ET Lab Home / People / Niyati Desai
Mail Code: MC 249-17
My research interests are the intersection of aerospace engineering and astronomy. I’m interested in astronomical instrumentation because it’s a field where having the background of a scientist, enables me to be a better engineer. Particularly, I am exploring scalar vortex coronagraphs (SVCs) for their potential in the field of exoplanet direct imaging. I work on the High Contrast Spectroscopy Testbed (HCST) to study a variety of SVCs and their ability to achieve high contrasts.
Niyati Desai grew up on Long Island, New York and conducted her first research experience at Stony Brook University under Dr. Xu Du and Dr. Matthew Dawber in graphene-ferroelectric field effect transistors. She went on to pursue a double bachelors degree in Physics and in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. While there she researched at CSAIL under Dr. Julie Shah on human-robot interaction. After interning at Northrop Grumman in 2017 on JWST, at JPL in 2018 on WFIRST's detector, and at Honeybee Robotics in 2019 she started her PhD at Caltech in GALCIT. Outside of the lab, she loves to play soccer, read and draw.