Leadership Spotlight: Kamakshi Sridhar


1. What is your current position within the ECE Department at UT Dallas?

I am the President of the ECE UCD Industrial Advisory Committee Board and have been since 2019.


2. What is your industry experience?

I have 25 years of telecom industry experience, starting with Lucent Technologies, then Nortel, Nokia, and finally Sandvine. I’ve seen the full breadth of the telecom industry, and that brings a very useful perspective because telecom is a very key industry – not just for the region, but for students that want to build their careers. Additionally, I’m informed by my own own background with my doctorate degree. I have research experience and strategy, so I know what it takes to train the students and also help the industry, the board, and the UTD committee in describing what the future trends are.


3. Tell us about the Industrial Advisory Committee.

We are a group of people from various industries in the D/FW region. Our aim is to be a sounding board for the department so they can gain an industry experience on how to improve the ECE Department. We give advice from an industry perspective, and we are a set of eyes and ears for the department to see and hear from the industry on what the trends are both in terms of technology. The Department can utilize our advice to design their programs, both undergraduate and graduate, so students can can get more benefits as trends change.


4. What advice would you give to graduate students preparing to enter the workforce?

First, you should be prepared to be a lifelong learner, Learning doesn’t stop once you graduate, and if a student is willing to be a learner there are many opportunities. Always be an apprentice, especially in the early years of your career, and consume all that information. Be prepared to work in a variety of roles, because the experience is invaluable in building your breadth of tools. Second, is to be really good at what you do. I think people sometimes forget that it takes time to build expertise, but if you’re committed to being really good at a few things then you can establish trust with a potential employer.


5. Why should a prospective graduate student choose UT Dallas to continue their education?

Coming to UTD gives a head start to students in building their foundation really well. From then on, when they go out and work in the industry, they will be well-served by the rigor, the depth, and the breadth of UTD’s curriculum. So really it’s such a win-win for students to come to UTD, and they’ll be richly rewarded simply because the ECE Department is outstanding and they’re committed to making it better. That’s the nice thing about UTD is that the faculty is serious and sincere and wants to continuously improve.