Robert J. Trew

Robert J. Trew


  • 2004, Past Presidents, Ex-Officio Members**
  • 2017, Microwave Career Award, Past Awardees**
  • 2014, Microwave Pioneer Award, Past Awardees**
  • 1998, Distinguished Educator Award, Past Awardees**
  • In Memoriam
  • 1995 - 1997, Transactions Past Editors, MTT Transactions, Publications**

In Memoriam

Robert James Trew was born December 8, 1944 and passed away on February 24, 2019 at the age of 74.  He earned a BEE at Kettering University and continued graduate studies at the University of Michigan where he received his PhD.  He then had a remarkable and distinguished career, performing many functions.  He was an engineer, distinguished professor, educator, academic researcher, administrator, department head, mentor, consultant, journal Editor-in-Chief, published author and multi-award-winning pioneer in the field of semiconductor devices. His career spanned industry, academia and government.

He was the Department Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments for eleven years, at three different universities: NC State, Case Western, and Virginia Tech. In his academic career he directed 25 PhD students and 40 MS students.  His industrial employment included a member of the technical staff and group leader at Watkins-Johnson Company in Palo Alto, CA and design engineer at General Motors in Saginaw MI.  

His extensive  government work gave him oversight responsibility for DoD’s annual  $1.3 B budget for basic research programs.  Dr. Trew was also heavily involved with the U.S. Nanotechnology Initiative, the National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Academies, professional societies, and other organizations devoted to national basic research policy.

Dr. Trew’s awards and recognition include a Life Fellow of the IEEE; recipient of the 2014 MTT Society Pioneer Award; and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He also served in several capacities for the MTT Society including 2004 MTT-S President and founding co-Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Microwave Magazine. Additionally, he served as Editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the IEEE,  the highest rated technical journal in the electrical engineering field.  During his career, he received about a dozen very prestigious awards. Dr. Trew was also a member of several distinguished societies and published over 180 journal articles and 21 book chapters. He has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally, with over 430 presentations. He has provided review and advisory service to about 45 organizations.  Dr. Trew is the author of the book, Get Funded: An Insider’s Guide to Building an Academic Research Program (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and he has twelve patents.  Much of his work and expertise was in the field of solid state physics and it’s application to devices.  

Bob enjoyed excellent music, and was an amateur baker and photographer, along with being  an extensive reader. He was a professional problem solver, the man upon whom you wanted to rely in an emergency. He is survived by his wife of 49 years and love of his life, Diane; and his adored daughters.  A celebration of life was held on March 30, 2019 in Raleigh, NC.