Communication network globe

3D Electromagnetic Structures – 3D Electromagnetic Art
This project investigates the development of novel 3D electromagnetic (EM) structures. These will be mainly periodic structures that can be used for filtering an incident wave, or changing the characteristics of the reflective wave. By going into the third dimension, it is expected to create new properties. These properties can be used to enhance propagation or sense the surrounding environment. The EM structures may resemble patterns typically used in 3D art. 3D folding, twisting and convoluting the metallic layers of the unit elements are a possible solution for improved performance. Alternatively, the characteristics of the dielectric substrate may be modified. 3D fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and 3D micromachining will be consider to achieve the intended shapes. The structures will be compared with the equivalent 2D surfaces in terms of frequency response and losses. The effect of having sharp or smooth edges as well as the different thicknesses of the conductive and dielectric layers will be analyzed. The EM structures will be modelled using an available software and the compared with experimental results.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a degree in Electrical, Electronics Engineering or Physical Sciences.
Please contact Dr. Benito Sanz (B.Sanz@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

3D Printing of Wearable Antennas
This research investigates the use of additive manufacturing techniques for the development of antennas for wearable applications. 3D printing techniques will be evaluated for the fabrication of the substrate as well as the metallic layers of the antenna. The antennas will be integrated into wearable garments, which could also be printed in a single process. The antennas will be modelled in free space and then at a particular location on the body. The effect of the human body on antenna performance will then be evaluated. Technologies of interest are the Bluetooth, the WLAN bands, as well as the 4G frequency bands.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a degree in Electrical, Electronics Engineering or Physical Sciences.
Please contact Dr. Benito Sanz (B.Sanz@kent.ac.uk ) for more details.
 

 

Additive Manufacturing for the development of millimeter wave and Thz Antennas
The aim of this project is to investigate the use additive manufacturing (AM) techniques for the development of antennas for 5G millimeter wave systems and THz applications. A variety of AM will be investigated and their resolution will be assessed in relation to the requirements for devices operating at very small wavelengths. This project is likely to be run in association with external industrial and academic partners. The work will consist of electromagnetic simulations, AM fabrication and then experimental validation.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a degree in Electrical, Electronics Engineering or Physical Sciences.
Please contact Dr. Benito Sanz (B.Sanz@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Algorithms for Fibre-Supported Distributed Antenna Systems
Advances in DSP are promising enhanced performance through mitigation of impairments such as interference and noise, and the use of new multiplexing and transmission paradigms in optical fibre systems. This project will investigate the application of such techniques to fibre-supported distributed antenna systems. Examples of techniques include baseband distortion compensation for the optical links, use of spatial/mode diversity in fibres for multiplexed transmissions, and cognitive techniques for optical and wireless transmissions.
Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Interest/experience in optical and/or wireless communications and/or signal processing/embedded hardware is desirable.
Please contact Dr. Nathan Gomes (n.j.gomes@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Beam Steering NIR Indoor Optical Wireless Communications
Infrared optical wireless communication using lasers has recently become a promising solution for high-speed indoor optical wireless transmission thanks to its unique advantages of wide bandwidth, high data rate, easy access and low cost benefitting from readily available fiber communication devices, such as lasers, low-loss optical fibers, and high-speed modulators and photodetectors. Unlike visible light communications (VLC) where omnidirectional LEDs illuminate large areas using largely divergent beam, infrared optical wireless communication uses narrow pencil beams to form point to point links between users and the access point. Therefore, a beam steering device is usually required. This project investigates novel and efficient non-mechanical beam steering approaches. Special optical design for point-to-point light collection will be studied as well.
Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering, Physics or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Candidates with interest/experience in optics/photonics are especially encouraged to apply.
Please contact Dr. Chao Wang (c.wang@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Beam Steering using Active Electromagnetic Structures
The Antennas group at the University of Kent has developed a new technology that facilitates the switching and tuning of electromagnetic structures. This technology has been applied for the development of active frequency selective surfaces and electromagnetic band gap structures. The technique allows for a large range of options in terms of reconfiguration. Initial work on the use for beam switching antennas has been demonstrated and reported. This project aims to continue this research and produce novel designs that are suitable for current and future communication systems.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a degree in Electrical, Electronics Engineering or Physical Sciences.
Please contact Dr. Benito Sanz (B.Sanz@kent.ac.uk ) for more details.
 

 

Body-Worn 4G and Healthcare Systems
This research investigates the issues of modelling and measuring body worn antennas on humans for 4G and healthcare wireless systems. The placement of the antenna at a particular site on the body and its local position due to the creasing of clothing can significantly affect how it behaves. In addition, the movement of the body will also have an effect on signal transmission, both point to point on the body and to off body access nodes. This project will use computer simulation and measurement to assess candidate antenna designs for various worn body locations.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (J.C.Batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Bodyworn Antennas
In this project we will use precision body scanning and motion capture using optical systems that do not interfere with radio propagation. The data obtained from the scanning and motion capture studio would be used to recreate animated human figures which would be imported for analysis in FDTD software.

Wearable antennas developed at the University of Kent will be employed for point to point transmission studies. Information gleaned about current flow on the body would be used to inform antenna placement for efficient low power on-body Personal Area Networks (PAN). Importantly, work at 5.2GHz has shown that variation in the antenna position due to clothing significantly alters channel losses and causes radiation pattern fragmentation. This means that the dynamic spacing and tilting due to clothing must be accurately captured and modelled. To achieve this test subjects with optical markers placed on their skin will have antennas mounted on gauze mesh clothing.

Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communication Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage. Experience in bodyworn communications is desirable.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (j.c.batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Broadband Mobile Communications
This research project will investigate the advanced technologies for high data rate wireless communications. The aim is to propose novel techniques in adaptive modulation and coding, multiple access, multiple input multiple output (MIMO), interference cancellation, resource allocation, and cooperative communications. The project will involve performance analysis and simulation of the proposed techniques applied to future mobile systems over broadband wireless channels.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in Electronic Engineering, Computer Science or a related discipline. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage.
Please contact Professor Jiangzhou Wang (j.z.wang@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Fibre Delay Analyses for Distributed Antenna Systems
The differential delays in the distribution network of distributed antenna systems need to be compensated. When the delay is large, the compensation may be outside of what the wireless/mobile system normally performs and additional countermeasures need to be put in place. This project investigates the effects caused on PHY, link/MAC and higher layer operation of fibre distribution network delays and will propose appropriate countermeasures.
Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Interest/experience in optical and/or wireless communications is desirable.
Please contact Dr. Nathan Gomes (n.j.gomes@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Frequency Selective Wireless Control in Smart Buildings
This research investigates the issues of integrating Frequency Selective Surfaces (FSS) into built structures with an aim of controlling radio propagation within built structures. This project will involve the modelling and measurement of propagation within rooms and corridors both of scale models and real building which have been modified by incorporated FSS panels. The project will involve computer simulation and design as well as fabrication and transmission measurement of trial designs using microwave facilities at the University of Kent.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (J.C.Batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

High-efficiency linear RF/microwave power amplifiers for mobile and satellite communications
RF/microwave power amplifier is a key circuit in radio transmitters. It consumes the majority of the power of wireless systems, thus novel designs of RF/microwave amplifiers with higher power efficiency can significantly reduce the power consumption and lengthen the life of battery for mobile phones or satellites. This research investigates innovative designs, modelling, analysis and implementation of high-efficiency high-linearity RF/microwave power amplifiers for next-generation mobile and satellite communication systems. These may include advanced power amplifiers such as class-E, class-F, Doherty, EER, LINC amplifiers, etc.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage. Interest/experience in RF/microwave is desirable.
Please contact Professor Steven Gao (s.gao@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Integrating RF structures with Novel Battery Technology
The project will be run in association with the Functional Materials Group in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent. Battery technology is a significant factor for modern electronics as the weight and size of power cells, together with charge/discharge times, impacts heavily on convenience of use. These issues arise both in civil technologies such as mobile phones, laptops, notepads etc, but also in defence related systems where soldiers may have to carry a large amount of electronics with heavy associated batteries. New battery technologies are being proposed that do not require metal contacts and batteries could even be developed that could be integrated closely to clothing.

The project would involve a student to investigate suitable strategies for the design of RF communications structures such as antennas which could be mounted directly onto new types of battery. This will be done by simulation and also it is intended to use prototype batteries for testing. Antenna designs would be produced in simulation and tested in the Antennas Laboratory of the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communication Engineering or Physics. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Experience of Antenna Engineering or battery technology would be desirable.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (J.C.Batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Low-Cost Radio over Fibre
While the use of fibre in the access network is increasing, bringing it into buildings and even people’s homes requires significant reduction in component costs and improvement in ease of use. This project investigates fibre systems for in-building and in-home deployments where the aim is to support a wireless connection to the user. To reduce costs it involves investigating various multimode (including polymer) fibre types, suitable components for these and their performance.
Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Interest/experience in optical and/or wireless communications is desirable.
Please contact Dr. Nathan Gomes (n.j.gomes@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Microwave Photonics Subsystems for communications, sensing and biomedical applications
Microwave photonics is an emerging interdisciplinary research area that studies the interaction between microwave and optical waves for widespread applications such as broadband wireless communications, radar, sensor networks, medical imaging, instrumentation and warfare systems.

This project investigates innovative photonic techniques to provide and enhance functions in microwave systems that are usually very challenging to carry out in the radiofrequency domain.

This project will involve extensive theoretical and experimental research on important microwave photonics subsystems, such as photonic generation, processing and characterization of microwave signals, optically controlled phased array antennas, microwave photonic sensor interrogation, and microwave photonics for biomedical imaging.

Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering, Physics or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Candidates with interest/experience in optics/photonics are especially encouraged to apply.
Please contact Dr. Chao Wang (c.wang@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Millimeter-wave antennas and arrays for satellite communications
Future communication systems will move to higher frequency bands due to the needs for higher data transmission rate and also the congestion in the frequency spectrum. This research investigates innovative designs, modelling, analysis and implementation of millimetre-wave antennas and arrays for advanced satellite communication systems. These may include Ka-band (30 GHz) antenna for satellite communication or V-band (60 GHz) antennas for inter-satellite communications, as well as antennas at even higher frequency bands.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage. Interest/experience in antennas or microwave is desirable.
Please contact Professor Steven Gao (s.gao@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Radio Over Fibre for Next Generation Mobile Communications
Future mobile communication (4G and beyond 4G) systems will shorten the distance between base station antenna and mobile user to significantly increase data rates. In order to avoid the proliferation of base stations, distributed antennas can be used. Further the signals to/from the distributed antennas can be jointly processed to take advantage of spatial diversity gains; however, the demands on the number and type/quality of signals that need transporting back then increases. This project investigates the transport of these signals in optical distribution networks. Convergence with fixed optical access networks is of particular interest.
Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Interest/experience in optical and/or wireless communications is desirable.
Please contact Dr. Nathan Gomes (n.j.gomes@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

RFID Sensing
The antennas group at Kent has developed a series of passive UHF RFID tags with very low profile suitable for mounting on a series of surfaces including people. We aim to increase the functionality of these tags by implementing a sensing function in them. This project may be in collaboration with the Functional Materials Group in the School of Physical Sciences and with the objective of creating passive tags able to sense parameters continously or discontinuously.
A previous degree in electronic/communications engineering with a physical component or a degree in physical science will be necessary.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (j.c.batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Smart antennas for mobile and satellite communications
This research investigates innovative designs, modelling, analysis and hardware implementation of smart antennas for mobile and satellite communication systems. Smart antenna is a key technology for modern communication systems as it can achieve electronically beam steering towards desired users while forming nulls towards interference signals. Smart antenna can significantly improve the performance of wireless communication systems.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage. Interest/experience in antennas or microwave is desirable.
Please contact Professor Steven Gao (s.gao@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Ultrafast real-time microscopy and spectroscopy
While various novel microscopy techniques that break the diffraction limit of light have been demonstrated, ultrafast high-throughput microscopy has been a very challenging task, due to the lack of high-speed and high-quality image sensor.

This project investigates an ultrafast continuous running imaging technique using ultrashort optical pulses. The project also involves development of the technique’s applications in high-throughput measurement, such as high-speed surface profiling and tomography, screening and manipulation of rare microparticles.

Candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class or very good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Electronic Engineering, Physics or a related subject. An appropriate degree at Masters level would be an advantage. Candidates with interest/experience in optics/photonics are especially encouraged to apply.
Please contact Dr. Chao Wang (c.wang@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Ultra-wideband radars for through-wall imaging
There are increasing needs for ultra-wideband (UWB) radars for through-wall imaging applications. The use of UWB radars has lots of advantages compared to that using X-ray machines. This research investigates innovative designs, modelling, analysis and implementation of UWB antennas and/or RF front ends or signal processing unit for UWB radars for through-wall imaging applications. The work can focus on RF part or digital part or UWB radar systems.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage. Interest/experience in antennas or microwave or DSP is desirable.
Please contact Professor Steven Gao (s.gao@kent.ac.uk) for more details.
 

 

Wearable RFID Tag Design
This research investigates how to design and optimise passive RFID tags with suitable efficiency when worn in very close proximity to skin. The work will also investigate how to fabricate and affix designs directly to skin while achieving a good quality match to the tag RFID chip. Many applications are envisaged for successful outcomes of this work.
Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in a relevant branch of Communications Engineering. An appropriate degree at Masters level will be an advantage.
Please contact Dr. John Batchelor (J.C.Batchelor@kent.ac.uk) for more details.