The Philip and Marsha Dowd Fellowship is awarded to a faculty member in engineering to recognize educational contributions and to encourage the undertaking of an educational project such as textbook writing, educational technology development, laboratory experience improvement, educational software, or course and curriculum development.

The Dowd Fellowship Award usually consists of a memento and a discretionary fund to support the nominee’s education project.

This fund can be used for salary support (subject to the normal College of Engineering and Carnegie Mellon rules for summer salary support), editing, travel, reproduction fees, graphic services, etc.

The appointment and the right to hold the Dowd Fellow title is for one calendar year (beginning the January after the award is given) and may be awarded to a previous holder after a three-year lapse. This award will be given annually (if appropriate).


The basis for selection will be excellence in education as measured by:

  • teaching accomplishment and innovation
  • educational contributions
  • merit of the proposed educational project


Any faculty member is eligible for the nomination from his or her department head. In addition, former Dowd Fellowship holders may submit faculty nominations; they are encouraged to coordinate with the nominee’s department head.

Nomination requirements

Nominations for the award will be submitted by the College of Engineering department heads or former Dowd Fellows to the College of Engineering Awards and Recognition Committee for Faculty by the deadline. Documentation will consist of:

  • a citation of no more than 100 words
  • a nomination letter of no more than two pages, including justification of the nomination
  • a current curriculum vitae for the nominee
  • a description of the proposed educational project of not more than one page

Only one nomination may be made by each department head and each former Dowd Fellow in each year.

Selection of the award winner or winners is performed by the College of Engineering Awards and Recognition Committee for Faculty. All awards will be announced at the Annual College of Engineering Faculty Meeting.

About the donors

Phil Dowd received a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 1963 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1967. He served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Atlanta and also with the 168th Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Army in South Vietnam after graduation. He is currently the managing director of Sherick Enterprises, a private financial services company. Prior to Sherick, he was the founder and senior executive of SunGard Data Systems, a large specialized provider of software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education, and the public sector.

Dowd is an emeritus life trustee and a member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advocacy Council. The Dowds have made a number of gifts to Carnegie Mellon through the years, including, The Philip L. and Marsha Dowd Professorship in Engineering, The Philip L. and Marsha Dowd Teaching Fellowship in the College of Engineering, and a gift to the university to name the Dowd Conference Room in the Cohon University Center.