Rick Hughes

Rick is our part-time engineer here at Utah Public Radio. He joined UPR as an engineering consultant shortly after retiring from USU Classroom and Multimedia Services (a former division of campus IT).  Initially, Rick helped write and administer federal grants to fund conversion of KUSU and KUSR to digital.  Additional grants were later awarded for construction of the three new UPR digital stations in Vernal, Richfield and Moab plus replacement of the aging KUSU transmitter in Clarkston.  Rick oversaw each of those projects through to their successful completion.

Rick’s engineering expertise in both commercial and public radio has given added depth to UPR’s engineering team.  Rick graduated from Utah State University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Growing up in a small farming community in Southeastern Idaho, Rick has deep roots in broadcasting and remembers in his youth (now decades ago) being fascinated by shortwave radio and transmitters outfitted with glowing high power vacuum tubes.  Recordings of international broadcasts such as those originating from Radio Moscow gained him a little extra credit in a high school world history class.  Rick remembers a neighbor who was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and owned a rather peculiar Chevy Nomad station wagon equipped with mobile two-way radio gear – In those days mobile radio transmitters were relatively massive and required special motor-driven generators mounted under the hood of the vehicle.  It was an inspiration to any radio enthusiast of the time and bore a striking resemblance to the retrofitted ambulance in the movie “Ghostbusters”.

At the age of 14, Rick received his first Amateur Radio License and joined the local community of ham radio operators many of whom were pioneering radio engineers.  It was an extraordinary opportunity for practical tutelage in radio and electronics which helped open doors to a career in broadcast engineering.