Propelling the Next Generation of engineering Minds
When Chet Kanojia, ME’93, was a young man in Bhopal, India, he first learned Newton’s third law of motion: that for every force there is a reaction force equal and opposite in size. Later in life, he took that famous concept and applied it to his own philosophy of giving.
To that end and in appreciation for his graduate education, he has generously established the Chaitanya Kanojia Graduate Fellowship Fund in the College of Engineering. One of the main goals of the fund is to gradually increase, over time, the number of students funded as Kanojia Scholars.
Kanojia came to Northeastern after he was offered a fellowship, including the opportunity to be a teacher’s assistant with Professor Abe Zeid in the mechanical and industrial engineering department. It was an experience that he is still deeply grateful for.
“I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have an advisor who was perfectly okay with me creating and exploring things. It is an incredible talent and skill to have if you have the right people nurturing you and it determined my path in a lot of ways,” said Kanojia, who under Zeid’s tutelage developed a patented robotic-hand, mimetic of human motor function.
“Having an environment in which you can explore and think is just so powerful. Having that freedom was the best thing I ever learned and it was the most important reason for me giving back,” said Kanojia, who passed on admission to the University of Massachusetts. “As I was able to financially give back, graduate engineering was a critical area for me to consider.”
Through the fellowship he hopes to help bolster the college’s already impressive national rankings. He also looks forward to meeting future Konojia Scholars, confident that faculty mentoring and guidance will instill in them a stronger desire for learning, inquisitive thinking and industrial drive that will lead to success.
“I was always trying to expand my knowledge through research and experimentation, so I leveraged that ambition to launch my own firm.” In 1999, Kanojia founded Navic Networks and grew it from the ground up and turned it into a major television advertising firm. Producing cutting-edge analytics and innovative techniques, it is an industry leader.