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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

“Make sure to engage with Rutgers beyond the School of Engineering. If you’re only on Busch Campus, you’re doing it wrong. I got such a fantastic education because I took classes and joined organizations outside of SoE, which taught me valuable lessons, gave me lifelong friendships, and built-up soft skills I’ll need in my future career.” –Mukund Ramakrishnan

A Northrop Grumman internship and research opportunities throughout his SoE experience have convinced electrical and computer engineering (ECE) major Mukund Ramakrishnan to pursue a doctoral degree and career as a researcher. “Studying electrical engineering at Rutgers is a powerful steppingstone to becoming a researcher in this exciting field,” he says. He will soon make a final decision as to which of four doctoral programs he’ll attend.

Why Rutgers?

Knowing that I want to pursue graduate school, a large in-state research university – Rutgers – was the clear choice not only in terms of affordability and proximity to my family, but also in opportunities to take part in research and learn from leading professors in my field.

What drew you to ECE?

It’s a pivotal time in the history of computing, as new approaches to hardware engineering are being developed with haste. I want to be at the forefront of producing these engineering breakthroughs that will have extraordinary impacts for humanity.

What surprised you about Rutgers?

As an ECE major also involved in music, I was surprised by the resources the Mason Gross School of the Arts offers non-major students. I’ve taken private voice lessons for credit almost every semester, and have been part of smaller, upper-level, and even graduate music courses. The flexibility to chart your own academic path at Rutgers is truly unparalleled. 

Have you had any internships?

During the summer of 2023, as a superconductor electronics intern at Northrop Grumman, I was on the functional test team. This experience immersed me in the physics of modern electrical engineering, where scientists are trying to rewrite the principles of the discipline and implement superconductors to eventually build a quantum computer.

What about research?

I’ve been involved in research throughout my undergraduate experience at Rutgers and beyond. I’ve served as a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer intern at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and at Princeton University, where I worked on network security and parallel processing projects respectively. I’ve also been an independent study researcher for assistant computer science professor Yipeng Huang, and am completing my senior thesis with ECE professor Emina Soljanin.

Any extracurriculars?

I currently serve as internal vice president of the Rutgers Engineering Honors Council. And I’ve sung in the Mason Gross Kirkpatrick Choir for four years.

What will you miss most about Rutgers Engineering?

I’ll miss my fantastic professors, including Dr. Soljanin and Dr. Huang, who have been incredibly supportive. I’ll also miss SoE Honors Academy director Dean Jean Patrick Antoine’s unwavering encouragement and practical advice.

What three words best describe your SoE Experience?

Character-building. Demanding. Empowering.