Kassas, Zak


Zak Kassas is the TRC Endowed Chair in Intelligent Transportation Systems and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University (OSU). He is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, and Navigation (ASPIN) Laboratory. He is also the Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation Center: CARMEN (Center for Automated Vehicle Research with Multimodal AssurEd Navigation), focusing on navigation resiliency and security of highly automated transportation systems. He received a B.E. with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the Lebanese American University, an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University, and an M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation (ION), and a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He authored more than 180 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, 11 magazine articles, 3 invited book chapters, and 21 U.S. patents. He is a recipient of the 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, 2019 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP) award, 2022 Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) YIP award, 2018 IEEE Walter Fried Award, 2018 ION Samuel Burka Award, and 2019 ION Col. Thomas Thurlow Award. His students have won several awards, including three Best Ph.D. Dissertation awards (from IEEE, ION, OSU); two US DOT Graduate Student of the Year awards; and 30+ best paper, student paper, and paper presentation awards.

He started his academic career in 2014 at the University of California, Riverside; then was an Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine; then was very early promoted to Full Professor and joined The Ohio State University in 2022. Since starting his academic career, his research has attracted more than $26 million in competitive federal grants from ONR, NSF, AFOSR, DOT, NIST, Sandia National Laboratories, the Aerospace Corporation, among others. His research was featured in dozens of national and international media outlets (Science, BBC, Forbes, IEEE, ACM, Ars Technica, MIT Technology Review, among others) and appeared on 6 magazine covers. He was a Plenary Speaker at 2018 European Navigation Conference, Sweden and 2022 International GNSS Conference, Australia; and a Keynote Speaker at 2022 IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Finland. He is a Senior Editor of IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, and was a Senior Editor of IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles. He was the Program Chair of IEEE/ION PLANS 2020 & 2023 and General Chair of ION Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications (CASSCA) 2019. He was involved in organizing numerous conferences, workshops, and special sessions at IEEE/ION PLANS, ION GNSS+, ION ITM, IEEE VTC, IEEE ICASSP, IEEE ITSC, ACC, FUSION, and IFAC AAC. His research interests include cyber-physical systems, estimation theory, navigation systems, autonomous vehicles, and intelligent transportation systems.



  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Navigation systems
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Cognitive sensing and software-defined radio
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Sensor fusion