Director of Engineering Operations
Saniya is an accomplished scientist and technical leader in hardware engineering, who has dedicated her career to advancing deep technology for the greater good. She obtained her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, with a specialization in optics, and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley where she studied energy-efficient optical technologies. Her extensive research work has resulted in over 40 research papers and 2 US patents in the fields of photonics and quantum computing, which are widely cited.
After her academic pursuits, Saniya transitioned to industry to tackle challenging technical problems. She played a key role in realizing commercial quantum computing at Rigetti Quantum Computing and was instrumental in developing photonic devices with extreme performance at scale at Apple. She is the Director of Engineering Operations at Planet, San Francisco, where she is leading the satellite development programs to provide Earth observation data and insights. She is deeply committed to Planet’s mission of imaging the Earth to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable.
Growing up in India, Saniya witnessed the effects of pollution and the importance of conservation of natural resources firsthand, making these issues particularly close to her heart. When not working, she enjoys reading, baking, and being a loving mom to her human and canine toddlers.