Personnel Detail

Joe Mitola

Title:Director, Information Systems Laboratory, Hume Center


trustworthy cognitive systems, cognitive radio, software radio


Recognized globally as the originator of software defined and cognitive radio architectures on which smart wireless networks are based, Dr. Mitola published the landmark Software Radio Architecture Issue of the IEEE Communications Magazine in May of 1995. He invented the Cognitive Radio Architecture (KTH, 1998; Wiley, 2006) on which dynamic spectrum access is based. For the past decade, he has focused on Information Technology (IT) systems engineering.

Between 2008 and 2012, he directed special projects for the DoD’s Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), leveraging fifteen years as General Systems Engineer for MITRE. He currently directs the Information Systems Laboratory of Virginia Tech’s Hume Center where his team creates innovative policy based secure computing solutions for the most challenging national security aspects of big data, deep learning, and cybersecurity of IT systems.

Between 2012 and 2016, Dr. Mitola developed web servers with zero remote attack surfaces ( and served as software-defined and cognitive radio subject matter expert (SME) for the US DoD Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ONR, NRO, and the US Army. Previously he was Vice President for the Research Enterprise of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ (2008-2012). In his 15 years with The MITRE Corporation (1993-2008), he served Government as Special Assistant to the Director of DARPA; Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA) for trustable cognitive systems; founding Technical Director of Cryptologic Modeling and Simulation; and Technical Advisor to the Executive Office of the President of the United States as expert witness to the Judge Green Court for undeleting the emails and files that Ollie North had deleted to suppress evidence in the Iran-Contra affair. Earlier in his career Dr. Mitola held positions of technical leadership with E-Systems, Harris Corporation, Advanced Decision Systems (an artificial intelligence startup company), and ITT Corporation. Dr. Mitola began his career as an engineering student assistant with DoD, Fort Meade, MD.

Dr. Mitola received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (Highest Honors) from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, in 1971; the M.S.E. degree in stochastic optimal control from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in 1974; and the Licentiate (1999) and doctorate (2000) degrees in teleinformatics from KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. With the full support of the US Government, he accepted the position of Honorary Professor, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing China where he promotes China-US collaboration on cyber defense as agreed to by Presidents Xi Jinping and Obama in 2015. Co-founder of multiple technology companies and US patent holder, he remains a hands-on software contributor and innovator in making networked IT systems smarter.