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Award winning Student

Top BT graduate prize awarded to Vidhyalakshmi Karthikeyan
Award winning Student

Vidhyalakshmi Karthikeyan and Professor Izzat Darwazeh

Inspiring Former UCL student awarded top BT graduate prize

A former student of UCL’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) department has recently been awarded a top prize by BT for being the most inspiring graduate on their two year graduate training programme. Vidhyalakshmi (Vidhya) Karthikeyan was awarded one of only 6 prizes out of her cohort of 117 graduates, presented to employees who best exemplify the company’s core values. She was also recently a nominee for the title of ‘Young IT Professional of the Year’ by the British Computer Society (BCS) at the UK IT Awards 2011.

Vidhya graduated with a Distinction from the MSc in Telecommunications course, after also completing her BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the same university, gaining a First class degree with an overall mark of 96%! She left UCL to join BT in 2009 where she works in the company’s Research and Technology Division. She runs a research project on autonomous network management systems and is already an inventor of 5 patent applications and now Senior Researcher in the team. Translating Intellectual Property arising from predictive analytics and artificial intelligence research into BT’s business operations is a key challenge and Vidhya has already made a significant impact at the corporation.

Self-learning processes and predictive network management

Running BT’s network requires coordinating a large number of processes to deliver and maintain services. In BT Research, Vidhya is looking at how to make these processes as autonomous as possible. In order to do this, it is necessary to be able to predict process problems or automate network management and pre-empt customer affecting issues before they occur. In her research team they are applying different types of machine learning methods to discover patterns in data that can help BT to pre-empt service issues or support decision making.

UCL’s legacy

From an early age during her childhood in India and Malaysia, Vidhya was interested in engineering and comfortable using mathematics to solve problems. Attracted by the contribution of UCL’s long-established EEE department to the development of pioneering technology and the continued strength of its research, Vidhya was thrilled to be able to come and study in London at UCL on a scholarship in 2005. She found studying telecommunications systems engineering fascinating and her whole experience as an undergraduate and postgraduate at UCL life-changing: "There are very few universities around the world that so effectively integrate technical expertise with such a friendly atmosphere." During her time at UCL, she was mentored and inspired by, among others, Prof. Izzat Darwazeh, Prof. Andy Valdar, Dr Miguel Rio and the late Professor Chris Todd.

Vidhya’s story demonstrates the great career prospects for bright electronic engineers.

You can read more about Vidhya’s research in a recent journal article she co-wrote for the Institute for Telecommunications Professionals at: http://www.theitp.org/Journal/sep_11_pdfs/vol5_p3_33-41.pdf