By Sherry DiBari

Khan Iftekharuddin and Willy Wriggers, both professors in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, have been named as 2024 Old Dominion University Eminent Scholars.

The Eminent Scholar designation, awarded to faculty members at the full professor rank, recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the university. Nominees must demonstrate a distinguished scholarly publication record or creative arts stature and possess a nationally recognized reputation in their discipline.

Iftekharuddin holds the Batten Endowed Chair in Machine Learning in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and serves as the director of the Vision Lab. His expertise lies in computer vision and machine learning, where he applies his knowledge to combat diseases like high-grade glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer, and to advance the understanding of other diseases like Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alzheimer’s. He has also pioneered methods for identifying abnormal brain tissues and predicting tumor growth. Iftekharuddin’s research extends to areas including smart and connected cities and human-machine interactions.

Wriggers, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Biomachina Lab, is known for his work on 3D computer modeling techniques to refine and reconstruct electron microscopy images. These images help scientists understand complex biomolecular structures composed of nucleic acids and proteins.

Both scholars will receive a permanent title and recognition as eminent scholars in university publications. Additionally, they will receive financial supplements for as long as they remain active faculty members.

Iftekharuddin and Wriggers will be formally honored at the university's annual Faculty and Administration Awards Dinner and have their names added to a plaque on campus celebrating their achievements.

Past recipients from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology include Sylvain Marsillac (2019), Ravindra Joshi (2010), Hani Elsayed-Ali (2004), Amed Noor (2001), Oktay Baysal (1996), Chuh Mei (1991), Osama Kandil (1990), Surendra Tiwari (1990), Robert Ash (1989), and Karl Schoenbach (1989).