A talk with recent Ph.D. graduates Rojina Adhikary and Amrit Kharel – married in life and in their passion for wireless communications
We were interested in wireless communications, so we looked at electrical engineering departments that had this specialization.
At the time, not many programs had this but Ole Miss had two or three professors doing research in this area.
The second reason was the financial support – with the school offering us assistantships. But, the program was the main reason.
What was the most enriching experience in your graduate studies at Ole Miss?
By far, the best thing was getting involved with research. From the beginning it was great to explore new research papers in our field of expertise.
And, then we got to work on a project funded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). We were looking at ways to make deep space communications more efficient. We got to present our research results and get their feedback. It was especially gratifying when a scientist who’d been with NASA for 20 years said he was surprised by the level of the results and was happy that Ole Miss could deliver this work for them. Having this opportunity is a good part of learning.
Did you have opportunities to collaborate?
We had a great experience with an academic who was pursuing related research at Notre Dame and then the University of Bristol. He had come across our conference papers and really liked our research results. He received funding to be a visiting scholar at Ole Miss to collaborate with us and our lead professors.
Today he’s working at JPL NASA, and it’s definitely clear that our time working together has influenced his efforts there. That’s exciting.
Did you have time to enjoy Oxford?
We did have to work hard, but we experienced lots of firsts in Oxford. We were literally amazed with the football games and tailgating. The delicious foods served in the Ole Miss Engineering tents, the ecstatic environment inside the stadium and the fun of watching the game are unforgettable. And, the first time we ever had frozen yoghurt was at YaYa’s on the square!
We loved going to Sardis Lake – we had several barbecues with the professors, fellow students and their families there Ole Miss and Oxford memories will be with us for lifetime.
How did Ole Miss prepare you for your job search?
It takes time to find the right job. Ole Miss professors deserve big credit for shepherding us through the process. They were always motivational and gave us their viewpoints on our interview prep.
We are both now working as senior engineers at Qualcomm Inc, our number 1 choice. It is the worldwide leader in 5G technologies and we have found our work there to be very rewarding.