Casasent Outstanding Research Award

The David P. Casasent Outstanding Research Award is made to a faculty member within the College of Engineering in recognition of an exceptional research contribution that has enhanced the reputation of the College of Engineering in a global or national context.

This award is for a research accomplishment that has occurred during the candidate's time in the college and has received significant recognition from experts in the field. It is designed to recognize a singular research accomplishment and is not meant to recognize an accumulated record of accomplishments.

The award consists of a memento and an honorarium. The award will be given annually (if appropriate).


The basis for selection will be the degree to which the nominee has achieved an exceptional research contribution as evidenced by publications, patents, citations, or other criteria deemed important by experts in the field. Outstanding research contributions can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, theoretical advances, experimental results, development of engineering systems and tools.


The award is open to any faculty member, or team of faculty members, in the College of Engineering, including regular, research, and special faculty, without regard to age, academic rank or tenure status. 

Nomination requirements

Nominations for the award can be submitted by all members of the College of Engineering community to the College of Engineering Awards and Recognition Committee for Faculty by the deadline. Documentation to support the nomination should include:

  • 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
  • letters of reference (at least two and no more than five) from Carnegie Mellon and external sources who can attest to the singular research accomplishment of the nominee and document the impacts of the accomplishment
  • any other optional materials the nominators may consider appropriate, recommended to be not more than ten pages

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

David Casasent received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he was the George Westinghouse Professor and director of the Laboratory for Optical Data Processing. He was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Optical Society of America (OSA), and the Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and received various best paper awards and other honors. His research interests included distortion-invariant pattern recognition, neural networks, Gabor and wavelet transforms, robotics, morphological image processing, and product inspection. He was a past president of the International Neural Network Society (INNS) and of SPIE. Casasent passed away in 2015, and a group of alumni established an endowed fund in 2016 to honor his dedication to his research and contributions to the university.