Scott Carney

Electrical and Computer Engineering
4061 Beckman Institute MC 251
405 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 265-5428

Primary Research Area

  • Electromagnetics and Optics
Scott Carney
Scott Carney



Ph.D. Physics University of Rochester June 1999


Professor Carney is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. He is a theorist with research interests in inverse problems, imaging, coherence theory and other branches of optical physics and works closely with a number of great experimenters. Prof. Carney is widely respected for having written the seminal papers in the field of near-field inverse scattering. He has brought the tools of inverse scattering to bear on optical coherence tomography with resulting innovations that have been spun-out into a successful medical imaging start-up. His current interests include problems in inverse-scattering, the statistical optics of fast pulses, and spectroscopy.

Prof Carney holds a BS in Engineering Physics from UIUC (1994), and a PhD in Physics from the University of Rochester (1999, advisor: Emil Wolf). He was a post-doctoral associate at Washington University from 1999 to 2001 when he joined the faculty of UIUC ECE.

For more information

Optical Science Group

Teaching Statement

I teach three graduate-level optics course, ECE 569, "Inverse Problems in Optics," ECE 570, "Nonlinear Optics," and ECE 598PSC, "Advanced Coherence Theory," on a rotation. At the undergraduate level I teach ECE 445, Senior Design. These courses have in common an absence of exams and an emphasis on individual achievement through a term project. I also occasionally teach ECE 340, Solid State Devices, a course outside my core expertise but that I find beautiful.

Research Statement

My research is primarily in theoretical optics. I consider myself a generalist, but am lately focused on problems in computed imaging, spectroscopy, and coherence theory.

Research Interests

Optical physics including imaging, near-field microscopy, classical and quantum coherence theory, beam propagation, fundamental issues of energy conservation, and mathematical methods in inverse scattering and the propagation of light.

Research Areas

  • Biomedical imaging
  • Coherent optics/imaging
  • Computed imaging systems
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Electromagnetics and Optics
  • Lasers and optical physics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microelectronics and Photonics
  • Modeling and simulation of laser systems
  • Quantum nanostructures for electronics and photonics
  • Radar scattering
  • Radio and optical wave propagation
  • Semiconductor lasers and photonic devices
  • Ultrafast laser spectroscopy


  • Fulbright Scholar (The Netherlands) 2008-2009.
  • Honorary Member, HKN, Spring 2006
  • NSF CAREER Award 2003

Teaching Honors

  • Incomplete list of teachers ranked excellent by their students, Fall 2004 (ECE 569), Spring 2005 (ECE 445), Spring 2006 (ECE 445) , Spring 2007 (ECE 598PSC), Fall 2007 (ECE 445 and ECE 569), Fall 2009 (ECE 445), Spring 2010 (ECE 445), Spring 2011 (ECE 445)
  • Accenture Outstanding Advisor Award 2003-04 and 2007-2008

Research Honors

  • Honorary Member, HKN, Spring 2006
  • A.O. Beckman Research Award (awarded by the Research Board)

Courses Taught