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Wamicon 2023 Program

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Holger Maune

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Affiliation: Chair of Microwave and Communication Engineering, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

Lecture TItle: Reconfigurable Communications: Electronics, Materials and Systems


Reconfigurable systems will facilitate a “smart society,” in which our communications systems will sense, track, and adapt in real time a massive number of communication nodes, both fixed and mobile. Enhanced and new hardware concepts and innovative technologies for smart user devices, terminals and base stations are crucial for the deployment of these new platforms and services, allowing applications such as serving multiple users with a fixed antenna configuration and keeping antenna beams aligned at all times in the case of mobile users.

This talk gives an overview of reconfigurability in the RF frontend to realize smart systems that can adapt to the requirements set by future communication systems, either ground or satellite based. Different approaches for array antennas, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) and technologies for their respective implementation will be discussed. Technologies such as semiconductor, micromechanics (MEMS), and functional materials such as liquid crystals (LC) will also be highlighted.

Speaker Bio:

Holger Maune was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1981. He received the Dipl.-Ing., Dr.-Ing., and the venia legend degree in communications engineering from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2006, 2011 and 2020, respectively. He has been Full Professor of electrical engineering and holds the Chair of Microwave and Communication Engineering at the University of Magdeburg, Germany since 2021. His research focuses on reconfigurable smart radio frequency (RF) systems based on electronically tunable microwave components such as phase shifters, adaptive matching networks, tunable filters, duplexer, and multiband antennas. Their integration into system components such as adaptively matched power amplifiers, reconfigurable RF frontends or fully integrated electronically beam-steering transceiver antenna arrays is in the focus of the work. The tunable microwave components are based on novel approaches and innovative functional materials and technologies such as ferroelectric (BST) thin- and thick films and microwave liquid crystals (LC). Beyond novel concepts and design, a major interest is on modelling and precise high-frequency characterization, e.g. by means of scattering parameter measurements in dependence of frequency, temperature and static field strengths. Moreover, dedicated functional tests such as intermodulation and harmonic distortion are of major interest.

Plenary Speaker - Dr. Nuno Borges Carvalho

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Affiliation: Departamento de Electrónica, Telecomunicações e Informática,  Instituto de Telecomunicações, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal

Lecture Title: ENERGY sustainability for Net ZERO Radio Communications


Energy is central to all our activities, especially now, as electricity is needed for basic human survival. Nevertheless, the resources are limited. On certain occasions, we need to rely on the opportunity to have specific energy availability and energy on demand so that sensors, emergency communications, and ICT will continue to operate even if the energy grid is not there.

This talk will discuss the electricity generation problem and how to cope with the huge demand for ICT (Information Communication Technologies) technologies. We will address new paradigms for radio communications and alternatives to make energy available when needed and where needed. It is expected that Net Zero Radio alternatives will be available on the market in the future

Speaker Bio:

Nuno Borges Carvalho was born in Luanda, Angola, in 1972. He received his Diploma and Doctoral degrees in electronics and telecommunications engineering from the University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, in 1995 and 2000, respectively.

He is currently a Full Professor and a Senior Research Scientist with the Institute of Telecommunications, University of Aveiro, the director of the Department of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics at UA, and an IEEE Fellow. He coauthored Intermodulation in Microwave and Wireless Circuits (Artech House, 2003), Microwave and Wireless Measurement Techniques (Cambridge University Press, 2013), White Space Communication Technologies (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Wireless Power Transmission for Sustainable Electronics (Wiley, 2020). He has been a reviewer and author of over 400 papers in magazines and conferences. He is the Editor in Chief of the Cambridge Wireless Power Transfer Journal, an associate editor of the IEEE Microwave Magazine, and former associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques and IET Microwaves Antennas and Propagation Journal.

He is the co-inventor of six patents. His main research interests include software-defined radio front-ends, backscatter communications, wireless power transmission, nonlinear distortion analysis, and measurements in microwave/wireless circuits and systems. He has been involved in the design of dedicated radios and systems for newly emerging wireless technologies.

Dr. Borges Carvalho is a member of the IEEE MTT ADCOM, the past chair of the IEEE Portuguese Section, TC-20 and TC-11, and also belongs to the technical committees, TC-25 and TC-26. He is also the Chair of the URSI Commission A (Metrology Group). He was the recipient of the 1995 University of Aveiro and the Portuguese Engineering Association Prize for the best 1995 student at the University of Aveiro, the 1998 Student Paper Competition (Third Place) of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (IEEE MTT-S) International Microwave Symposium (IMS), and the 2000 IEE Measurement Prize.

He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the RFID Council and was a previous Distinguished Microwave Lecturer for the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. In 2023 he is the IEEE-MTT President.

Workshop: VNA 101 - Brian Walker


Affiliation: Senior RF Engineer, SME at Copper Mountain Technologies

Workshop Title: VNA 101

Date and Time: Tuesday, 04-18-23, 1:10pm to 2:30pm

Location: St. Thomas Boardroom 


Power-Point Presentation (40 minutes)

  • What is a VNA and how is it different from other Test Equipment?

  • How does a VNA work?

  • How accurate are the measurements?

  • What can one measure with a VNA?

  • Can a VNA make mmWave measurements?

  • How can a VNA be set up for Production Test?


Hands-on Workshop (40 minutes)

  • Define the Measurement to be made

  • Set up the VNA accordingly

  • Calibrate the VNA

  • Make the measurement

  • Does the measurement meet expectations?

Speaker Bio:

Brian Walker is the Senior RF Engineer, SME at Copper Mountain Technologies where he helps customers to resolve technical issues and works to develop new solutions for applications of VNAs in test and measurement. Previously, he was the Manager of RF design at Bird Electronics, where he managed a team of RF Designers and created new and innovative products. Prior to that he worked for Motorola Component Products Group and was responsible for the design of ceramic comb-line filters for communications devices. Brian graduated from the University of New Mexico, has 40 years of RF Design experience, and has authored 3 U.S. Patents.

Workshop: PA design with the latest GaN technology using Wolfspeed large signal GaN HEMT model - Dr. Yueying Liu


Affiliation: RF Device Modeling Manager, Wolfspeed

Workshop Title: PA design with the latest GaN technology using Wolfspeed large signal GaN HEMT model

Date and Time: Monday, 04-17-23, 1:10pm to 2:30pm

Location: St. Thomas Boardroom

Speaker Bio:

Yueying earned her PhD in Microelectronics from North Carolina State University in 2009. Her research was focusing on large signal physics based AlGaN/GaN HEMT model. After graduation, she joined Triquint as a GaN product engineer and later became device modeling engineer for the design team. Before joining Wolfspeed, Yueying worked at Infineon, Morgan Hill as a RF PA designer and worked on class AB PA design using GaN devices. While working at Wolfspeed, she has worked on multiple projects as an application engineer, product engineer, and eventually as a RF device modeling/characterization manager

Workshop: Recent Developments in Millimeter-Wave Imaging for Short-Range Sensing - Prof. Stavros Vakalis


Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida

Workshop Title: Recent Developments in Millimeter-Wave Imaging for Short-Range Sensing

Date and Time: Monday, 04-17-23, 8.40am - 9.40 am

Location: St. Thomas Boardroom

Speaker Bio:

Stavros Vakalis received the Diploma degree in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece, in 2017, and the M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA, in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
In 2022, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA, as an Assistant Professor. His current research interests include wireless microwave and millimeter-wave systems, millimeter-wave imaging, radar, signal processing, and wireless communications.
Dr. Vakalis received the 2020 IEEE APS Doctoral Research Grant, the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (IEEE MTT-S) Tom Brazil Graduate Fellowship Award in 2021, and the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) Young Scientist Award in 2021. He was a recipient of the Second Place Awards of both the Student Paper Competition and the Student Design Competition at the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, the 2020–2021 Fitch H. Beach Award for outstanding research in the College of Engineering, Michigan State University (Honorable Mention), and the Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging Best Student Paper Prize in the 2022 the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Defense and Commercial Sensing.

Speakers at Young Professionals and Women in Microwave Session

Dr. Amanda Schrand

Dr. Amanda Schrand currently serves as a Senior Engineer and Group Leader for the Resilient Hybrid Additive Development (RHAD) Team at the Munitions Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RW) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. She is the Principal Investigator for several efforts including a Cross Service efforts on 3D printed conformal antennas and other printed RF-related electronics funded by the Joint Enhanced Munitions Technology Program (JEMTP) and AFRL Commander's Research and Development Fund (CRDF) project on precision printed electrodes for selective fiber waveguide excitation. Her efforts in ceramics printing innovation have resulted in 2 recent patent awards. She has over 20 years of experience in multidisciplinary fields including Biological Sciences, Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics, has authored >50 journal articles, book chapters, handbooks and International conference proceedings.

Dr. Sandra Cruz-Pol

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Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Dr. Cruz-Pol received a Ph.D. degree (Suma Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University working with passive and active satellite sensors studying atmospheric gases and the sea surface emissivity. She worked in active remote sensing at UMass Amherst for her master’s degree (Suma Cum Laude). Her Bachelor’s degree (Suma Cum Laude) is from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). She joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UPRM in 1991 and then joined NSF as a Program Director for the Engineering Research Center (ERC) program and the ERC International Center-to-Center (C2C) Liaison.  

She was a member of U.S. National Academies (NAS) Committee on Radio Frequencies (CORF) from 2010 until 2019. She was also an appointed member of the NAS Active Spectrum Study. She was the Program Director for the EARS (Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum) program at NSF, where she was also a Spectrum Manager from 2014 to 2015. She is a member of the IEEE FARS (Frequency Allocations for Remote Sensing) Technical Committee. She was appointed by NSF as member of the U.S. Delegation for Spectrum Management to the ITU in Geneva and was the NSF Representative for the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) at the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and for several subcommittees including the one that deals with Frequency Allocations, FAS. She previously served as a rotator at NSF, from 2014-2015, during this time she was selected as the Federal Liaison for the U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Radio Science (URSI).

She’s the author of several books on RF Spectrum Management, Antenna Theory, and Environmental Sustainability and coauthor on books on two RF Spectrum published by the National Academies (NAS).

Her interests include microwave sensors, weather radars, atmospheric attenuation, RF spectrum, climate monitoring and sustainability. She received the NASA Faculty Award for Research in 2002. She was the Associate Editor for University Affairs for the IEEE GRSS Newsletter for 5 years. Dr. Cruz-Pol is a Senior member of the IEEE.

Dr. Emma Briot

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Emmanuelle HENRY BRIOT is currently Technology Architect supporting UWB Advanced Development activities within the Qorvo Connectivity and Sensor business group, she is located in Florida and works with teams located in both US and Europe. She defines, plans and facilitates Advance Development projects to prepare future generations of UWB Systems on Chip products.

She has over 20 years of experience in various positions with a particular focus on high volume product development for mobile market based on acoustic filters; she also has driven and influenced standard practices within the engineering community leading to consistency, predictability and minimum cycle time while increasing innovation content.

She has as PhD in Science for Engineering from Franche-Comte University, France and a diploma from SUPMICROTECH-ENSMM (Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mecanique et des Microtechniques).

Dr. Rhonda Franklin

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Rhonda R. Franklin is the McKnight Presidential Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Abbott Professor of Innovative Education in the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) at the University of Minnesota (UMN). She has electrical engineering degrees from Texas A&M University (BSEE) and University of Michigan (MSEE and PhD). Her expertise is on high-speed circuits, antennas, sensors, integrated packaging, and material characterization for applications in communications, biomedicine/nanomedicine, and ecology. She has co- authored over 150 publications, six book chapters and has 12 patents, disclosures, and licenses. In the IEEE MTT-S, she has served in editorial roles as associate editor of MWCL and as an inaugural Editorial Board member for the open access Journal of Microwaves. She has chaired MTT-S technical & education committees/sub-committees, and co-founded Project Connect to broaden participation of women and under-represented ethnic minorities in microwave engineering. She has received several awards for her research and leadership that include the National Science Foundation PECASE, UMN Sara Evans Faculty Scholar Leader, University of Michigan's ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Distinguished Alumni Lecture Award, IEEE N. Walter Cox Service Award, UMN College of Science in Engineering George Taylor Award for Distinguished Service, IEEE Diversity and Inclusion Award, and University of Michigan's ECE Distinguished Educator Award.

Dr. Jay McDaniel


Jay W. McDaniel (S’12–M’18) received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University of Manhattan, KS, in 2013, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas of Lawrence, KS, in 2015, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Oklahoma of Norman, OK, in 2018. His research interests include all-digital phased array radar system design for defense, commercial, and remote sensing applications; RF/microwave passive component design and integration; radar cross section measurement techniques in cluttered environments; multi-sensor fusion techniques for position, navigation, and timing applications; and distributed coherent radar sensor networks.

From 2015 to 2016, he was a Radar Systems Engineer with the Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC), where he was also served as an RF/Microwave expert for several plant-driven research and development (PDRD) projects. In August 2018, he joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor and conducts research out of the Advanced Radar Research Center’s (ARRC’s) Radar Innovations Laboratory (RIL). His research has been supported by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), the National Security Campus (NSC), Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and industry partners.

Dr. McDaniel is currently the chair of the instrumentation and measurement societies graduate fellowship award committee and the inaugural young affiliate member of the microwave theory and techniques technical committee TC-4 on “Microwave Passive Components and Transmission Line Structures” and TC-24 on “Microwave/mm-wave Radar, Sensing, and Array Systems.” He is a recipient of several awards, including the meritorious Richard K. Moore Best Master’s Thesis Award at the University of Kansas in 2015, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships Award for Excellence in Research Grants at the University of Oklahoma in 2021, and the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2022.

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