Alumna Maneeshika Madduri (B.S. ‘13, M.S., ’15) embodies Stanford Engineering’s Mission through her research and work. Focusing her undergraduate studies on Energy, and her graduate studies on Computer Hardware, she is able to apply her knowledge to reach and help people in areas without a fully developed infrastructure.
How did you become interested in your research area?
I am currently a member of the Embedded Systems group at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My interest in that particular area of research stems from my background in computer hardware and the wide range of implementations of embedded systems. Plus, the work and research lay at an intersection of circuit-level design, C programming and systems-level hardware, all of which fit into my interest areas. Prior to my job at Sandia, I had a Fulbright grant to study solar energy in Nepal. Energy has been an ever-increasing fundamental in our lives, and the cross-over between engineering research and energy applications has always fascinated me. This research area also presented a way for me to utilize my EE background to reach and help those in areas with not fully developed infrastructure.
Explain a project you're currently working on.
In my current job, I am working on assembling and testing circuits dealing with communication and data transfer to be prepared for field applications. In a previous internship at Sandia, I worked with the Zync SoC, focusing on image data transfer and collection capabilities. Additionally, while this is not my current research, I worked on a grid-connected solar installation pilot project in Kathmandu, Nepal for ten months. Using energy and power data, I looked at the effectiveness and feasibility of grid-connected distributed generation systems in Kathmandu, which has continually suffered long power cuts due to insufficient energy generation and increasing demand. My research encompassed not only the technical characteristics of grid-connected rooftop solar panel systems, but also the policy and financial aspects.
Why did you choose Stanford EE?
Coming into Stanford, I wasn't sure what I wanted to study but knew that I enjoyed physics, math and chemistry. Electrical Engineering appealed to me because of the hands-on nature and multiple lab and project-based courses. As I delved further into my degree, I was drawn to the versatility of EE; I could use my background in EE to springboard into a wide range of multidisciplinary projects and applications. In addition to the subject itself, I appreciated the flexibility of courses and experiences that the EE department at Stanford offered. I always found support in side projects and exploring different paths, such as pursuing a Fulbright and following an interest in national security to work at Sandia National Labs.
What other activities are you involved with on campus?
As a student, I was involved with the co-op community, Society of Women Engineers, Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Stanford Fencing team for two years.
What are your career plans?
Not yet sure! Still figuring that out.