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Microwaves and Antenna Engineering Research Group

Pioneering the analysis, design and integration of high frequency electronics devices and systems

Electromagnetic sensors for wearable healthcare applications

Dimitris St

Wearable electronics technology for healthcare management, personal safety, and consumer products enhancement has the potential to transform our everyday life and improve the quality of living of healthcare patients and athletes. Non-invasive healthcare monitoring of body signal bio-parameters – such as movements, respiration, and temperature – without physical intervention or interaction with the patient is particularly of interest in this project. To date, the widespread adoption of many body wearables is limited due to intrinsic limitations mainly related to the flexible/rigid interface: complex wiring, mechanical/electrical reliability, presence of rigid and bulky batteries and charging circuits, washability. Seamless integration is key for user convenience that will ultimately lead to adoption of the technology in everyday applications.  This PhD research project envisages developing a wireless body sensor reader that can detect and estimate human body signals through a passive radio-frequency interrogation process and will be integrated with a sensing antenna. It is expected that this PhD research project will change the conventional approach to wearable healthcare electronics, ultimately leading to novel RF circuit architectures that take advantage of modern System-on-a-Package and System-on-a-Chip technology developments, and it may be a key enabler in lowering healthcare costs, particularly for the elderly.

Eligibility: DTP (UK nationals, or EU citizens who lived in the UK for the past 3 years)

Interested potential PhD candidates, please contact Prof Dimitris Anagnostou for enquires. Applicants should apply by Friday 26th June through the Heriot-Watt University portal.

Prof. George Goussetis, Heriot-Watt University, UK 

georgeBio: George Goussetis (S-99, M-02, SM-12) received the Diploma degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1998, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Westminster, London, UK, in 2002. In 2002 he also graduated B.Sc. in physics (first class) from University College London (UCL), UK. 

In 1998, he joined the Space Engineering, Rome, Italy, as RF Engineer and in 1999 the Wireless Communications Research Group, University of Westminster, UK, as a Research Assistant. Between 2002 and 2006 he was a Senior Research Fellow at Loughborough University, UK. He was a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) with Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK between 2006 and 2009 and a Reader (Associate Professor) with Queen’s University Belfast, UK, between 2009 and 2013. In 2013 he joined Heriot-Watt as a Reader and was promoted to Professor in 2014. He has authored or co-authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers five book chapters one book and four patents. His research interests are in the area of microwave and antenna components and subsystems. 

Dr. Goussetis has held a research fellowship from the Onassis foundation in 2001, a research fellowship from the UK Royal Academy of Engineering between 2006-2011 and European Marie-Curie experienced researcher fellowships in 2011-12 and again in 2014-17. He is the co-recipient of the 2011 European Space Agency young engineer of the year prize, the 2011 EuCAP best student paper prize, the 2012 EuCAP best antenna theory paper prize and the 2016 Bell Labs prize. He serves as Associate Editor to the IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters.


Prof. Apostolos Georgiadis, Heriot-Watt University, UK 

Title: Energy harvesting and wireless power transfer for RFID and wireless sensors: from circuit optimization and signal design to ambient RF backscattering 

Abstract: Backscatter communication and RFID technology provides a foundation, an enabling technology towards the realization of ‘zero-power’ wireless sensors and implementing the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Interest in RFID technology is further enhanced by its fundamental capability for wireless powering of devices, allowing for battery-less operation. The presentation begins with an overview of ambient energy availability and energy harvesting technology challenges for low power circuits and sensors. Design challenges and novel technologies and materials, such as paper, textiles, and inkjet/3D printing are highlighted. Special focus is placed on electromagnetic energy transfer and harvesting for range maximization of passive RFID systems. Rectenna design and optimization under different operating conditions and in different operating frequencies from HF to millimeter waves is addressed. Multiple technology harvesters leading to the development of energy harvesting assisted RFIDs are discussed. Low profile and conformal solar antennas and solar–electromagnetic harvesters including examples implemented on paper and textile substrates are presented. The integration of an antenna with a thermo-electric generator is demonstrated. Waveform optimization in wireless power transfer is addressed, and the ability to improve the RF-DC power conversion efficiency of electromagnetic energy harvesting devices by tailoring the characteristics of the transmitted signals is discussed. The last part of the talk presents application examples including RFIDs and wireless sensors powered from solar and electromagnetic energy harvesting, millimeter wave back-scattering, solar energy harvesting for RFID tags and sensors based on ambient RF signal backscattering. 

apostolosBio: Apostolos Georgiadis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2002. He is Honorary Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. He has been involved for more than 20 years in the field of RF/microwave wireless systems. His research interests include energy harvesting and wireless power transmission and inkjet and 3D printed electronics. He was Associate Editor of the IET Microwaves Antennas and Propagation Journals, IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters and the IEEE RFID Virtual Journal. He serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal on RFID and he is the founder and Editor in Chief of the Wireless Power Transfer journal by Cambridge University Press. He is a EU Marie Curie Global Fellow. He is Member of the IEEE MTT-S TC-24 RFID Technologies (past Chair) and Member of IEEE MTT-S TC-26 Wireless Energy Transfer and Conversion. He is Chair of URSI Commission D, Electronics and Photonics and Vice President of Conferences of the IEEE Council on RFID. He has published more than 180 papers in peer reviewed journals and international conferences. In 2016 his proposal for Inkjet/3D printed millimeter wave systems received the Bell Labs Prize, 3rd place among more than 250 proposals recognizing ideas that 'change the game' in the field of information and communications technologies.



Dr. Symon Podilchak, Heriot-Watt University, UK 

Title: Time Reversal Techniques by retrodirective antenna arrays for Wireless Power Transfer 

Abstract: Retrodirective antenna arrays have certain capabilities that can offer some very interesting advantages for wireless power transfer. This includes real-time, automatic target tracking by time reversal and re-radiation of RF power to a specific direction away from the array, and without previous knowledge of the original target location. The workshop will investigate these concepts in the frequency and time domains while also considering practical examples such as the charging of a mobile unit in the far-field using efficient antennas and high-power microwave circuit technologies. 

Bio: Dr. Symon K. Podilchak completed his PhD at Queen’s University in Canada and is now an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. His research is currently supported by a H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Research Fellowship. He is also registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and has had industrial research experience designing automotive radar systems for Samsung and Magna Electronics. Some recent industry experience also includes the design of new wireless power transmission systems using time reversal techniques for mobile handhelds. His research interests also include planar antennas, retrodirective arrays, and microwave circuits. Dr. Podilchak has been the recipient of many best paper awards and scholarships; most notably Research Fellowships from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, as well as, the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. He also received The Best Paper Prize for Antenna Design at the 2012 European Conference on Antennas and Propagation, The 2013 Postgraduate Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and The 2016 European Microwave Prize for his PhD research, which also, received The Outstanding Dissertation Award from Queen’s University in 2014.



Dr. Monica Navarro, CTTC, Spai

monicaBio: Monica Navarro graduated in Telecommunications Engineering from UPC (1997) and received a Ph.D. in Telecommunications from the Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR), University of South Australia (2002). She is currently a Senior Researcher at CTTC Radio Communications group, with solid experience in National and European projects, as well as in contracts with industry. She has served as workpackage leader ACE I-II (FP7-IST NoE) dealing with multiple-antenna processing for wireless systems and actively worked in the 4 year FP7-IST WINNER project exploring improvements of radio transmission towards new radio interfaces for 4G systems. She has also led CTTC’s participation in the Spanish CENIT project GAD on Active Demand Management for the Electric Grid. CTTC’s technical work has focused on power line communication technologies. Prior to joining CTTC, she participated in the Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems (CRCSS) and Mobility Wireless Data Consortium, Nortel Networks, while pursuing her Ph.D. degree at ITR. From Oct. 1997 – Dec. 1998 she was a Research Assistant at the Department of Signal Theory and Communications at the UPC, where she worked on the development of fractal shape multiband antennas for wireless cellular communications systems. Her research interests include: digital communications, wireless multiuser communications, particularly on adaptive transmission and coding techniques, wireless sensor networks, power-line communications, and ultra-wideband communications.