The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - 13

Special Section: Graduate Education

Special Section: Graduate Education

Marco Janko
Beta Alpha
DSP System Engineer,
Cirrus Logic

Sahra Sedigh
Sarvestani

Simon
Begashaw

Stephen
Williams

Beta

Beta Alpha

Iota Beta

Associate Professor of ECE and
Associate Chair for Distance
Education, Missouri University of
Science and Technology
Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Bridge

Antenna/Wireless Engineer,
Apple

Professor and Chair of EECS,
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Bridge

Education

Education

* Universidad ORT Uruguay (B.Sc, Electrical Engineering)
* Drexel University (PhD Electrical Engineering)

* Purdue University, USA (MS, Electrical Engineering)
(PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
* Sharif University, Iran (BS, Electrical Engineering)

Why did you go to graduate school?
To learn about engineering, and then to create
knowledge in engineering-related fields
Did you begin your graduate studies immediately
after graduating with a bachelor's degree?
No, I spent about a year working in industry before
moving to graduate school
How did you fund your graduate study?
I was appointed as a teaching assistant and a teaching
fellow, which covered the costs of tuition.
What advice do you have for students considering
or beginning graduate study?
You should be passionate and committed to the
objective of getting your degree. If you have focus and a
good advisor, your experience will be a very good one.
In hindsight, what do you wish you had done
differently during graduate school?
I think I should have had a clear research focus before
starting graduate school, and I should have pushed
myself into learning writing and reading skills to a high
standard. These are fundamental to earning a PhD.

Why did you go to graduate school?
I was genetically predisposed, given that both of my
parents were professors. On a more serious note, I
learned through undergraduate internships that an
undergraduate degree would qualify me only for jobs
that were less challenging and had less potential for
professional advancement.
Did you begin your graduate studies immediately
after graduating with a bachelor's degree?
Yes.
How did you fund your graduate study?
Through research and teaching assistantships, a
fellowship, and working in industry (towards the end of
my PhD).
What advice do you have for students considering
or beginning graduate study?
Choose your advisor carefully. Ensure that your working
styles are compatible, and that you understand your
advisor's expectations.
In hindsight, what do you wish you had done
differently during graduate school?
I wish I had spent more time on creating relationships
with graduate students from other laboratories.

THE BRIDGE

Education
* Villanova University (B.Sc)
* Drexel University (MS and PhD)
Why did you go to graduate school?
During my undergraduate studies, I became fascinated
with wireless communications systems through some
of the courses I took. Subsequently, I worked in the
telecommunications industry and my interest in the field
grew. I wanted to be on the "cutting edge" of the field,
working on developing the next generation of wireless
technologies. I quickly realized that most of the research
and development roles in industry required graduate
degrees and experience with independent research.
Hence, graduate school was the logical path for pursuing
a career in developing wireless technologies.
Did you begin your graduate studies immediately
after graduating with a bachelor's degree?
No. After earning my bachelor's degree, I worked in the
telecommunications industry as a Radio Frequency (RF)
Engineer for over two years.
How did you fund your graduate study?
My graduate studies were funded through research
and teaching assistantships that covered the cost of my
tuition and living expenses.
What advice do you have for students considering
or beginning graduate study?
For students beginning graduate study, I would advise
them to voraciously read academic research papers in
their field. One of my mentors in graduate school had
a practice of reading one academic paper per day. Start
out with the seminal or most cited papers in your field.
In hindsight, what do you wish you had done
differently during graduate school?
I wish I had been more of a self-starter earlier in my
graduate school career instead of waiting for guidance
from my advisor or more senior graduate students. It
took me some time before I realized that the PhD was
ultimately my degree and I had to take control of the
research direction.

Education
* University of Missouri (BS, MS, and PhD)
Why did you go to graduate school?
I wanted to have a career as an engineering educator.
Did you begin your graduate studies immediately
after graduating with a bachelor's degree?
I took a full-time engineering job immediately after
graduating with a BSEE. I took one year off from school
while starting my first job. Then I started going to
graduate school at night while working my day job.
How did you fund your graduate study?
My employer paid the tuition for my MSEE. I left
industry to pursue a PhD, full-time. My PhD tuition was
funded through a research assistantship.
What advice do you have for students considering
or beginning graduate study?
Write down the reasons you are going to graduate
school, beyond earning a degree. What technical
area(s) are you interested in? Look at the research
publications in those fields. Make contact with faculty
who are active in those fields.
In hindsight, what do you wish you had done
differently during graduate school?
My research work could have been more collaborative.
With the knowledge I have now, I could have formed
a network of related researchers that would have
enriched my research, improved my education, and
served to launch my post-doctorate career. I would
have worked with my PhD advisor to try to make
this happen.

HKN.ORG

13


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The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019

Contents
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - Cover1
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - Cover2
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - Contents
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - 4
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The Bridge - Issue 3, 2019 - Cover3
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