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Fellows Directory

John McCanny


John McCanny has made pioneering contributions to research on special purpose silicon architectures for digital signal and video processing, and for cryptography. He has published 5 research books, 360 peer-reviewed research papers and holds over 20 patents.

He was responsible for the vision that led to the creation of the Northern Ireland Science Park (now 160 companies) and its £37M research flagship, the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT). He also led the initiative that created the (now) £65M Centre for Secure Information Technology, the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Cybersecurity.

His awards include a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal (1996), an IEEE Millennium Medal, the Royal Dublin Society/Irish Times Boyle Medal (2004), the IET Faraday Medal (2006) and the Royal Irish Academy’s Cunningham Medal (2011). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

He has co-founded two successful high technology companies based on the work of his research teams: Amphion Semiconductor, later acquired by Conexant; and Audio Processing Technology, later acquired by Cambridge Silicon Radio - now part of Qualcomm.

In 2004, he received a CBE for “Contributions to Engineering and Higher Education” and in 2017, he received a Knighthood for “Contributions to Higher Education and Economic Development”.

Professional positions

Regius Professor of Electronics and Computer Engineering and Director, Institute Of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), Queen's University Belfast
Member of Dowling Review on University Business collaboration, Royal Academy of Engineering
Assessment Panel, US/Ireland Research Innovation Awards, Royal Irish Academy

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Cyber Security systems, Digital computing, Digital Signal Processing, Research translation and innovation, System-on-Chip Architectures, VLSI Signal Processing