Series to Highlight Young Professionals in Signal Processing: Dr. Abhishek Mahesh Appaji

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Series to Highlight Young Professionals in Signal Processing: Dr. Abhishek Mahesh Appaji

This issue brings to you our interview with Dr. Abhishek Mahesh Appaji, an active IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) Young Professional. 

We approached Dr. Appaji with a few questions.

Q. Please provide a brief background about yourself.

I am working as an Institutional Coordinator for R&D and Assistant Professor at B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru, India. I obtained my Bachelor of Engineering in Medical Electronics with University Rank from BMSCE, and a Masters of Engineering (M.E) in Bioinformatics from University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore. My Ph.D. was in Mental Health and Neurosciences from Maastricht University, the Netherlands. My thesis was recently published in IEEE SPS Newsletter. I also pursued a professional course on new venture leadership as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. I received various research grants from government Indian agencies like DST, DBT, BIRAC, and from abroad. I had also worked as a research associate in the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. I have more than 50 reputed International journal publications and conferences. I have a part in more than 150+ Invited expert talks in various conferences, Forums, and events. I have received renowned laurels including IEEE International Best paper Award in Malaysia, MGH CamTech Jugadathon Awards, Best Nodal Coordinator award, Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award 2016 at Rastrapathy Bhavan (President of India House) New Delhi, Elderly care Hackathon (the Netherlands), Winner of Class 5 MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, IEEE Awards, etc.

Q. How does your work affect society?

Since my childhood, I have acquired an interest in working in the area of biomedical engineering. During my undergraduate, I was taught to find the unmet need of the stakeholders and end-users. I followed the same and interacted with many doctors and end-users which made me acquire my skills in Biomedical signal and image processing. I worked on various research projects including digital x-ray, smart eye kiosk, intrapartum maternal care, etc which was funded and involved instrumentation and signal processing. All these projects have a high impact on society to solve the unmet need identified through clinical immersion. I also started to involve in various humanitarian activities and am chairing the IEEE SIGHT of Bangalore Section from 2019. As part of this HAC/SIGHT group, I have conducted various events including COMSNETS 2019, COMSNETS 2020, initiated IEEE BSSIP to fund humanitarian projects. Recently, in the pandemic times, I have worked on a few initiatives where I organized two hackathons related to COVID19 which had participants from pan India, and numerous webinars related to COVID19. I was also awarded IEEE HAC funding to work on a 3D printed kit for the underserved community in urban slums.

Q. How your work is related to signal processing? 

I am an active member for the past 10 years and also volunteer for IEEE SPS. I have been working in the area of signal and image processing since my engineering school days. My major interests are Biomedical signals including ECG, EEG, EMG, etc, and also biomedical image processing including the retina, MRI, CT, etc. I have been involved in organizing one of IEEE SPS Winter School on Biomedical signal and image processing in 2019 for 3 days which attracted participants from pan India and speakers globally. I am working with local volunteers to increase awareness about the signal processing society and its benefits. My recent Ph.D. thesis is also based on retinal image processing.

Q. How involvement with the IEEE has helped you in building your career?/How IEEE has affected us in our career path

I became an IEEE Member in 2009 when he was pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering in Medical Electronics from B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India to volunteer for IEEE EMBS Special topic conference. I have been contributing as an active volunteer since then and have served in various positions in the Bangalore Section. After graduation, I became an active volunteer in Bangalore Section Young Professionals Affinity Group (YP). I became vice-chair of YP at the end of 2015 till 2016. During this tenure, with the campaign and unique initiative #TechnicalWriteIndia, I equipped college students and faculties with the knowledge of technical writing and publishing.

I have conducted workshops at various colleges and forums to share my knowledge and to escalate India’s position in the field of research. I also continued the previous initiatives like STEP for the benefit of YP, TISP to the government school communities which were all funded by IEEE MGA and/or Region 10. My efforts were recognized by the Bangalore section leaders and were elevated as Chair of YP from 2017 till 2018. During this tenure, I designed a strategy to concentrate on four verticals namely Research, Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Industry readiness for the benefit of graduating students and young professionals, and with the help of the previous chair and execom, IEEE Bangalore Section was able to Bag IEEE YP Hall of Fame award in 2017. I also received the best event poster in the R10 congress 2018. I have volunteered for various activities like All India Congress, a lot of the latest Technical workshops (5G, IoT, Blockchain, Deep learning, smart cities, SmartTech, etc).

I have also been part of many reputed conferences as chair for special session/track in IEEE SSCI 2018, COMSNETS 2019 and 2020, REV 2019, EMBS ISC 2018, 5G World Forum 2020, etc. I have traveled to more than 20 countries and delivered more than 150 lectures and talks on various future technologies in Biomedical Engineering as well as on IEEE and its benefits. My active involvement and tireless contribution in IEEE got the most prestigious award IEEE MGA YP Achievement award 2018 and IEEE R10 Young Professionals Outstanding Volunteer in Academic Award for 2019, IEEE Bangalore Section outstanding volunteer award in 2020.

Within fewer than 10 years, as an IEEE member, I was able to make a significant impact on my professional as well as personal life.

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