Alumni Focus on Naveen Kakani

Naveen Kakani photo

Naveen Kumar Kakani (2000, Ph.D. Computer Science) has been pioneering advances in Wireless Communication area for over close to two decades now. His key contributions to the connectivity of Mobile Devices allowed for both, reduced power consumption, and cost for communication when using the Mobile Devices. This enabled proliferation of Cell Phones and other portable Devices as connectivity devices which was used to provide basic services like Health, Education to be made available even to rural areas around the world. Success in developing and pioneering technology that can be used broadly was noticed by the Industry and elevated him to Leadership positions in Industry Alliances. In these roles, he could identify technologies that are in infancy stage, build an eco-system of industry leaders, which in turn could realize and commercialize the full potential of the technology and its use for broader community. Along with his career he pursues entrepreneur opportunities that involve working with diverse group of people and learning together both Leadership and Entrepreneurial skill set. Even today he spends good amount of time doing the actual technology development work, interacting with individuals on a one on one basis to know and learn things related to his area of work or leadership development. He believes there is no replacement to getting your hands dirty, and never stop learning, to know what it takes to move forward in all aspects of life.

Naveen joined the Master’s Program at UNT as a foreign student. He was in the Computer Science and he came to work with Dr. Sajal K. Das. For his Master’s program he worked in the areas of VLSI, and Wireless Communication. His work with Dr. Weiping Shi in the area of VLSI, received the best paper award at 35th Design Automation Conference. After his Masters, he went on to work in the Industry but returned back to UNT to complete, his Ph.D. Dissertation in Wireless Communication with Dr. Armin Mikler.

As a foreign student, life at UNT was the first exposure of USA to Naveen. Although he was living far away from his family (back in India), pursuing his education, working on the campus either as a Research Assistant or as a Teaching Assistant, and actively involved with students, allowed for a smooth transition. This he believes is the true foundation for him to excel in his career after UNT. Even today when he visits the campus to spend time with Dr. Mikler, he takes time out to know the research work that is going on, talk to students to know their background and, more importantly to hear to their ideas which sometime can be naïve but he believes are the foundation for the future. He misses the opportunity to be able to think freely because of the constraints that come with working in the Industry.

Naveen has more than one reason to thank UNT as he found his wife at UNT (Business Major), and they live in Coppell, Texas with their two boys who are 9 and 4 years old.