Joseph Evans, a prominent researcher and computer systems designer at the University of Kansas, has been named director of KU’s Information and Telecommunications Technology Center, effective Aug. 18.
Evans, the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will succeed Victor Frost, who announced last fall that he would step down as director after 11 years in that position. Evans was acting director of ITTC from 1999 to 2000 and served for three years as KU’s director of research information technology.
“This is a very dynamic research field, nationally and internationally,” said Evans. “ITTC has a good track record developing innovations that advance knowledge. Some of that research has an economic impact, and enabling that is also very much a part of our mission. I look forward to leading this outstanding team of faculty, staff and students.”
Evans came to KU in 1989, following a postdoctoral appointment with AT&T Bell Laboratories. His current research is wide-ranging and includes wireless networks, high-speed communications networks and switching hardware, and the design and evaluation of software. During his career, Evans has received more than 60 federal and industrial research grants and has published extensively.
Evans will report to Steve Warren, vice provost for research and graduate studies.
“KU is fortunate to have a researcher of Joe’s caliber in this important role,” said Warren. “He’s a national authority on the subject of research computing, and he has experience moving IT research into the marketplace. He also knows ITTC extremely well, so the center won’t miss a beat during the leadership transition.”
Evans served the National Science Foundation from 2003 to 2005 as a program director in its Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering. He oversaw research involving wireless networking, cybersecurity and optical networking, and was responsible for awarding more than $50 million in grants to newly created programs. Evans was a co-founder of NetGames USA Inc., a network gaming company acquired by Microsoft in 2000. The technology is utilized in Microsoft’s Xbox Live Internet gaming service. He was also president and CEO of Ambient Computing Inc., a developer of software and hardware for smart wireless environments.
Evans’ academic background includes a doctorate from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College. During the 1996-97 academic year, he spent a sabbatical at Cambridge University and the Olivetti and Oracle Research Laboratory in England.
Story by Kevin Boatright