Mahalanobis Named "Scientist of the Year"

 ECE Alumnus Receives Minorities in Research Science Award

September 12, 2006

ECE alumnus Abhijit Mahalanobis (M.S. 1985; Ph.D. 1987) won the "Scientist of the Year" Emerald Award from the Minorities in Research Science (MIRS) organization. Emerald Honors are considered the premier awards for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans working in the research sciences. The recipients will be featured in Science Spectrum magazine.

The "Scientist of the Year," designation, which Mahalanobis will accept at the MIRS Conference this week in Baltimore, is the highest honor bestowed at the event, given to a person who advances critical knowledge, driving development of new lines of products and services that reshape the industry's tools and offerings. The winner works on the cutting edge of basic research or process control and is a research team leader whose blend of scientific knowledge and managerial expertise lifts an entire organization to new levels of achievement.

Mahalanobis is the technical lead and manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's Signal Imaging and Processing group in the Research & Technology organization. He develops major components of the missile defense system for the U.S. Army and has won his corporation's NOVA Award and been named a fellow, distinctions reserved for top employees.

"Abhijit is the most brilliant innovator and research team leader I have observed in my 25-year career in research and development," said Mike Dudzik, who directs Mahalanobis' group at Lockheed Martin.

"Not only has he made extensive original technical contributions to new theories in correlation pattern recognition, he has reduced his theories into practical algorithms which are at the foundation of several key products," Dudzik added. "Furthermore, university research groups worldwide are using his theories to address image processing challenges in other fields."

Mahalanobis provides the background for his theories in the textbook "Correlation Pattern Recognition," which he co-authored with ECE Professor Vijayakumar Bhagavatula and Richard Juday, a retired researcher from the NASA Johnson Space Center. David Casasent, George Westinghouse Professor of ECE, advised Mahalanobis when he was a student at Carnegie Mellon.

Another Emerald Award winner this year is ECE Professor Shawn Blanton, who won the Educational Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in recruiting and mentoring minorities for advanced degrees in science and technology. Blanton is the Associate Director of the Center for Silicon System Implementation at Carnegie Mellon. His research interests include developing systems used for testing integrated semiconductor circuits and microelectromechanical systems. He joined the ECE faculty in 1995, after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Sources: Career Communications Group Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation

Abhijit Mahalanobis, named “Scientist of the Year” by the Minorities in Research Science organization, develops algorithms that allow computers to distinguish between the thermal signatures and radar signatures of everything from tanks to trees.


Related Links:

Lockheed Martin News Release

Blanton Wins Emerald Award for Educational Leadership