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Michael B. Silevitch

Robert D. Black Professor, COE Distinguished Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, CenSSIS
302 Stearns Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Michael B. Silevitch received the BSEE, MSEE, and PhD from Northeastern University in 1965, 1966, and 1971, respectively. He joined the faculty of Northeastern in 1972, and was appointed to the Robert D. Black Endowed Chair in Engineering at Northeastern in 2003, the same year that he was elected an IEEE Fellow for leadership in advanced subsurface sensing and imaging techniques. A College of Engineering distinguished professor with dual appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Civil and Environmental Engineering, Silevitch is co-director of Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence; director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center; and research translation leader of the Puerto Rico Testsite to Explore Contamination Threats (PROTECT) program, funded through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Previously, Dr. Silevitch directed the Center for Electromagnetics Research, an NSF Industry-University Center, and the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program, a graduate program that provides an innovative model for training engineering leaders.

Dr. Silevitch has also contributed his efforts toward improving the education of young scientists and engineers. From 1987-1996, he served as the director of the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME), funded by grants from NSF and the Noyce Foundation, which developed a systematic mechanism to implement a statewide network of exemplary K-12 mathematics and science curricula, and as principal investigator for IMPACT, a $5 million grant from NSF that resulted in the implementation of exemplary curricula in 500 school districts throughout the New England region. He also served as one of the Co-PIs on the $20 Million NSF-funded 10 year (1990-2000) Massachusetts Statewide Systemic Initiative Project, PALMS (Partnerships Advancing the Learning of Mathematics and Science). The PI of PALMS was the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education.

Dr. Silevitch’s other accomplishments include leading a university-industry team on a $4.7M, 2-year DHS-funded effort to demonstrate new detectors and imaging algorithms for a nuclear material detection tool, ASHERD, enabling rapid inspection of cargo containers and vehicles. After successful testing, Silevitch provided guidance for a large DHS industrial contract on an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP), a $400M production program led by Raytheon that was based on the ASHERD system. ASP units are presently in use in the NY Container Terminal. In Dr. Silevitch’s professional area of expertise, space plasma physics, he served as principal investigator for multiple Air Force-funded projects, focusing on problems such as the structure of the earth’s radiation belts, the formation of the aurora borealis and the nature of wave-particle interaction in space plasma.

Dr. Silevitch has authored over 65 publications and 90 presented papers spanning several research disciplines including collaborations with scientists from the United States, France, Sweden, Finland and Austria.


Obtained his BSEE, MSEE, and PhD from Northeastern University in 1965, 1966, and 1971.

Research & Scholarship Interests

Subsurface sensing and imaging systems, detection of explosives-related anomalies, engineered system development and engineering leadership
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

Life Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

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May 21, 2018

Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske toured the Center for Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) on Friday to see if the technology...

March 1, 2018

ECE Professor Michael Silevitch was featured in the Wall Street Journal Article "Airport Security Screening Goes to School" for his research in airport security during checkpoints.

June 1, 2016

Professors Michael Silevitch (ECE) and John Cipolla (MIE) have worked at Northeastern University training thousands of students for over four decades and have setup funds to push these students to...

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