Six researchers shortlisted for £350k prize

27th June 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Six esteemed researchers, who are at the forefront of developing the next generation of radar and microwave technologies, have been shortlisted for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) prestigious £350,000 A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize. 

These innovative technologies range from off-body monitoring radar sensors to addressing the issue of spectrum scarcity in our increasingly digital world.

Awarded annually, the A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize recognises exceptional achievements in the fields of medical, microwave and radar, or laser/optoelectronic engineering. The prize fund supports further research led by the recipient. This year’s theme is radar and microwave technologies, and the 2024 shortlist includes:

  • Professor Andrea Alù: Professor at The City University of New York (CUNY), Einstein Professor of Physics at the Graduate School of CUNY, and Founding Director of the Photonics Initiative at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Centre. Professor Alù is renowned for his pioneering work in microwaves, photonics, and acoustics, particularly in metamaterials and metasurfaces. His research has significantly impacted wireless communications, radar technologies, and efficient signal processing

  • Professor Johannes Fink: Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Professor Fink focuses on quantum coherent effects in superconducting, mechanical, and optical chip-based devices. His goal is to advance and integrate quantum technology for communication, simulation, sensing, and metrology

  • Professor Changzhi Li: Based at Texas Tech University, Professor Li specialises in portable radar sensor technologies that have advanced healthcare, smart living, structural monitoring, and wireless human-machine interfaces. His radar sensors enable monitoring without on-body devices, benefiting both urban and rural communities, and enhancing energy efficiency and infrastructure resilience.

  • Professor Jensen Li: Professor at the University of Exeter and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Director of the Centre for Metamaterials Research. Professor Li is celebrated for his work on metamaterials and metasurfaces, which achieve extraordinary wave phenomena across the electromagnetic spectrum, from microwaves to optical frequencies, as well as acoustic waves.

  • Professor Nils Pohl: Based at Ruhr University Bochum and affiliated with Fraunhofer FHR, Professor Pohl researches integrated circuits and radar. His vision is to advance radar circuits, system configurations, and algorithms for millimetre-waves and the terahertz spectrum, impacting automotive, industrial, medical, security, and communication applications

  • Professor Dimitra Psychogiou: Pofessor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College Cork and Head of the Advanced RF Technology Group at Tyndall National Institute, Cork. Professor Psychogiou is known for her work in high quality-factor filters, tunable RF filtering technologies, and multi-functional RF components. Her research addresses significant communication challenges, including efficient spectrum access, ubiquitous connectivity, and secure communications.

Sir John O’Reilly, Chair of the IET’s Search and Selection Panel for the Prize, said: “We’re incredibly proud, through the generous legacy from the late Dr A F Harvey, to be able to recognise and support the development of pioneering engineering research and the subsequent impact this has on advancing the world around us. I’d like to congratulate our six finalists for this year.”

The IET’s A F Harvey prize, named after Dr A F Harvey who bequeathed a generous sum for the establishment of a trust fund, aims to further research in specified fields. The prize winner will be chosen from the shortlisted candidates and announced in January 2025, with the winning researcher delivering a keynote lecture on their research in the spring.

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