Nicholas A. O'Donoughue

Photo of Nicholas O'Donoughue
Senior Engineer
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in electrical engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in electrical engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in computer engineering, Villanova University


Nicholas O'Donoughue is a senior engineer at RAND. He is a radar signal processing expert with experience in algorithm development and systems analysis of airborne and spaceborne ISR systems, particularly concerning electronic warfare.  He has led studies across RAND's three defense-related FFRDCS (Project Air Force, the National Defense Research Institude, and the Arroyo Center), related to cybersecurity, electronic warfare, radar, and multi-function RF systems.  He has developed expertise in systems analysis, relating complex technical topics to larger studies, and has successfully led projects with a variety of modeling approaches and levels of necessary fidelity.

From 2012-2015, O'Donoughue was employed in the Airborne Radar Systems and Techniques Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, during which time he co-taught several iterations of the Build Your Own Radar courses at MIT and designed and taught a course on Radar Signal Processing at Tufts University.  He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, including the IEEE Signal Processing Society and the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, and is member of both Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies.

O'Donoughue received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Villanova University in 2006. He completed his M.S. and PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and 2011, respectively.  He has published 30 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers in the open literature, and more than a dozen peer-reviewed RAND reports.

Selected Publications

O'Donoughue, N; Moura, J.M.F., "Gaussian Target Detection in Multipath Clutter with Single-Antenna Time Reversal," Transactions on Signal Processing, 61(15), 2013

O'Donoughue, N; Moura, J.M.F., "On the Product of Independent Complex Gaussian Random Variables," Transactions on Signal Processing, 60(3), 2012

Jin, Yi; Moura, J.M.F.; O'Donoughue, N, "Time Reversal in Multi-Input Multi-Output Radar," Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 4(1), 2010

Jeff Hagen, David Blancett, Michael Bohnert, Shuo-Ju Chou, Amado Cordova, Thomas Hamilton, Alexander C. Hou, Sherrill Lingel, Colin Ludwig, Christopher Lynch, Muharrem Mane, Nicholas A. O’Donoughue, Daniel M. Norton, Ravi Rajan, and William Stanley, Needs, Effectiveness, and Gap Assessment for Key A-10C Missions, RAND (RR-1724/1-AF), 2016

Nicholas A. O'Donoughue, Emitter Detection and Geolocation for Electronic Warfare, Artech House, 2019

Honors & Awards

  • Dean Robert Lynch Award (2006), Villanova University Engineering Alumni Society
  • Best Student Paper (2008), 42nd Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers
  • Best Student Paper, Structural Acoustics and Vibrations Track (2009), 157th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America