Electrical engineering student wins Jacobus Fellowship

By Ushma Patel
February 17, 2017

Neereja Sundaresan, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, is one of four students who have been named winners of the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton University's top honor for graduate students. 

The fellowships support their final year of study at Princeton and are awarded to one Ph.D. student in each of the four divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering) whose work has exhibited the highest scholarly excellence.

The Jacobus Fellows will be honored at Alumni Day ceremonies Saturday, Feb. 25, at Jadwin Gymnasium.

Sundaresan, who came to Princeton in 2012, has a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Through experimental study, her dissertation explores non-equilibrium condensed matter physics with photons.

Her adviser Andrew Houck, a professor of electrical engineering, said Sundaresan has excelled at expanding her base of knowledge, learning skills such as nanofabrication and quantum measurement, teaching and mentoring other students, and making exciting discoveries in the lab. "In short, Neereja is a superstar," Houck said. "She is a gifted experimentalist who can bring her talents to bear on many problems at once and can lead teams of researchers both within my group and across several research groups."

After graduation, Sundaresan plans to contribute to ongoing quantum computing research. "Through the course of my Ph.D. I will have gained a solid foundation for a meaningful career in research. … As research in this field requires similar principles of device design, fabrication and measurement, I will be able to leverage the skills I've gained at Princeton while learning new ones," she said. "I think that these research initiatives will have broad and illuminating applications beyond the goal of universal quantum computation."

The other winners are Adam Lerner, Alexander "Sasha" Philippov, and Henry Shapiro. For more information about them, see the University's main story.