Navy awards research grant to new URI engineering professor

The grant will be used to improve the Navy’s sonar capabilities

Media Contact: Neil Nachbar, 401-874-9519 |
Assistant Professor Kaushallya Adhikari
Assistant Professor Kaushallya Adhikari

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 13, 2020 — It is vital that the U.S. Navy is able to quickly and accurately detect underwater targets such as enemy submarines.

One of the University of Rhode Island’s newest engineering professors, Kaushallya Adhikari, will be conducting research that will help the Navy maximize its sonar capabilities.

“I’ll be exploring novel sensor array geometries and signal processing algorithms to provide a comprehensive analysis of their performances in an effort to strengthen the technical capabilities of the Navy,” said Adhikari, who joined the College of Engineering faculty this fall as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Adhikari’s research will be funded by a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, valued at $439,561 over three years.

“I feel very delighted, humbled and honored by this award,” said Adhikari.

Two graduate students will assist Adhikari with the research project, which is specifically titled “Information Theoretic Design of Sparse Arrays and Adaptive Algorithms to Maximize Detection in Real Sonar Systems.”

The professor will also collaborate with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory.

Adhikari was one of 26 researchers in the United States to receive the Young Investigator Award this year. The last engineering professor from URI to win the award was Tao Wei in 2017 for his research on “Sub-Terahertz-Range-Interrogated Fiber-Optic Systems for Distributed Sensing Applications.

The Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program supports academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time, tenure-track position and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research.