Brilliant Brothers All Win Gold at NJIT

Faizan Naqvi won a Goldwater Scholarship for his solar research.

America is often referred to as the land of opportunity.  Faizan Naqvi refers to NJIT as the “university of opportunity.”

NJIT gave him the opportunity, for instance, to work on solar research with Haiman Wang, a prominent professor of physics. Faizan started the research when he was just a freshman. Now a junior, his research recently helped him a Goldwater Scholarship – an award that recognizes the brightest young researchers in the nation, of which he is one.   

Faizan is grateful to NJIT for that research opportunity. And he’s grateful to Professor Gene M. Jonakait, who spent endless hours helping him refine his application for the Goldwater.

Some other NJIT opportunities afforded to Faizan are these: a scholarship from the Honors College, which gave him the opportunity to focus on his studies; being president of the Rotaract Club, which gave him a chance to do community service; and belonging to a team that built a robotic waste sorter, which gave him hands-on experience. He was also induction into Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society and, through the BS/MS program in electrical engineering, has the chance to take graduate-level courses while still an undergraduate.  

“I left my homeland, Pakistan, to attend NJIT,” says Faizan. “My two older brothers also attended NJIT. They loved it here and so do I.”

Faizan’s brothers, Mohammad and Salman, not only attended NJIT but excelled.  Both graduated with a host of awards and honors; and both also won Goldwater Scholarships. The Naqvi brothers are a brilliant triumvirate -- the only three brothers ever to have won Goldwater Scholarships. Mohammad and Salman, like Faizan, majored in electrical engineering. 

Mohammad, who graduated in 2009, works now as an Electronics Engineer for Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company, where he focuses on antenna design and testing. He’s also doing a master’s degree in Engineering Management at Columbia University. 

Salman graduated in 2010 and is doing a master’s in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where he researches the effects of the earth’s atmosphere on wireless communication.

The three brothers are close -- they roomed together while NJIT -- and ever since they were boys growing up in Pakistan have always helped each other with school work. All three attended an elite Pakistani high school that’s affiliated with Cambridge University. Then all three came to NJIT to make a bit of academic history.  

“My brothers and I are humbled by each winning Goldwater awards,” says Faizan, “During Open Houses I talk to high school students who are considering applying to NJIT. And I always tell them this: ‘NJIT is the university of opportunity.  It will offer you so many opportunities. All you have to do is take advantage of them.’”

(By Robert Florida, Office of Strategic Communications)