Graduate Awardees Exemplify Outstanding Leadership

Meet the Columbia Engineering graduate students who will be honored on Class Day 2024.

May 08 2024

Columbia Engineering faculty and administration have recognized three graduate students with the highest honors given to graduate students who are completing their degrees this commencement season.

This year’s Graduate Class Day Speaker will be Philippe Martin Wyder, who is graduating with a PhD in mechanical engineering. He will address his fellow graduates on Sunday, May 12. 

Two graduates won this year’s Graduate Student Life Leadership Award, which honors students whose participation and involvement at Columbia have enhanced the spirit of graduate student life on campus, creating a more purposeful, caring, and celebrative community. This year’s honorees are Amulya Elamanchili MS’24 and Keerthi Sravan Ravi PhD’24, both in biomedical engineering.

A third Columbia Engineering degree and a legacy of mentorship

Philippe Martin Wyder

Philippe Martin Wyder

Philippe Martin Wyder is graduating with a PhD in mechanical engineering. A member of the Creative Machines Lab and student of Professor Hod Lipson, Wyder mentored over 28 undergraduate and graduate student researchers during his time at Columbia. Wyder earned a BA in computer science from Columbia’s School of General Studies and a master’s in mechanical engineering from Columbia Engineering.

Outside of the classroom, Wyder is a dedicated husband, a father to three kids, a regular at his local skatepark, and a second-degree black belt at Kukdae Taekwondo.

Originally from Switzerland, Wyder was named a French fellow for Fall 2020 and worked as a teaching assistant for hundreds of students. Through his eight-year involvement at the Columbia Makerspace as a superuser, he furthered the Columbia maker community.

Wyder strives to advance the field of artificial life and robot development by researching how robots can “grow” physically, self-repair, and self-sustain. He has shared his work and vision with a broader audience through his speaking engagements at Columbia Technology Ventures and Columbia Business School.

Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Empathy

Amulya Elamanchili

Amulya Elamanchili

Amulya Elamanchili will graduate with a MS in biomedical engineering, focusing on biomedical design, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Her goal is to create accessible patient-centric medical devices centered around empathy, a deep understanding of biological processes, and cutting-edge technology. She won the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Best Innovation Award for a project that uses low-intensity focused ultrasound to preeclampsia in pregnant women in a minimally invasive manner. She co-founded a startup that provides books and education to underserved student communities in India. That company was acquired last year.

Amulya connected with the Columbia community by serving as a Biomedical Engineering Department Representative and worked with the department and Career Placement Office to expand career opportunities and brought forth numerous other student advocacy issues. She served on the executive board of the Engineering Graduate Student Council (EGSC), where she volunteered to improve visibility on the Quality-of-Life Survey. She also spearheaded and organized numerous events with the greater goal of fostering a sense of inclusion, belonging, and community among the Columbia graduate student community, including collaborating with other student councils and campus groups for one of EGSC’s largest interschool and undergraduate inclusive cultural events.

Championing diversity and expanding access to medical care

Keerthi Sravan Ravi

Keerthi Sravan Ravi

Keerthi Sravan Ravi is graduating with a PhD in biomedical engineering, sponsored by Professor John Thomas Vaughan Jr. and co-advised by Professor Sairam Geethanath (Johns Hopkins University). His thesis, titled "Novel Image Acquisition and Reconstruction Methods: Towards Autonomous MRI," explores the application of deep learning methods to improve accessibility to MRI across developing and under-served regions.

Sravan joined the EGSC as a Department Representative in the Fall 2021 and served as the Communications Chair in the Fall of 2022. As the Vice President in 2023, he spearheaded the inclusion of the first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) segment in the annual Quality of Life Survey 2023, helping inform the Office of DEI of progress on their initiatives across Columbia Engineering. He also advocated for improving the School’s representation and recruitment efforts at leading DEI conferences (SHPE, ABRCMS, NSBE, oSTEM, sWE). Most recently, he sought a hooding ceremony for doctoral students during the commencement program.

Additionally, he volunteered to mentor a high-school student as a summer intern as a part of the Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia program in 2020 and hosted two graduate exchange students from Tuskegee University as summer interns with the Columbia Engineering-Amazon-sponsored Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in 2021. He also lectured to area high school students on tour through laboratories at Columbia. Sravan's dedication to the Columbia community and STEM education makes him deserving of the PhD Graduate Student Life award.

Stay up-to-date with the Columbia Engineering newsletter

* indicates required