Distinguished Alumni Award - Science & Technology

Cardinal Warde is a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices and systems for optical information processing and displays.

His research has helped develop optical neural-network co-processors that give computers brain-like power; transparent liquid-crystal micro-displays for display eyeglasses and novel cellular phones; membrane-mirror-based spatial light modulators for optical switching and projection displays; and spectro-polarimetric imaging sensors for remote-sensing applications.

Dr. Warde holds 12 patents on spatial light modulators, displays, and optical information processing systems. He is a co-inventor of the microchannel spatial light modulator, membrane-mirror light shutters based on micro-electromechanical systems, an optical bi-stable device, and a family of charge-transfer plate spatial light modulators. He has published over 150 technical papers and parts of three books in these areas.

As an entrepreneur, Dr. Warde founded Optron Systems in 1982, and in 1999 he co-founded Radiant Images, which was subsequently acquired by Hoya, a multi-national high-tech healthcare company based in Japan. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and a former associate editor of the Journal of Display Technology. He has also served on the National Science Foundation Small Business Advisory Committee.

A native of Barbados, Dr. Warde is president of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation. He also serves as co-director of the Caribbean Science Foundation with his wife, neuroscientist Dr. Dinah Sah. Dr. Warde has received numerous honors and awards, including the Barbados Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in 2014, the 2007 Caribbean American Heritage Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies, the 2007 Caribbean Voice Award, an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2006 from the Barbados Cancer Association, the Companion of Honour of Barbados in 2003, the 2001 Innovator of the Year award from the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the 2000 Pride of Barbados Award for Science from the National Association of Barbados Organizations.

As a Stevens student, Dr. Warde was a brother in Phi Lambda Pi, served as a resident assistant, played varsity soccer, took pictures for The Stute campus newspaper, and served as vice president of the camera club. As an alumnus, he has served his alma mater on the Stevens Board of Trustees. In 1996, he received the Stevens Renaissance Science and Engineering Award.

Dr. Warde earned MPhil and PhD degrees from Yale in 1971 and 1974. He also holds honorary doctorates in science from the University of the West Indies-Barbados and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Dr. Warde splits his time between Massachusetts and Barbados, where he is active in encouraging youth to pursue science.