EE Alum and First-Year PhD Student Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Garrett Kaighn, a Columbia EE alumnus, and Manav Kohli, a first-year PhD student, have been awarded 2019 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. The fellowship provides a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and $12,000 toward tuition.

Garrett Kaighn received his BS in electrical engineering from Columbia in 2018. While at Columbia, he was a research assistant in the Columbia Bioelectronic Systems Lab, where he worked under Professor Ken Shepard on the development of DNA nanopore sequencing technology and on the use of graphene in electronic devices. In April 2018, he received the Edwin Howard Armstrong Memorial Awardawarded by the electrical engineering faculty to one outstanding graduating senior and one outstanding MS candidate to honor the late Edwin Howard Armstrong, professor of electrical engineering and inventor of wideband FM broadcasting, the regenerative circuit, and other basic communications and electronics circuits.Kaighn is currently a first-year graduate student in the electrical and systems engineering department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Manav Kohli grew up in the United Kingdom. He received his BS in electrical engineering in 2018 from Brown University, where his advisors were Professors Pedro Felzenzswalb and Rashid Zia. While at Brown, he conducted research with Professor Daniel Mittleman on the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum and with Professors Bill Patterson and Pradeep Guduru in the Experimental Solid Mechanics Laboratory. As a member of the student-run Brown Space Engineering (BSE), he helped lead the final year of development, including finalization of the electronics hardware, of BSE’s EQUiSat, a satellite that was launched in May 2018 on NASA's ELaNa Mission 23.

At Columbia EE, Kohli works with Professor Gil Zussman in the Wireless and Mobile Networking Lab (WiMNet). He is working on the Full-Duplex Wireless: from Integrated Circuits to Networks (FlexICoN) project, investigating the system design, including joint design of the PHY and MAC layers, of full-duplex wireless systems. He is also involved in the integration and evaluation of these systems in the COSMOS testbed, a one-square-mile wireless testbed being built just north of Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. His goal is to bring high-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) devices into the full-duplex world, where they will form components of next-generation 5G and 6G networks. Longer term, Kohli intends to continue work on the development of next-generation wireless networks, to improve access to fast, modern communication in underserved communities.

In Spring 2019, Kohli received a fellowship from the National Physical Science Consortium, a partnership of government agencies and laboratories, industry, and higher education.

By: Ann Rae Jonas


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