Some of our PhD success stories

November 21, 2023

With a PhD from the USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, graduates can chart a path in industry, academia or both at the same time. Here are a few of graduates who received their PhD degrees from ECE, what they’re doing now:

A photo of Prof. Hossein Hashemi (left) and PhD graduate Harish Krishnaswamy (2009).

Harish Krishnaswamy (right) with Prof. Hossein Hashemi in 2009.

Harish Krishnaswamy (PhD 2009) worked under the supervision of Prof. Hossein Hashemi. His PhD thesis was titled “Architectures and integrated circuits for RF and mm-wave multiple antenna systems on silicon.” Harish received the 2007 Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper (Best Paper Award at the entire conference) at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Symposium (ISSCC). He also received the Best PhD Thesis Award (Experimental Category) at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Upon graduation, Harish joined the Electrical Engineering Department of Columbia University, where he is currently a Full Professor. Harish started a company called MixComm that was acquired by Sivers Semiconductors for $155 million. Concurrent to his job as an active full professor, he is currently a Managing Director of Wireless Business Unit at Sivers Semiconductors.

Adam Bushmaker (PhD 2010) worked under the supervision of Prof. Steve Cronin. His PhD thesis was titled “Quantum Transport and Optoelectronics in Isolated Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes.” He is currently Director of the Microelectronics Technology Department at Aerospace Corporation. Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, California, and is the only FFRDC for the space enterprise, contributing to space research and technology.

Ta-Shun Chu (PhD 2010) worked under the supervision of Prof. Hashemi. His Ph.D. thesis was titled “Silicon-based broadband short-range radar architectures and implementations.” Upon graduation, Ta-Shun joined the Department of Electrical Engineerin at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where he was a tenured Associate Professor. Ta-Shun co-founded Tron Future, where he is currently a Senior Vice President of Engineering.

A photo of Firooz Aflatouni, PhD graduate in 2011.

Firooz Aflatouni in 2011.

Firooz Aflatouni (PhD 2011) worked under the supervision of Prof. Hashemi. His PhD thesis was titled “Electronically assisted relative and absolute phase control of semiconductor lasers.” Firooz received the USC Ming Hsieh Department of  Electrical Engineering Best PhD Thesis Award (Experimental Category). After serving as a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech under the supervision of Prof. Hajimiri, he joined the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently a tenured Associate Professor.

Yuhan Yao (PhD 2017) worked under Prof. Wei Wu. His PhD thesis was titled “Nanoimprint-defined large-area nano-structures for light manipulation.” He is currently a Director of Autonomous Driving Development at NIO Inc., a pioneer and a leading company in the premium smart electric vehicle market. At NIO’s autonomous driving development division, Yuhan leads the AD system architecture team and the next-generation AD product development team, to define and deliver industry-leading autonomous driving systems and technologies.

Hooman Abediasl in 2017

Hooman Abediasl (PhD 2017) worked under the supervision of Prof. Hashemi. His PhD thesis was titled “Integrated large-scale monolithic electro-optical systems in standard SOI CMOS process.” Hooman received the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering – Electrophysics Best PhD Dissertation. He was a co-recipient of the 2016 Nokia Bell Labs Prize (First Prize). Hooman is currently a Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering at Rockely Photonics.

Qian Yu (PhD 2020) worked under the mentorship of Prof. Salman Avestimehr. His PhD thesis was titled “Coded Computing: A Transformative Framework for Resilient, Secure, Private, and Communication Efficient Large Scale Distributed Computing.” Among his prestigious awards are:

  • Thomas M. Cover Dissertation Award in 2022 from Information Theory Society
  • Google PhD Fellowship, 2018
  • Jack Keil Wolf Best Paper Award from Information Theory Society, 2017

Dr. Yu is now an assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara.

Chaoyang He (PhD 2022) studied under Prof. Avestimehr. His thesis was titled “Federated and Distributed Machine Learning at Scale: From Systems to Algorithms to Applications.” His awards include:

• Amazon ML Fellow, 2021
• Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF), 2021
• Best paper award from SpicyFL@NeurIPS 2020

Dr. He’s research has been followed by many scholars, as indicated by his citation count of 6500+ (h-index 23), which is exceptional for a recent PhD graduate. He is a co-founder and CTO of FedML, a successful startup providing cloud services for generative AI development.

Published on November 21st, 2023

Last updated on December 4th, 2023