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Alumni Spotlight: Navid Yazdani

Atlanta, GA

Name: Navid Yazdani
GT Degree(s): B.S.E.E.
Year Degree Awarded: 1997
Current Title/Position: Associate Group Leader
Current Company/Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Describe your average workday: I help manage a technology group and a number of programs that focus on advanced wireless communications. We come up with new ideas and then do theoretical analysis, computer simulation, build prototypes, and conduct field tests to prove out those new ideas. As a technical manager, I help start and lead these efforts and most of my time is spent with my teams and with our customers either in our offices and labs or out in the field.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I really enjoy the flexibility of being able to come up with new concepts and the ability to work with some of the brightest folks in the field to bring those concepts to reality. That combination of being able to come up with ideas that really excite me, coupled with the resources to tackle very hard problems, is unique and something I appreciate very much.

How did ECE prepare you for your current role?  The Georgia Tech ECE program is very challenging and if you are able to excel through that process it gives you confidence that you can tackle new problems in the world and persevere to find and implement solutions.

What advice would you give current ECE students?  Be curious and be ambitous.  There are many students who will know the basics of the topics they are taught but few that will be curious enough to understand the material deeply. Being ambitious to go beyond the tasks you are given and do more--it is empowering.

What do you think is the most important technological breakthrough of the past 20 years? In my field it’s personal wireless communications. But breakthroughs in other fields such as gene editing with technologies such as CRISPR may prove to be even bigger breakthroughs if they are able to have greater impacts on human well being.

When you aren’t being an electrical/computer engineer, what do you like to do?  My wife and I enjoy any activity where we are spending time with our four kids. I also enjoy playing soccer and squash.

Last revised May 15, 2020