Microwave Week is a time for reaffirming outstanding relationships, exploring the smorgasbord of microwave products/services, and diving into the latest and greatest technologies produced by the microwave industry.

This year’s Microwave Week, the annual gathering of microwave engineers, industrials, and academics, is set for beautiful Phoenix, Ariz. From May 17-22, there will be two major symposia and a conference covering the full range of microwave industry topics—ranging from design and manufacturing to test and measurement. The International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is the grand feature of the week with a battery of technical sessions, exhibits, and student programs extending throughout Microwaves Week.

The Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG), a technical organization specializing in all things test and measurement, is celebrating its 85th annual conference co-located with IMS. This year’s ARFTG conference focuses on up-and-coming 5G applications. Also co-located with IMS, the IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) features technical discussions and exhibitions on the latest of RF integrated circuit technology. There are many exciting highlights at this year’s IMS, ARFTG, and RFIC gatherings. Additionally, there is a surprising amount focus on women in STEM, STEM education, and encouraging young professionals to seek a career in the microwave industry.

The General Chair’s Welcome

The theme of this year’s conference is “Microwaves Soaring Toward the Future.”  “New and emerging fields like wearable electronics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, 5G, and RF/MW technology in life science will be emphasized at IMS 2015,” says Vijay Nair, IMS 2015 General Chair, in his IMS 2015 welcome message. In the spirit of warmly welcoming the microwave community to IMS, Nair includes tidbits about IMS and the surrounding city of Phoenix. For those interested in making their way around the United States’ fifth-largest city, there will be ‘Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors’ equipped with yellow shirts scattered around the convention to help attendees. Nair also emphasizes, “Many special programs to promote student participation from middle school to college graduates will be introduced. A panel session and focused session organized by Women in Microwave also will be held at IMS 2015.”

The Technical Program Committee Chairs’ Welcome

In the theme of welcoming the microwave community with open arms, the Technical Program Committee (TPC) Chairs also have a message. “The IMS 2015 team is developing a world-class technical program that will bring RF/microwave researchers and practitioners from around the world to Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2015,” state Chuck Weitzel and David Ngo, the IMS 2015 Technical Program Committees Co-Chairs. Also included in their welcome is a quick and convenient overview of the technical program with brief descriptions of the major facets. “IMS 2015 will continue to offer technical sessions, interactive forums, plenary and panel sessions, workshops, short courses, application seminars, STEM activities, RF Boot Camp, and a wide variety of other technical and social activities.”

Sponsoring Society of IMS 2015

The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) represents over 11,000 members and 150 chapters worldwide. Sponsoring IMS and aiding in the development/application of microwave technology for over 60 years, MTT-S publishes peer-reviewed papers in several journals and a magazine. In a statement for the IMS 2015 website, the society provides this mission statement: “As we enter into an exciting future, our mission is to continue to understand and influence microwave technology, and to provide a forum for all microwave engineers. The MTT-S will continue to be the global focus for promotion of the RF and microwave engineering profession by advancing and distributing knowledge and supporting professional development,”

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Plenary Session

Soft radio sensor and circuit assemblies for on-skin applications will be discussed by Dr. John Rogers, Swanlund Chair, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Chemistry University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As the plenary-session speaker, Rogers will cover many of the ins and outs of medical wearables. He also will outline the challenges ahead for an audience that’s eager to find solutions. To take a deeper look into the IMS 2015 Plenary Session, click here

Interactive Forum

At IMS 2015, there will be two interactive poster sessions where authors will have an opportunity to present their work and engage with curious colleagues. The two forums will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, and the paper evaluation process will be identical to the regular session papers’ process.

Focus Sessions

In order to display original works on emerging microwave technologies or topics widely relevant to the industry, there will be a series of focus sessions at IMS 2015. The topics delve into such timely topics as 100-Gbps wireless technologies, mobile communications beyond 6 GHz, adaptable microwave front ends for military applications, and more.

Special Sessions

The IMS 2015 special sessions will highlight a mixture of history, heart, and technological growth in fields and regions of the world. They spotlight historical moments in the microwave community and history while recognizing technical accomplishments. Among the many topics covered are Latin American microwave research, ambient RF energy harvesting and power transfer, and small-satellite technology development.

Panel Sessions

Generally conducted during lunch, the panel sessions are highly interactive discussions with lead technical experts from the microwave industry. At one hour and twenty minutes, these sessions allow for a deep discussion of a wide range of critical and common questions posed every day in the industry. Topics such as wearable antennas, industry demographics, industry challenges, millimeter-wave regulation, and the latest in testing are all on the agenda with panelists from leading companies and research universities.

Workshops

A battery of workshops will drill into a wide range of expert topics and academic research, covering challenges, experiences, and emerging microwave and RF engineering topics.  Among the topics that will be covered are RFICs, generating radio frequencies on CMOS technology, millimeter-wave solid-state drives, and high-resolution vital-sign detection with radar.

Short Courses

The short courses at IMS 2015 feature focused courses on timely topics from highly qualified instructors. The goal of the short courses is to offer a basic level of knowledge on special topics within the industry. Topics include power-supply transmitter design, near-field probes, phase-locked loops, spectrum regulation, nonlinear microwave circuits, and 5G millimeter-wave device characterization.