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Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS)

The Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS) is dedicated to revolutionizing the detection of biomedical and environmental-civil objects or conditions that are underground, underwater, or embedded within cells or inside the human body.

Gordon-CenSSIS was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Gordon-CenSSIS is a graduated multi-university Engineering Research Center (ERC) including Northeastern University (lead), Boston University, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Puerto-Rico at Mayaguez. For the full list of partners, visit the Gordon-CenSSIS website.

The Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS) is a multi-university NSF ERC founded in 2000. Its mission is to revolutionize the existing technology for detecting and imaging biomedical, environmental, or geophysical objects or conditions that lie underground or underwater, or are embedded in the human body. The Center’s unified, multidisciplinary approach combines expertise in wave physics (photonics, ultrasonic, electromagnetic,…), sensor engineering, image processing, and inverse scattering to create new sensing modalities and prototypes that may be transitioned to industry partners for further development. A key element of the CenSSIS education mission is to immerse students in efforts to solve important real-world problems such as noninvasive breast cancer detection or underground pollution assessment.

The Center is directed by Michael Silevitch (NU), and David Castanon (BU) is the Deputy Director. There are over 40 faculty members and 200 students affiliated with CenSSIS.

Associated Faculty & Staff


Michael B. Silevitch
Robert D. Black Professor, COE Distinguished Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director,  CenSSIS
Director,  ALERT

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


Carey Rappaport
COE Distinguished Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Associate Director,  CenSSIS
Deputy Director & Bulk Sensors and Sensor Systems Lead,  ALERT

Bioelectromagnetics, microwave tissue imaging, electromagnetic breast cancer detection and treatment, cardiac ablation therapy, microwave assisted balloon angioplasty, catheter-based sensing. Antennas, electromagnetic computation, subsurface sensing and imaging, explosives detection, security system conceptualization and design.


Stephen W. McKnight
Professor Emeritus,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor Emeritus,  Gordon Engineering Leadership Program
Education Leader,  CenSSIS

Submillimeter devices and materials, optical and infrared materials and systems, magnetic materials, engineering education.


Claire Duggan
Director of Programs and Operations,  STEM


Kristin Hicks
Director of Operations,  CenSSIS
Partnership & Education Services Coordinator,  Gordon Engineering Leadership Program


Anne Magrath
Senior Director of Finance,  CenSSIS


Deanna Beirne
Senior Director of Research Computing and Technology Transfer,  Gordon-CenSSIS , ALERT & Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership