Tom Carter

Adjunct Professor in Engineering

Dr. Thomas Carter received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and his MSEE and BSEE from Rice University. He brings over 40 years of industry experience in technology development, products and business leadership in the wireless communications and digital signal processing. He has taught engineering at PLNU now for 2 years in addition to past experience teaching advanced EE classes at USC.

Dr Carter’s technical interests range from novel wireless technologies and DSP implementations to creative entrepreneurship and engineering leadership. His experience in both digital design of ground-breaking communication systems as well as years in business development and management bring a unique perspective on the requirements for today’s engineering graduates.

In 2000, Dr. Carter founded TrellisWare Technologies, Inc., where he was CEO for 18 years. In that role he was instrumental in helping to invent and mature mobile ad hoc radio technology which is now the standard for US Special Operations, Army and many first responders. Prior to TrellisWare, Dr. Carter played a major role in the direction and growth of ViaSat, Inc., where he started as V.P. of Engineering and eventually became General Manager, through the company’s IPO. He has also held numerous other senior engineering and leadership positions including Program Manager for one of the world's largest integrated avionic systems.

Beyond teaching and consulting, Dr Carter loves snow skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and was an avid competitive volleyball player until those other activities took their toll on his body! He also enjoys singing, reading and helping to mentor others. He has the privilege of being married to the other Dr. Carter (Lori) in the department, who cajoled him into postponing full retirement to teach at the Point.


  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • B.S., Rice University, Houston, TX

Courses Taught

  • EGR111 Introduction to Engineering I

Experience in Field

  • Adjunct Professor of Engineering, Point Loma Nazarene University 2018-Present
  • Founder/President/CEO, Trellisware Technologies, Inc. 2000-2018
  • VP and General Manager, ViaSat, Inc. 1990-2000

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • T. Carter, Semi-Markov Analysis for Acquisition Systems with Application to the Spread Spectrum Communication Acquisition Problem