PhD Student Aneek James Awarded Grossman Scholarship

EE PhD student Aneek James has been awarded a Grossman Scholarship. James is a member of Professor Keren Bergman’s Lightwave Research Laboratory, where he is pursuing silicon photonic chip design and testing for data communications. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2017 with a BS in electrical and electronics engineering, James worked at the university’s Lightwave and Microwave Photonics Laboratory, where he received a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention.

For his current research, James needs to design a complicated printed circuit board (PCB) that involves a field-programmable gate array, as well as hundreds of signals to an optical chip. As this is the first time he has designed such a PCB, he plans to spend at least a portion of the scholarship funds on a PCB design certification class this summer in Seattle. He anticipates that what he learns will also prove useful for other projects throughout his PhD program.

Through a generous donation from the Grossman family, Columbia Engineering established the scholarship program to attract and recognize outstanding doctoral students while also increasing the diversity of the doctoral student community. Scholars can use the funding for professional development activities, such as attendance at academic/professional conferences, and for research-related activities, such as travel to conduct overseas research.

James says he is honored to have been awarded the Grossman Scholarship. “Being an underrepresented minority doing a PhD at an institution such as Columbia can be intimidating,” he says. “This program demonstrates the school’s commitment to making sure that students like me feel accepted and supported.”

-By Ann Rae Jonas

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