Robert Cunningham is the Vice Chancellor for Research Infrastructure at the University of Pittsburgh, responsible for the strategic leadership of the University's research infrastructure and serves as the deputy director of special initiatives. He focuses on the effective operation, financial stability and future growth opportunities across the full spectrum of Pitt research platforms, including physical and virtual laboratories, institution-scale equipment and facilities, and a renewed focus on all our centers and institutes. He serves as deputy director of Pittsburgh Quantum Institute.
Cunningham’s undergraduate training is in electrical and computer engineering, and he holds a PhD in cognitive and neural systems. Prior to joining Pitt, he served as Carnegie Mellon University’s associate director of cyber assurance in the CERT Division at the Software Engineering Institute, as well as an adjunct professor of cybersecurity at the Institute for Software Research in the School of Computer Science, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering. Cunningham has broad training and experience across STEM, cyber science, physical science and neuroscience, as well as leading enterprise-scale teams of faculty and staff. He has served as the director of the Laboratory of Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland (UMD), and as the leader of multiple research groups at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
His research has explored machine learning, digital image processing, and image and video understanding, as well as computer intrusion detection, systems security and privacy, and software engineering.
Cunningham has patented security-related technology, presented and published widely, chaired the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative, and served as founder and general chair for the IEEE Cybersecurity Development Conference. His mentorship skills earned him an MIT Excellence Award for “Bringing Out the Best”. He served as the co-chair for the US Government’s subcommittee on Economic and Security Implications of Quantum Science, helped develop US Policy, and briefed congress on multiple STEM topics.