2016 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Michael Hughes has spent the majority of his career (22 years) with McAfee Associates, a global anti-virus and software security company that was acquired by Intel in 2010. Today, Hughes is a software architect who conducts research, creates prototypes, and develops proof-of-concept technologies that will be deployed in a three- to five-year timeframe.
Specifically, he leverages advanced hardware capabilities to protect against zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats. He has recently contributed to projects that include secure disk storage, memory scanning for malware detection, and malware monitoring from outside the operating system.
Hughes started his career working for Andersen Consulting in Chicago, where he developed client-server CASE tools, which generated customized programs for the consultants to deploy on their engagements. As a student, Hughes created an employee payroll deduction software system for the University of Illinois Foundation, where he worked for three years.
A loyal alumnus, Hughes has deep ties to the U of I—his parents and step father all earned degrees from the Urbana campus, and his grandfather was one of the founding faculty members in the Aerospace Engineering department.
He has generously supported his alma mater. He created the Michael S. Hughes Award in Software Engineering to attract, retain, and incentivize students in this workforce critical area. The award is given each year to CS undergraduates who have created the best software engineering project in the CS 428 course. Hughes has also supported LGBT student programs and the arts at Illinois.