Published: 24 November 2020

Undergraduate wins UKESF Radio Frequency competition

Matt Bridges’ final year project on antenna design for smartphones has won the student first prize in the prestigious national RF (Radio Frequency) Engineering & Communications competition sponsored by UKESF (UK Electronics Skills Foundation).

The annual competition aims to highlight the work of students at UKESF partner universities who are focusing on RF engineering and communications in their final year.

Matt, who is studying on Surrey’s MEng Electronic Engineering with Space Systems and is a UKESF scholar, was announced in November as the 2020 competition’s overall winner, and given a certificate and prize of £1,000.

His project was an antenna design for 5G smartphone applications, and involved validating prototyped, measured results against those obtained in simulation and modelling. Encouraged by Dr David Carey, Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, to enter the UKESF competition, Matt had to prepare a poster to showcase the project from its objectives through to the final results, potential impacts in the field of RF engineering and communications, and next steps.

Matt said: “As a UKESF scholar, I have seen the help and support that UKESF provides to electronic engineers in their degree. This competition is another example of what this foundation offers and for that, I am enormously grateful. I applied for a UKESF scholarship with one of their sponsoring companies, Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd (SEA), and I am delighted that they are now sponsoring me through the final year of my degree.  Last summer I undertook a placement at SEA’s Devon site where they make industry-leading anti-submarine warfare systems.

"I was extremely excited when I heard I’d won the UKESF competition and very thankful to the organisers and judges, as well as my supervisor Dr Mohsen Khalily, PhD student Demos Serghiou, and Dr Carey who nominated me. Getting the chance to learn about new innovative technologies that are shaping the future of 5G communications was exactly why I chose to study electronic engineering at the University of Surrey."

Matt’s interest in RF engineering began as an A level electronics student and led him to study at Surrey – home to the Surrey Space Centre and 5G Innovation Centre – where he could combine his passion for space and communications. He spent his Professional Training year at Airbus Defence and Space and is due to join consultancy company e2E as a Junior Satcoms Systems Engineer when he graduates from Surrey in 2021.

Dr David Carey commented: “Surrey is the leading university for 5G and next generation communication systems and the Department has always prided itself on being able to expose our students to cutting edge research topics as part of their degree.”


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