Northern Canada AP/MTT Jt. Chapter

March 23rd, 2017

We are pleased to announce the first session in our student seminar series 2017. Two of our students will be presenting on  WednesdayMarch 29 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm in ICE 8-207. 

Speaker #1: David Sawyer – “Choke Ring Structures for Ground Penetrating Radar

Background: Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a mature and successful technology that replaces expensive excavation and prospecting with simple scanning and imaging. Due to the high degree of loss in the ground at microwave frequencies, GPR systems are extremely susceptible stray reflections and interference (known as clutter), which can overwhelm signals of interest. For common GPR antennas such as dipoles, shielding, such as with a metallic cavity, is an attractive way to isolate the antenna from the above-ground environment. However, currents induced on the shield by the antenna can travel around the shield and re-radiate, acting as a source of clutter and offsetting these benefits. Choke rings are a well-known structure used for global positioning systems that reduce multi-path interference that work by suppressing currents along a plane. This work presents choke-ring structures as a way to suppress these currents for GPR and demonstrates that good bandwidth and time-domain performance may be achieved through the use of resistive, rather than perfectly metallic structures.

Biography: David Sawyer graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in engineering physics in 2015, and as of 2017 is currently in the process of his M.Sc. in the area of microwave circuits. His current work is involved in the areas of metamaterial surfaces, small antennas, and ground penetrating radar, considering both frequency and time domain results. His work in this area has recently been accepted for publication at the AP-S Symposium on Antennas and Propagation. Some of David’s interests include fundamental limitations in electromagnetics, as well as numerical and mathematical methods in electromagnetics. David’s interests also extend to the arts. He currently helps run the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus as part of their executive, and is also a member of a local dance performance team.

Speaker #2: Mitchell Semple – “Optical Implementation of a Miniaturized ENNZ-Metamaterial-Lined Aperture Array


Abstract: Aperture arrays have been used as frequency selective surfaces and to demonstrate extraordinary transmission, and have been proposed for a multitude of applications. The operation of these devices requires large areas as they depend on either aperture size or array periodicity, respectively, on the order of a wavelength. It has recently been demonstrated that lining each circular aperture in an array with a thin epsilon-negative and near-zero (ENNZ) metamaterial dramatically lowers its resonance frequency while the aperture itself remains largely empty, obviating the need for both large apertures and large aperture spacing. Thus, aperture-array-based devices could be miniaturized in the microwave regime (E. Baladi, J. G. Pollock, and A. K. Iyer, Opt. Express, vol. 23, no. 16, 2015).
An optical implementation of the ENNZ-metamaterial-lined aperture array, simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics, will be presented. Challenges in achieving an optical implementation included the reliance of the microwave design on lumped circuit elements and near-ideal conductor properties, which cannot be reproduced directly at optical frequencies. The proposed optical aperture array was designed to improve transmission at optical-telecommunications wavelengths of λ = 1.55 μm (f = 193 THz) through apertures of size λ/5 and spacing λ/4. For a patterned gold surface with minimum feature size of 10 nm, an 8.7 dB transmission improvement over the unlined case was realized.

Biography: Mitchell graduated from the University of Alberta in 2016 with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. He has previously worked on integrating molecular junctions into guitar distortion pedals as amplifier feedback elements and is currently an M.Sc. student working on plasmonic metamaterials.

Free pizza and refreshments will be served.

March 16th, 2017

We are pleased to announce the first session in our student seminar series 2017. Two of our students will be presenting on  WednesdayMarch 22 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm in ICE 8-207. 

Speaker #1: Cameron Hough – “Biological dosimetry of THz radiation for potential biomedical application


Background: Terahertz (THz) radiation is a form of electromagnetic energy with frequencies between the microwave and infrared bands, and is therefore non-ionizing. These frequencies couple strongly to natural oscillations of hydrogen bonds, which are found in all proteins, DNA, and cell membranes[1]. This interaction enables unique sensitivity to molecular structure that has led to the development of medical diagnostic tools that have been applied to cancer imaging with excellent contrast between diseased and normal tissue[1,2]. However, recent studies show that THz interactions are not entirely benign[1,3]; THz sources have been shown to non-thermally alter the structure/function of proteins and cell membranes, and induce localized openings in DNA. This implies the potential for: (1) Significant health risks, for which safe exposure limits are required that currently do not exist, and; (2) Novel therapies for genetic disorders (eg; cancer), for which a characterization of tissue response is required.
Objective/Hypothesis: The objective is to determine the underlying mechanisms of the observed biological effects induced by the interaction of THz radiation with hydrogen bonds in cells and tissues via analysis of differentially expressed genes/proteins. It is hypothesized that intense THz exposure will affect the structural integrity of membrane and protein structures, alter transcriptional expression levels of genes involved in important cellular processes, or induce cell death. Additionally, these effects will be dependent on THz energy, electric field, and frequency content.
Theoretical/Experimental Approach: THz exposures induce observable phenotypic effects[1,3]. These are the result of complex gene/protein signaling networks that cells utilize to respond to stimuli. By identifying and measuring concentrations of differentially expressed genes in response to THz exposures, the mechanisms underlying the phenotypic observations can be determined. Varying THz pulse parameters will alter the interaction characteristics with hydrogen bond networks and lead to phenotypic variation that can be related to measured changes in target gene/protein expression.


Cameron received his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Alberta. His undergraduate research was in theory and technology of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In September 2014, he enrolled in the medical physics program at the University of Alberta, where he is currently a master’s student. He investigate the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation.

Speaker #2: Elham Baladi – “Devices and Methods Using Apertures Lined with Thin ENNZ Metamaterial Liners



The miniaturization of components for microwave circuits has always been a major challenge in electromagnetics (EM), since performance is often tied to electrical length. Many devices and methods in electromagnetics use aperture arrays to transmit or radiate electromagnetic waves. The screens used in studies of extraordinary transmission and frequency selective surfaces require a relatively large number of apertures, which results in a large overall size, prompting the investigation of miniaturization methods. This work shows that transmission through miniaturized circular apertures can be vastly improved through the introduction of thin metamaterial liners exhibiting negative and near-zero (ENNZ) permittivity.


Elham Baladi received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering-communications in July 2013 from Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran, Iran, and has been a PhD student at University of Alberta since September 2013. Her research interests include Antenna and Propagation, Metamaterials, Extraordinary Transmission, Frequency Selective Surfaces, Far-Field Sub-diffraction Imaging, and Antenna Radiation-Pattern Shaping.

Free pizza and refreshments will be served.

March 8th, 2017

We are pleased to announce the first session in our student seminar series 2017. Two of our students will be presenting on  WednesdayMarch 15 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm in ICE 8-207. 

Seminar #1: Haitham Abu Damis – “Wearable and On-body Antennas for Biomedical Applications



Square-loop antennas for wearable applications in the 2.45 GHz (ISM) region are presented and compared. Both antennas were simulated, and then printed on flexible DuPont Kapton sheets for measurements. The standard square-loop antenna was modified by adding four circular patches to its sides in an effort to enhance performance. The new antenna is called the Quadruple Loop (QL) antenna. Simulations and measurement results show that the QL antenna demonstrated robust operation over a wider impedance bandwidth compared to that of the standard square loop antenna.


Haitham graduated from the Canadian University of Dubai (CUD) with a B.Sc. in telecommunications engineering. Throughout 2009-2013, he has worked with field programmable arrays (FPGA) and wireless sensor networks (WSN). As of 2014, he has been working on the development of body-worn antennas as part of his M.Sc. degree requirements.

Seminar #2: Rezvan Rafiee Alavi – “RWG MoM-via-Locally Corrected Nystrom Method for Source Reconstruction of Planar Very-Near-Field Measurement and Its Acceleration Using Multi-Level Fast Multipole Method



Locally Corrected Nyström (LCN) method is used to solve magnetic field integral equations (MFIE) of the equivalent current method (ECM) in the planar very near-field measurement of antennas and RF circuits. The exact relationship between Rao-Wilton-Glisson (RWG) method of moments (MoM) and first-order, and zero-order LCN is established for both magnetic and electric currents to ensure normal current continuity between adjacent triangular patches. The proposed method is a point-based RWG discretization of MFIE and causes a noticeable decrease in the degree of freedom. It consequently eliminates spurious charges and significantly lowers the condition number of the impedance matrix. Moreover, it is more efficient to be accelerated by fast algorithms such as multi-level fast multipole method (MLFMM).


Rezvan Rafiee received the B.S. degree from the University of Tehran in 2009, in electrical engineering, and M.S. degree from Iran University of Science and Technology, in 2013, in Telecommunication, Fields, and Waves. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at University of Alberta, where she has been since May 2014. Her research interests include Antenna and Propagation, Passive and Active Microwave Circuits, Numerical Methods in Electromagnetics, Inverse Electromagnetic Scattering, and Remote Sensing, and Microwave Measurements.

Free pizza and refreshments will be served.

September 7th, 2016


The IEEE Northern Canada Section Antennas & Propagation Society and the Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (IEEE NCS APS/MTTS) joint chapter is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a technical seminar by Rogers Corporation sales engineer Paul Jamiel.  Mr Jamiel will be presenting on the characterization of dielectric constants of various Rogers materials.


MEC 4-1, University of Alberta


13-Sep-2016 12:00PM to 1:00PM


One of the key properties of PCB laminates is dielectric constant or Dk. The purpose of the presentation is to provide a basic overview of some common Dk test methods, define Process Dk and Design Dk and using Rogers Microwave Impedance Calculator to determine Design Dk.


Paul has 38 years of experience in the Printed Circuit Board industry with nearly half of those years spent manufacturing bare boards and the rest in manufacturing and selling copper clad materials.  In his current role as Sales Engineer for the NW U.S and Western Canada, Paul provides support for PCB Fabricators and guidance to PCB Designers on material selection, material stack-up considerations, and design for manufacturability.

Free pizza and refreshments will be served

April 21st, 2016


The IEEE Northern Canada Section Antennas & Propagation Society and the Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (IEEE NCS APS/MTTS) joint chapter is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a seminar by Distinguished Microwave Lecturer, Dr. Madhu S. Gupta from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Gupta be giving a presentation titled “Microwave Engineering: What is it, Where is it Headed, and How Does it Serve Mankind.


ETLC 1-013, University of Alberta


17-May-2016 1:15PM to 2:30PM


  • What is Microwave Engineering: how it is different from low-frequency or optical engineering; what are its theoretical underpinnings; to what applications is microwave engineering put, and what makes microwaves particularly suitable, or even unique, in those applications; why is it necessary to study RF and microwave theory even if all you want to do is “just design circuits”.
  • What are the Frontiers of the Field: what is the present state-of-the-art in this field, and the challenges for the future; what technological developments and newer applications are driving the future evolution of the field; what are some of the open research problems; how is the practice of microwave engineering likely to change in coming decades.
  • How does it Contribute to Quality of Life: how microwave engineering meets the human needs of communication, safety and security, decontamination and environmental remediation, health and biomedical applications, agriculture and food treatment; material processing; power generation and transmission; space exploration; material processing; and the generation, transport, and efficient utilization of electrical energy.


Madhu S. Gupta received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is presently both an Adjunct Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at University of California, San Diego and the RF Communications Systems Industry Chair Professor at San Diego State University.  Along with his other technical interests, his work concerns noise and fluctuations in devices that are active, nonlinear, very small, or used in high-speed/high-frequency applications.  Dr. Gupta is an IEEE Fellow; has served as the Editor of IEEE Microwave and Guided Wave Letters and IEEE Microwave Magazine and of three IEEE Press books; has been a conference organizer and Chair of the Technical Program Committee of IMS2010; and was the President of the IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society in 2013.  He has received the 2008 Distinguished Microwave Educator Award from IEEE MTT Society, in addition to a number of awards for outstanding teaching.  He also firmly believes that every technical talk should be entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring.

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