NMSU alumna Shakti Davis named Most Promising Black Engineer

Dr. Shakti K. Davis, who graduated in 1999 from NMSU with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering was named Most Promising Engineer or Scientist for 2010 at the U.S. Black Engineer of the Year Award conference held Feb. 18-20 in Baltimore, MD. Following is the profile of Davis that appears in USBE&IT magazine.

Dr. Shakti Davis has demonstrated tremendous potential for technical contributions. In her short career, she has published in five refereed journals, delivered papers at six conferences, and received a U.S. patent for microwave-based examination of medical conditions using hypothesis testing. Dr. Davis was a 2004-1006 National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow and was selected for the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars Program, as well as the AT&T Laboratories Fellowship Program from 2000 to 2006. She won an IBM Almaden Research Internship Award in 1999, and was a New Mexico State University Crimson Scholar for four years between 1994 and 1999.

During graduate studies at University of Wisconsin, Davis did research on the use of microwave technology for breast-cancer detection and analysis. After receiving her Ph.D., she published a paper, “Breast Tumor Characterization based on Ultra-Wideband Microwave Backscatter.”

In a brief period, this young engineer has had a significant impact on the detection and treatment of a disease that afflicts so many. Following the completion of her doctorate in electrical and computer engineering in 2006, she joined the Massachusetts Institute of technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, where her research interests include adaptive-array signal processing and its radar applications. Dr. Davis has contributed to significant advances in the field of digital signal processing. Her work in support of space-borne radars led to algorithm improvements that formed the core of future radar capabilities.

Pushing Doors Open for Others

Dr. Davis has also moved to promote the growth of women and minorities within the MIT Lincoln Lab. She is active in the lab’s Technical Women’s Network and works toward the advancement and opportunity for networking among women in science, technology and engineering across the laboratory.

Faculty at Dr. Davis’ alma mater, New Mexico State University, believe her potential for further accomplishment is unlimited and were proud to nominate her for this early-career award. Jay B. Jordan, associate vice president for research and professor emeritus, electrical and computer engineering, wrote: “During her undergraduate years (1994-1999) … it was immediately apparent to those of us on the faculty who knew Shakti that she was a person of exceptional talent.”

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