By David Simpson

Khan Iftekharuddin, a professor in Old Dominion University’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology and a renowned scholar in computer vision and machine learning, has been named a 2023 Outstanding Faculty Award winner by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

He will receive his award, along with a $7,500 gift from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, at a March 7 ceremony in Richmond.

Out of 74 nominations received, 12 faculty members from around the state were named award recipients. Since the program was established in 1987, ODU faculty have earned 36 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

“It was a wonderful surprise when I received a phone call from SCHEV,” Iftekharuddin said. “This award embodies the hard work of my students, colleagues and my family who have supported my journey and my quest for the greater good through scholarship over so many years.”

Batten College Dean Kenneth Fridley praised the professor’s remarkable versatility.

“Dr. Iftekharuddin has made and continues to make exemplary contributions in teaching, research administrative leadership and service that positively impact our students and the people of Virginia," Fridley said. “He is one of those rare faculty members who is able to continuously excel in all aspects of our mission.”

One of Iftekharuddin’s advisees, Ph.D. candidate Megan Witherow, said his guidance and support helped her become a 2020 National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.

“He lives excellence in research and scholarship,” she said. “He brings out the best in his students through his example.”

Iftekharuddin’s research encompasses computational image analysis and modeling; machine learning; signal and image processing; big data analytics; pattern recognition; computer vision modeling; medical image analysis and their applications to real-world problems.

He has applied his expertise in image analysis to fight high-grade glioblastoma, the aggressive brain cancer that killed U.S. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John McCain. He pioneered ways to identify abnormal brain tissues and predict tumor growth with the aim of improving the diagnosis, surgical removal and treatment of this deadly cancer. In recognition of his work, the ODU Office of Research honored him with the 2020 Faculty Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement Award.

Listed among the top 2% of researchers worldwide for career and single-year impact, Iftekharuddin is also the associate dean of research in the Batten College and the Batten-endowed chair in machine learning.

In addition, he directs ODU’s Vision Lab. The laboratory aims to develop novel theory, state-of-art algorithms and architectures for real-time applications in human and machine-centered interaction and recognition; biomedical imaging and signal analysis; and environmental science and geoscience.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the state’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Below is a list of Old Dominion University's past SCHEV award winners:


Jennifer Fish, Women’s Studies

Ling Li, Information Technology and Decision Sciences


Kent Carpenter, Biological Sciences


Helen Crompton, Teaching and Learning


Jennifer Michaeli, Engineering Technology

Anatoly Radyushkin, Physics


Charles Hyde, Physics


Gail Dodge, Physics


Carolyn Rutledge, Nursing


Steve Yetiv, Political Science


Mark Butler, Biological Sciences


Lawrence Hatab, Philosophy

Lawrence Weinstein, Physics


Bridget Anderson, English

Shaomin Li, Business Management


John Adam, Mathematics & Statistics


Donald Zeigler, Political Science & Geography

Sharon Raver-Lampman, Early Childhood, Speech-Language Pathology, & Special Education


Katharine Kersey, Early Childhood, Speech-Language Pathology, & Special Education

Cynthia Jones, Ocean Earth & Atmospheric Sciences


Charles Wilson, English


Sheri Reynolds, English


Janet Peery, English


Sushil Chaturvedi, Mechanical Engineering

Dwight Allen, Educational Curriculum & Instruction


John Toomey, Music


Daniel Dauer, Biological Sciences

Chris Drake, Political Science & Geography


Dana Heller, English


William Stanley, Engineering Technology


Helen Rountree, Sociology & Criminal Justice


Nancy Bazin, English


Michele Darby, Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting


Gregory Selby, Mechanical Engineering


Karen Polonko, Sociology & Criminal Justice