Thompson Premium in 1990 for a paper on adaptive beamforming.  In 1994 he received the JJ Thompson Medal from the IEE for his research on Systolic Arrays and Mathematics in Signal Processing. Within the Civil Service, he was promoted to Senior Principal Scientific Officer (Individual Merit) in 1986 and to Deputy Chief Scientific Officer (Individual Merit) in 1995. For the last few years, Prof McWhirter`s research has been devoted to independent component analysis for blind signal separation and polynomial matrix algorithms for broadband sensor array signal processing. This work has application to radar, sonar, seismology, medical diagnostics and wireless communications. Some of this research was carried out in collaboraton with the Centre of Digital Signal Processing in Cardiff under the QinetiQ-University partnership scheme, with the help of two EPSRC-funded ICASE students based in Malvern. Prof McWhirter is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). He helped to establish and still organises the long-running series of IMA conferences on Mathematics in Signal Processing. He was elected as a member of the IMA Council in 1995 and served as President for 2002 and 2003. He has been an Honorary Visiting Professor in Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University, Belfast since 1986 and at Cardiff University since 1998. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996 and as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999. He received Honorary Doctorates from the Queen`s University of Belfast in 2000 and the University of Edinburgh in 2002. Prof McWhirter left QinetiQ on 31 August 2007 to take up his current post as Distinguished Research Professor in Engineering at Cardiff. Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Health, Technology and the Digital World


* Arne Magnus Lecture Award, Colorado State University (2004); European Association for Signal Processing Technical Achievement Award (2003) * President, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (2002-3) * Chair, Council of Mathematical Sciences (2003) * Member of the IMA Council (2001-), Royal Society University Research Fellowship Panel 1 (2004-6), Royal Society Sectional Committee 4 (2001-3), EPSRC selection panel for Communications (2006), Royal Academy of Engineering Membership Panel 3 (2006-), Scientific Steering Committee and National Advisory Board for Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge (2003-) * Reader for Queen`s Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education

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2004

  • McWhirter, J. and Baxter, P. D. 2004. A novel technique for broadband SVD. Presented at: Proceedings 12th Annual Workshop of Adaptive Sensor Array Signal Processing, Lexington, USA.

2003

2002

Contracts

TitlePeopleSponsorValueDuration
Signal processing solutions for the networked battlespaceMcWhirter J, Hicks YEPSRC via Loughborough51551901/04/2013 - 31/03/2018
Novel communications signal processing techs. for transmission over MIMO frequency selective wireless channels using polynomial matrix decompositionsMcWhirter JGEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council28942401/06/2008 - 31/05/2011

Supervised Students

TitleStudentStatusDegree
Signal Processing Techniques For Extracting Signals With Periodic Structure: Applications To Biomedical Signals.GHADERI FoadGraduatePhD
Algorithms and Techniques for Polynominal Matrix DecompositionsFOSTER Joanne AlexandraGraduatePhD
DYNAMIC SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT IN 4G BROADBAND ACCESS NETWORK.ADEBAYO Patrick KunleCurrentPhD
POLYNOMIAL MATRIX TECHNIQUES FOR MIMO COMMUNICATIONSWANG ZeliangCurrentPhD