Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, Brilendra Murti Panta always loved math and science. “After high school, studying engineering seemed like the most logical next step,” he says.
However, his initial plan to study mechanical engineering changed when he was introduced to circuits and circuit components in his career discovery class freshman year. “I became intrigued,” he says. “And after taking physics of electricity and magnetism class with [Adjunct Assistant Professor] Diomaris Padilla, I was convinced I had to be an electrical engineer. Thankfully, New York Tech made the switch seamless.”
Since that discovery, Panta has forged ahead into electrical and computer engineering, discovering new projects and new possibilities along the way. During the summer of 2018, while working at New York Tech’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center, he and a team of four classmates collaborated on a sign language glove that converts sign language to text. They developed the glove as part of an exchange project between students of New York Tech and Las Americas Institute of Technology in the Dominican Republic. The project gave Panta a chance to visit the Dominican Republic, along with three other classmates, and explore the rich culture there.
“What excites me most about electrical engineering is the vast amount of opportunities that exist within the field,” he says. “There are so many directions to pursue: communication, controls, system engineering, system design...the list goes on.”
But all of these options can be intimidating. “At first, it’s a bit scary because you don’t know what you want to specialize in, but New York Tech’s curriculum gives you a chance to learn enough about each field so you can make an informed decision,” he says. “As long as you are willing to put in the work, there is a niche for you. And you can always switch disciplines.”
Over the summer in 2019, Panta took what learned in the classroom and applied it to his internship in the electrical and system engineering department at Zebra Technologies. “I worked on the system that makes use of Radio Frequency Microwave to transfer energy across a distance without wires and enables the efficient transfer of energy over a certain distance.”
Panta also assists New York Tech faculty with their projects. “I am working with Assistant Professor Anand Santhanakrishnan, Ph.D., as a research assistant on a project called Wireless Spectrum Management,” he says. “I am focusing on understanding current spectrum management techniques in the hopes of developing new ones. We are also trying to improve existing algorithms to ensure they are fast, real-time solutions with as few overheads as possible. Finally, we are working to implement the proposed algorithms in Java and evaluate their performance.”
When he is not working on high tech projects, you can find Panta working at Riverside Terrace Residence Hall as a resident assistant as well as an international student peer in the Office of International and Experiential Education. He is also a tutor and supplemental instructor for mathematics and physics classes, and a senator in the NYIT-New York City chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.
Being involved with campus life has been a huge part of Panta’s success and enjoyment of school. “I remember during my freshman year when the International Student Association put on a global mela [festival],” he says. “It was an event in collaboration with a lot of South Asian organizations on campus, but there were people from all over the world enjoying the festivities. It felt good to see my culture represented and to witness other people respectfully sharing in it.”