Electrical-engineers-win-top-honorsCommission B of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) recently held its triennial conference at Montreal, Canada. Two researchers from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering won first and second place for their papers. First place went to Shubhendu Bhardwaj, assistant professor, for his work, Novel Circularly-Polarized Antenna and Phase-less Characterization Method for sub-mm-wave and Terahertz Communication and Sensing. Satheesh Bojja Venkatakrishnan, a post-doctoral associate, won second place for his paper, Multi-band Multi-beam Performance Evaluation of On-Site Coding Digital Beamformer using Ultra-Wideband Antenna Array. Dean John L. Volakis was a co-author on both papers. At the meeting, Volakis was also voted by the URSI representatives of each country as the next vice-chair of URSI commission B.

Bhardwaj’s research focuses on developing antenna components and modeling techniques for sub-mm-wave and terahertz electronics. He has developed antenna designs that have allowed cost-effective fabrication of sub-mm-wave antennas, enabling the advent of sub-mm-wave circularly polarized antennas. He has also developed antenna measurement methods enabling the transition of the antenna metrology into sub-mm-wave and terahertz range. As radio technology shifts into millimeter waves, his research will have applications in improving wi-fi and cell phone communications.

The research of Venkatakrishnan focuses on a novel onsite coding receiver, known as OSCR, which aims to reduce hardware requirements while addressing limited spectrum issues. He successfully realized an eight-channel OSCR system and validated its performance using an UWB tightly coupled dipole array. This architecture was shown to provide reductions of 85 percent in power, 80 percent in cost, and 60 percent in total hardware as opposed to typical transceivers. He is also working on implementing an in-band full duplex transceiver for simultaneous transmit receive to address the limited spectrum issues.

The awards were announced at the URSI General Assembly & Scientific Symposium in Montreal this past August. Both Bhardwaj and Venkatakrishnan joined the college this fall, 2017.