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Fellows Directory

John McWhirter

Professor John McWhirter FREng FRS


Elected: 1999


John McWhirter has made important contributions to applied mathematics, electronic engineering and computer science — in particular, to digital signal processing. He is renowned for his research on adaptive filtering and beamforming, parallel processing and systolic-array design, including the ‘McWhirter’ algorithm. He has initiated at least three main areas of systolic-array development, bit-level arrays, arrays operating at word level and parallel-processing structures for recursive filtering.

His most recent work has led to seminal algorithms for polynomial matrix factorisation and spawned a new field of research with application to broadband adaptive beamforming and multichannel communications. He has taken a leading role in promoting the subject of mathematics in signal processing and is a prominent member of both communities. He served as President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2002 and 2003.

Professional positions

Distinguished Research Professor in Engineering, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering, Queen's University Belfast

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Adaptive Sensor Arrays, MIMO Communications, Phased Array Radar, Polynomial Matrices, Signal processing, Sonar Arrays