Ara N. Knaian, Ph.D.

Principal Engineer and Managing Partner

Ara Knaian is a principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs. He has extensive experience in electronic hardware design, embedded computing, low-power circuit techniques, and applied electromagnetics.

Ara was one of the architects of Google’s Project Ara modular phone, for which he helped develop the product concept, chipset architecture, connector interfaces, and electrical design.  He developed the drive waveforms and display controller architecture used in the Amazon Kindle and other electronic books with E Ink displays. He collaborated on the design and testing of the world's smallest modular robots for DARPA. He invented a wireless magnetic traffic sensor which is used to control traffic light sequencing in Palo Alto and many other cities around the world. He designed the electrical systems and wrote the firmware for the Formlabs 3D printer. He has collaborated on the development of art installations, medical devices, telecommunications systems, aviation components, and autonomous robots.

Ara is named as an inventor on more than 36 U.S. patents. In his spare time he enjoys gardening and doing carpentry projects with his kids. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.