Bharath Somyajula

Bharath is a graduate student in the MSCV program at CMU. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras with a Dual Degree in Electrical Engineering in 2018. Thereafter, he worked for 4 years at Samsung Research Institute as a Research Engineer in Bangalore. where he developed AI for Samsung’s flagship smartphones Galaxy S21, S21 Ultra, S22 and S22 Ultra. He is passionate about the sports soccer, F1, chess and tennis and has a keen interest in the field of aviation ✈️ . Thus far, Bharath has handled model design and training.

Niviru Wijayaratne

Niviru is a graduate student in the MSCV program at CMU. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2022 where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Computer Science. During that time he conducted significant research in generative modeling, driver-attention prediction, and photorealistic rendering. He played soccer for over 14 years and continues to play to this day. He also enjoys table tennis, squash, and spike ball, and is always game for some healthy competition 🙂 Thus far, Niviru has handled synthetic data generation.

Industry Advisors

Dr. Sanjiv Singh

Dr. Sanjiv Singh is the CEO and co-founder of Near Earth Autonomy. Sanjiv leads the technical and business strategy for the company. He brings 25 years of experience in autonomous ground and air vehicles operating in extreme environments. Key areas of his expertise are in perception and planning for air and ground vehicles. In addition, he specializes in the coordination of teams of (human and robotic) agents performing complex tasks. Sanjiv obtained his Ph.D. in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1995. Near Earth is his third commercial venture.

Dr. Dennis Strelow works as a Senior Computer Vision Engineer at Near Earth Autonomy. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Wisonsin-Madison and his master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. He has more than 20 years of training and experience in software and 3D computer vision, and practical experience in massively parallel computing and optimization.

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ioannis Gkioulekas

Dr. Ioannis Gkioulekas is an Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. and MS degrees from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where his advisor was Todd Zickler. Before that, he received a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, where he worked with Petros Maragos.


Near Earth Autonomy is a Pittsburgh-based company that builds systems to create a future where autonomous flight is safe and commonplace.