ECE Ph.D. Student Wins UMD 3MT Competition

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Anirudh Nakra

ECE Ph.D. student Anirudh Nakra has been named a winner of the 2024 UMD Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition for his thesis entitled ‘Seeing’ Invisible Microplastics by Quantum Guided Data Science.

Nakra’s 3MT talk tackled the existence of microplastics in our food and water supplies.  His research focuses on finding a concrete method to detect or identify the presence of these microplastics.  Current methods can take weeks of analyzing the chemical compositions of food and water samples. To combat this, he is working to develop quantum sensors that can quickly and efficiently identify and quantify the amount of microplastics in consumable food and water.  This study could have groundbreaking influence on both the food and beverage industry and the advancement of quantum methods in real-world situations.

In collaboration with Professor Cheng Gong’s quantum lab, Nakra is using quantum sensors to develop machine learning systems that will use quantum measurements to enable researchers to detect the presence of microplastics.  “By combining the abstract quantum world with grounded signal processing methods, my research approaches this topic from a new perspective,” he explains.  

A graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Delhi Technological University, Nakra is currently a Ph.D. student in the Media and Security Team led by his advisor, Professor Min Wu.  His research interests include explainable machine learning and signal processing algorithms.

Read Nakra’s 3MT Thesis

Published April 25, 2024