About me

Hi! My name is Sai Kanth, I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Maryland and currently a Research Intern at Nokia Bell Labs. In 2016, I graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras with a Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) in Engineering Physics.

Recent News

  • 10/2021: Looking for postdoctoral level research opportunities! Please reach out if you’re looking to hire.
  • 07/2021: Congressional Science Advocacy: As part of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI)’s Congressional Visits, I met with the offices of several Representatives and Senators of the U.S. Congress to advocate for increased Federal funding for optical sciences
  • 06/2021: Started my research internship at Bell Labs, working with Dr. René-Jean Essiambre!
  • 03/2021: Represented the University of Maryland at the Emory Global Health Case Competition. Watch my team’s case presentation here!
  • 01/2021: Our recent work on spatiotemporal characterization of nonlinear optical effects in few-mode fibers got published in the prestigious journal Optica!

(For more, please visit the News page.)

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the broad area of photonics. Optical communication, nonlinear optics, orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes and multimode fibers are of specific interest to me. The intersection of fundamental optical science and modern day practical and scientific applications is one that I find fascinating.

At the University of Maryland’s Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP), I work with Prof. Thomas E. Murphy on experimental investigation of nonlinear optical effects in multimode fibers. At Bell Labs, I work with Dr. René-Jean Essiambre on next generation spatially multiplexed optical communication systems. For more, please visit my Research page.


  • Designing and carrying out free-space and fiber optical experiments
  • Laser systems, fiber and free-space optics, imaging systems, high-speed measurements, spectroscopy, single-photon-level measurements
  • Automated instrument control, data acquisition and analysis
  • Numerical simulation of guided wave optical systems using MATLAB, Python

Other Interests

I am an avid photographer and biker. I enjoy spending my free time reading, writing, cooking and learning new things. I love playing Chess. Lately, I’ve been exploring a bit of painting. You can read more about my interests here.