Princeton student wins top fellowship

Neereja Sundaresan

An Indian-origin student is among 4 winners of Princeton University’s top honor for graduate level attendees.

Neereja Sundaresan won the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship which supports the final year of graduate study at Princeton. The award goes 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, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering came to Princeton in 2012. She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Her dissertation explores non-equilibrium condensed matter physics with photons through experimental studies.

Andrew Houck, a professor of electrical engineering who is Sundaresan’s advisor, praised his student in a university press release, saying she 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.”

Sundaresan plans to contribute to ongoing quantum computing research after her doctoral studies. “Through the course of my Ph.D. I will have gained a solid foundation for a meaningful career in research,” Sundaresan said. “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 added. “I think that these research initiatives will have broad and illuminating applications beyond the goal of universal quantum computation.”