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Rochford Chosen to Head New Joint NIST/NTIA Communications Lab

Kent Rochford

Kent Rochford

Credit: Burrus/NIST

Officials of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have announced the selection of Kent Rochford to head NIST's new Communication Technology Laboratory (CTL) in Boulder, Colo. The new CTL will be the seventh of NIST's major research units and will serve as the NIST portion of the "Center for Advanced Communications," a joint effort between NIST and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that was announced last year.

The center's mission is to advance the fundamental understanding of spectrum and spectrum usage to promote spectrum sharing approaches and innovation. It will:

  • enhance the effectiveness of both agencies by better coordinating the research, standards development and testing functions of NIST and NTIA in the area of advanced communications technology;
  • promote interdisciplinary research, development and testing in areas related to advanced communications such as radio frequency technology, digital information processing, cybersecurity, interoperability and usability; and
  • provide a single focal point for working with both industry and other government agencies on advanced communications technologies, including testing, validation and conformity assessment.

The center will be jointly managed by Rochford and the director of NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS). For the purposes of coordination and engagement with external stakeholders, the director of the CTL will be the principal representative of the center and its activities.

A NIST veteran, Rochford as previously served as chief of the NIST Optoelectronics Division, and later director of the NIST Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory. He also served previously as Boulder Laboratory Operations Director. The Commerce Department's Boulder (Colo.) Laboratories include research facilities for NIST, NTIA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most recently, Rochford has been senior director for Sharp Labs of America.

Rochford's appointment as CTL director was effective March 24, 2014.

Released March 25, 2014, Updated February 3, 2023