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Researcher to lead Virginia cyber initiative

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Print this page By Robert Powell | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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Luiz DaSilva | Courtesy Virginia Tech

Ireland-based networks expert has been named head of Virginia’s Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI).

Luiz A. DaSilva will join CCI in March as its first executive director. He will be based at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington. 

DaSilva is currently working as professor of telecommunications at Trinity College in Dublin and director of CONNECT — the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Future Communications and Networks. He is known for pioneering the application of game theory to analyze and design wireless networks and authored the first book on the topic.

CCI was established in the 2018-20 state government budget, which will support it with $20 million annually. The project’s goal is to create a highly connected network involving higher education, industry, government and other organizations.

CCI includes regional nodes throughout the commonwealth — each led by an institution of higher education — that are expected to become centers of research, learning, and innovation.

“Building trust among all our stakeholders and fostering inter-institution collaborations will be key to the success of CCI, as will articulating the impact of our research, including scientific breakthroughs, as well as commercialization success, to foster and maintain economic vitality in Virginia,” DaSilva said in a statement.

As the director of CONNECT, DaSilva leads a multiuniversity initiative focused on networks that support the internet of things.

The project, which involves 250 researchers in 10 universities in Ireland, has attracted more than 80 million euros in funding over a six-year period.

“With an international reputation as an expert in wireless networks and experience directing a major research and economic development institute, Luiz is the right person to take the helm at CCI,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said in a statement.

DaSilva’s 21 years of experience in academia includes 17 years as a professor at Virginia Tech.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for his work on cognitive networking and resource management in wireless networks. DaSilva earned his doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas.

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