About Alex Hills

Alex Hills is Distinguished Service Professor of Engineering & Public Policy and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Hills is frequently invited to speak at conventions, conferences, university seminars, corporate training sessions, and community events. His talks, with their vivid stories and clear explanations of technology, have been well-received by audiences throughout the United States and in more than twenty foreign countries. An inventor with eleven patents, Dr. Hills can write and speak in technical jargon. But in his writing, as in his talks, he speaks to everyone -- technical specialists and the public alike. People of all backgrounds have been fascinated by his contributions to Scientific American and IEEE Spectrum magazines -- articles that explain technology in a style that is clear to any reader.

In 1993 Dr. Hills began the creation of Carnegie Mellon’s Wireless Andrew project, a campus-wide high-speed wireless network that served as the prototype for modern Wi-Fi networks. He led the team that developed the design methods needed to build the wireless network. The team measured wireless signals, tried a wireless design, re-measured the signals, and revised their design. It was difficult work, but it paid off. Their methods were later used by builders of Wi-Fi networks around the world.

In Alaska Dr. Hills is known for his role in developing the state’s broadcast and telecommunications networks. He worked in the 1970s and 1980s to build public radio stations across Alaska and to develop the state’s telecommunications networks so that even small villages could receive television and telephone service. Radio listeners knew him then as “Alex in the Morning.”

And Professor Hills has found ways to teach and encourage a new generation of professionals to devote themselves to solving the problems of poverty, health and the social ills that face the world. Working with colleagues, he teaches, mentors, and places technology students as consultants in government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in developing nations.