Carnegie Mellon University
December 02, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's José M.F. Moura Receives Dowd Professorship in Engineering

Chair Acknowledges His Work in "Changing the Face of Higher Education in Portugal"

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Jose MouraPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's José M.F. Moura has been awarded the Philip and Marsha Dowd Professorship of Engineering in recognition of his leadership and research contributions in electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering.

"I am honored for receiving this chair. I have known Philip and Marsha Dowd for several years now. This chair is one of several examples of their dedication to CMU. It encourages me to continue my efforts in global education and working with my students in pursuit of excellence," said Moura, director of the Carnegie Mellon/Portugal program and a University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

Moura's research has focused on several areas, including biomedical MRI and detectors to recover bits recorded in high-density computer disks, or video compression. His research group has developed technology that has been licensed by several companies.

His recent work in data science aims to extract knowledge from large amounts of unstructured data, a task similar to looking for a needle in a haystack or predicting which users among millions of a particular service will drop the service in a given month.

"Marsha and I view people like Jose as superheroes. He is quiet and mild-mannered, and yet he is changing the face of higher education in Portugal," said Philip Dowd, a CMU trustee.

Philip Dowd, a former senior executive with SunGard Data Systems, holds an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon and an MBA from the University of Chicago. His wife, Marsha, received a master's degree in liberal arts from DePaul University.

The Dowds are very active at CMU. In addition to the engineering professorship, the Dowds established the Philip and Marsha Dowd Teaching Fellowship and the Philip and Marsha Dowd Engineering Seed Fund in the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES).

"We are extremely honored and grateful to have such outstanding support from the Dowds as we continue to make our College of Engineering ever more innovative, entrepreneurial, global, impactful and recognized for academic excellence and world-class faculty and students," said James H. Garrett, Jr., dean of CMU's College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Moura is an IEEE fellow, an AAAS fellow and a corresponding member of the Academia das Cie'ncias of Portugal, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a recipient of the 2000 IEEE Third Millennium Medal for outstanding achievements and contributions, the 2003 IEEE Signal Processing Meritorious Service Award, the 2006 IBM Faculty Award, the 2007 CIT Outstanding Research Award and the 2008 Philip L. Dowd Fellowship Award for Contributions to Engineering Education.

In 2008-2009, Moura was president of the 15,000-member IEEE Signal Processing Society. He received the 2010 IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award for fundamental contributions to statistical signal processing, and the 2012 IEEE Signal Processing Society Award for outstanding technical contributions and leadership in signal processing.


CMU Trustee Philip Dowd calls José Moura (pictured above) a "superhero" for "changing the face of higher education in Portugal."