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Jonathan Backens

Jonathan Backens

Assistant Professor

Luter Hall 202
(757) 594-8291


  • Ph D in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Old Dominion University
  • BS in Computer Engineering/Computer Science, Christopher Newport University


First Year Engineering Education, Signals and Systems, Communication Systems, Wired and Wireless Networking, Software Defined Radios and Electronics.


Engineering Education, Wireless Mesh Networking, Cognitive Radio Networks, Software Defined Radios, 5G technologies.


Dr. Backens is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Christopher Newport University in the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. His research interests include mesh networking with a focus on rural wireless networks as infrastructure, cognitive radio networking with an emphasis on spectrum sharing and applications of software defined radios including passive localization for disaster relief and 5G technologies.

Dr. Backens earned his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University in 2014 under the advisement of Dr. Min Song with his dissertation entitled “Coexistence in Wireless Cognitive Radio Networks”. He earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Christopher Newport University in 2004. As a CNU Alumnus, Dr. Backens was a member of the Honors program and President’s Leadership Program.

Dr. Backens has a passion for engineering education and prior to his graduate work spent four years working in the developing world in several African countries. He has experience in wireless communications research and ICT education in rural African settings.

  • Best Paper Award, The 23rd International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks. (2014)
  • Conference Proceeding
    (2016). Improving student retention through a redesigned first-year engineering class. 2016 ASEE Annual Conference. Pages, 7.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2015). A novel protocol for transparent and simultaneous spectrum access between the secondary user and the primary user in cognitive radio networks. Computer Communications. Volume, 69. Issue, C. Pages, 98 -106.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2015). DSCA: Dynamic Spectrum Co-Access Between the Primary Users and the Secondary Users. Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on. Volume, 64. Issue, 2. Pages, 668-676.
  • Conference Proceeding
    (2014). A transparent spectrum co-access protocol for cognitive radio networks. IEEE. Pages, 1-8.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2013). A game-theoretical anti-jamming scheme for cognitive radio networks. Network, IEEE. Volume, 27. Issue, 3. Pages, 22-27.
  • Conference Proceeding
    (2011). A Game Theoretic Approach to Increase Performance in Multihop Wireless Mesh Networks. Pages, 223-230.
  • Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
    (2010). A rural implementation of a 52 node mixed wireless mesh network in Macha, Zambia. Springer. Pages, 32–39.
  • Conference Proceeding
    (2009). A High-Performance Vehicle Detection Algorithm for Wireless Sensor Parking Systems. Pages, 327-333.
  • Conference Proceeding
    (2009). Rural wireless mesh networking in Africa: an experiential study.
  • Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
    (2009). Throughput Potential of Overlay Cognitive Wireless Mesh Networks. Springer. Pages, 274–283.

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