Krishan Sabnani

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Krishan Sabnani
Born (1954-06-03) June 3, 1954 (age 64)
New Delhi, India
ResidenceWestfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma materIndian Institute of Technology Delhi, Columbia University
AwardsIEEE Sumner Award (2005)
IEEE McDowell Award (2005)
NJ Inventors Hall of Fame (2014)
Bell Labs Fellow (1998)
ACM Fellow (2001)
IEEE Fellow (1998)
Three Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards
Leonard G. Abraham Prize Paper Award (1991)
Scientific career
FieldsCommunication protocols, Computer networks, Telecommunications, Wireless Networking
InstitutionsBell Labs

Krishan Sabnani (born 1954 in New Delhi) is an Indian-American networking researcher. He has made many seminal contributions to the Internet infrastructure design, protocol design, and wireless networks. Krishan (with T. V. Lakshman and T. Woo) made a breakthrough in Internet re-design. The main idea behind this work was to separate control functions and complex software from the forwarding portions on Internet routers. This work made it possible for forwarding technologies (e.g., different link layer and switching protocols) to evolve and be deployed independently from control protocols (e.g., routing, security). This contribution is a precursor to the current Software Defined Networking (SDN) revolution. A patent based on this work won the 2010 Edison Patent Award.

Krishan received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He completed his PhD in reliable multicasting at Columbia University. Upon his graduation from Columbia University in 1981, Krishan joined Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey as a Member of Technical Staff and was promoted to Department Head in 1993. He was named VP of Networking Research in 2000.

Krishan was Vice President of Networking Research at Bell Labs from Jan. 2000 to Sept. 2013. In that role, he managed all networking research in Bell Labs, comprising nine departments in seven countries: USA, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Belgium, and South Korea. Krishan retired from Bell Labs in Jan 2017. He received an award upon his retirement - appointment as Ambassador-at-large for Bell Labs. Krishan is the first person to receive this award.

Krishan is a part-time consultant at Bell Labs. He is also a part-time chief technologist at LGS Innovations. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and an honorary professor at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is also a visiting scientist at The Johns Hopkins University.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Ambassador-at-large for Bell Labs
  • 2005 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award[1]
  • 2005 IEEE W. Wallace McDowell Award.[2]
  • The 2005, 2009 and 2010 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the R&D Council of New Jersey.
  • Inducted into the NJ Inventors of Fame in 2014[3][4]
  • Bell Labs Fellow,[5] fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)[6] and Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).[7]
  • 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India[8]
  • 1991 Leonard G. Abraham Prize Paper Award from the IEEE Communications Society for "Design and Implementation of a High-Speed Transport Protocol," published in IEEE Trans. on Communications, Nov. 1990
  • President of India’s Gold Medal, 1975 . Institution of Engineers (India) Gold Medal, 1975.


  1. ^ "IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award".
  2. ^ "W. Wallace McDowell Award". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  3. ^ Mozumder, Suman (October 31, 2014). "Rajiv Joshi, Krishan Sabnani in New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame". India Abroad - October 31, 2014 - Page A32. India Abroad. p. A32. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  4. ^ "2010 Edison Patent Award Winners". The Research & Development Council of New Jersey. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  5. ^ "K.K. Sabnani's official bio".
  6. ^ "IEEE IEEE - Fellow Class of 1991".
  7. ^ "ACM: Fellows Award / Krishnan K. Sabnani".
  8. ^ "IIT Delhi: Distinguished Alumni Awards".