Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology School: Engineering and Computing Sciences Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 1986
For Babak Beheshti, the best part of being an engineer is creating something that makes life easy-or perhaps even saves lives.
"I remember how rewarding it was when my first designed product was marketed, a breath alcohol interlock device to prevent a drunk person from starting the car's ignition," he says. "As a teacher, I get to pass on what I know to the next generation of creators and tinkerers-nothing can be cooler."
Beheshti's current research focuses on wireless sensor networks-collections of small, inexpensive, and often disposable computer-based sensors that gather data in areas lacking infrastructure. The networks can be used to monitor air pollution in cities, detect impending natural disasters such as landslides and forest fires, or provide ground surveillance for troops on the battleground.
Beheshti has consulted on wireless and cellular systems as well as embedded microprocessor-based systems for companies such as Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, and LG. He now serves as director of advanced DSP software, firmware, and applications developments at Ikanos Communications, a Fremont, Calif.-based company that develops semiconductor and software products including communications processors and broadband DSL.
In addition to his research, Beheshti recently completed his second term as president of NYIT's Academic Senate. Under his guidance, senate members worked on initiatives ranging from new curricula to strengthening ties between NYIT's global campuses.
"This opportunity has provided me with a vantage point to see NYIT as a complex machine with many different parts working toward one common goal," he says.
A proclivity for serving the community has kept Beheshti active as a 20-year member of IEEE, the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology. He has served in volunteer leadership roles for the organization, which has honored him with numerous awards including its Millennium Medal in 2000.
Above all, Beheshti is dedicated to his vocation as a teacher. "The bond with my colleagues, friends, and the entire community has been keeping me firmly anchored at NYIT," he says. "I love our students and find it rewarding that I make a difference every day that I come to work."