Visiting scholar Abhishek Awasthi on his first time in America


By Vicky Diaz-Camacho
Spring 2014

Awasthi in his CReSIS office this June.

From small town in India to a small town in Kansas, Abhishek Awasthi says the transition to America was a smooth one.

The 28-year-old engineering graduate student came to Lawrence from Northern India. He said homes in India are bunched together, while here there are front yards in nearly every home. Back home, families Tetris their gardens in any space available, he said. 

“When I came to Kansas, I was excited to be a place outside of India, a place about which I don't have a lot of knowledge,” he said. “Honestly I was little scared about how [things would go.] But everything moved very smoothly. I didn't feel any problem while working and living here.”

Nearly everything is different, including the coffee. He said the differences mainly have to do with society, lifestyle and market. He comes from a small town in India but said he came to America to be immersed in the culture and take advantage of resources made available by the program.

Awasthi worked on antenna simulation at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets from April until July this year. His project dealt with the effect of mutual coupling on the performance of antenna rays. The engineer worked alongside CReSIS Director, Prasad Gogineni and Assistant Research Professor Stephen Yan. He is designing for his dissertation.

“Simulations are nearly done and results are good,” Awasthi said. “My simulations are going to finish within a week [from June 10]. I am very satisfied with the work.”

During his stay, the engineer has been working on the DC-8 antenna array, which NASA's aircraft used for monitoring the Antarctic ice sheet.

Once the team completes the simulations, the designs will go through hardware fabrication and the antennas will be tested. After successful testing, researchers will use these antennas in the field with ice depth sounding radars, he said.

“The antenna array I am working on is part of the radar system of this aircraft,” Awasthi said.

Gogineni not only supported Awasthi in his research and with networking with others in the field but also helped him to become better acquainted with the university.

“We have a long-standing collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, and Abhishek’s visit serves to further strengthen that collaboration,” Gogineni said. “The work he is doing on the antenna array for the DC-8 is invaluable and will improve the quality of data to be collected this coming field season and in the future.”

Awasthi began his undergraduate engineering degree in 2004 after a one-year-long job at Telecom Co.

“I wasn’t utilizing any of my energy so I decided I would go into research,” he said.

He enrolled for his master’s in 2009 at Ambedkar Institute of technology Delhi and started his Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in December 2011. His adviser, A.R. Harris, spent time at CReSIS and encouraged him to take advantage of the program.

Following his work with CReSIS, Awasthi will attain his Ph.D from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in approximately two years. After graduating, Awasthi hopes to become a teacher in India.

“One of my oldest thoughts has been to teach,” he said. “I want to do research and be a teacher. This is my ultimatum.”  

Until then, he will focus on his CReSIS project and dissertation.

Awasthi presented his work titled, “Wideband Tightly Coupled Antenna Array” June 12, which outlined ways to improve bandwidth within an antenna. The work was a theoretical analysis concerning infinite and finite arrays in the antenna structure. 

“This is a wonderful program for me,” he said. “I got a lot of support from everyone at CReSIS.”