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Topic Title: RF Engineering not exist anymore?
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Created On: 02 January 2012 12:35 AM
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 02 January 2012 12:35 AM
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eswnl

Posts: 144
Joined: 29 November 2008

With IC transcievers, MMIC being available off the shelf, is there any need to employ RF Engineers when a manufacturer just bolts an RF Integrated circuit onto its product to wireless enable it?

Is this the way things are going? Doing it like this means there is no need to certify your product to radio regulations when the chip itself is already certified.

Nobody needs to really study RF, when they can buy one of these RF modules.
 03 January 2012 12:28 PM
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haguetim

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That's a ridiculous statement. There is more to RFengineering than low signal chips..., and how about EMC?, that's RF Engineering at the highest level.

We are still working with Kilowatts of RF, unfortunately with attitudes like the ones written by eswni the number of students coming in to RF Engineering who understand the high power side of the industry are decreasing.

Where does that leave the industry?, RF Engineers are getting older with no one coming out of university capable of replacing them...
 07 February 2012 06:09 PM
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eswnl

Posts: 144
Joined: 29 November 2008

Originally posted by: haguetim

That's a ridiculous statement. There is more to RFengineering than low signal chips..., and how about EMC?, that's RF Engineering at the highest level.



We are still working with Kilowatts of RF, unfortunately with attitudes like the ones written by eswni the number of students coming in to RF Engineering who understand the high power side of the industry are decreasing.



Where does that leave the industry?, RF Engineers are getting older with no one coming out of university capable of replacing them...


Sorry if it sounded ridiculous, my statement came from another forum. But I do not perceive a shortage.
When you refer to high power side, it sounds like you mean the stage after amplification and prior to the antenna.
 09 February 2012 08:49 PM
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amillar

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I must be missing something here - if we have no RF engineers we will have no-one to design the modules. We may not need many, but good RF designers are in serious demand because there aren't many around. Meanwhile all designers need some level of RF understanding as we all are likely to get involved with EMC issues.

What prompted your statement?

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

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 10 February 2012 01:19 PM
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eswnl

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Originally posted by: amillar





What prompted your statement?


I've been looking for RF engineering jobs and had some interviews. But to no avail. The last interview was with a manufacturer of Microwave waveguides of which I am yet to hear feedback. So its been mainly manufacturers of communications equipment where I've been looking.

I've set up my own website now with my profile, offering free RF engineering services.
 15 February 2012 03:41 PM
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dhoussein

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Have you considered going along to the events organised by the RF and Microwave technical network? They provide good opportunities to network with industry and academics.

http://kn.theiet.org/communities/rf/index.cfm

Apologies if this message sounds like an advert! I honestly think it would be worth your time though.
 17 February 2012 05:49 PM
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eswnl

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Originally posted by: dhoussein

Have you considered going along to the events organised by the RF and Microwave technical network? They provide good opportunities to network with industry and academics.



http://kn.theiet.org/communities/rf/index.cfm



Apologies if this message sounds like an advert! I honestly think it would be worth your time though.


A good idea. I'd like to find out if there are courses on how to use RF test equipment eg. spectrum analysers, VNAs.
 01 March 2012 11:45 AM
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dhoussein

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Their LinkedIn group might be a good place to start:
http://www.linkedin.com/groups...mostPopular=&trk=tyah

The IET also run a RF to Millimetre wave measurement course, but I don't know if this will cover it:
http://www.theiet.org/events/2012/microwave.cfm
 22 May 2013 03:42 PM
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Nahid009

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To be honest I think the topic title is not correct it should be "No opportunities in RF design engineering for graduates". Here is a list of facts from my experience in searching for a RFIC design role. I am expert in using RF design tools and also have an indepth understanding of design factors involved so I am not entirely a novice in design.

1. For every single design engineering job whether RFIC, MMIC, ICs etc they ask for years and years of experience. How can a graduate get experience? You might say graduate placements well thats a myth since 2007 or 2009. So RF design is not for recent graduates or graduates who had the misfortune of being turned away.

2. UK is the worst in Engineering jobs specially in RF so if you are thinking for doing an MSC in RF and microwave design mind as well forget the hopes of getting employed in that field same goes for telecommunications or computer engineering. If you do computer engineering you will end up working with webdesign.

3. Specially in the case of engineering job there isnt an effective way to hire an engineer. You cant test whether someone can design a microchip or an RFIC with a ECAD or ADS tool neither can is there any special examination designed to assess these skills. So the engineering sector employers are not qualified or should I say have a proper recruitment and selection process to hire engineers. So they just keep adding 2 years 100 years experience since thats the only way to select the right candidate which to me is nonsense.

4. Despite there being so many electronics engineers being fed up and ending up in IT there is some nonsense going around about young people not being interested in engineering, well I guess those kids are pretty right in their decision. The only reason any establishment is bothered about this is because they are just scared of loosing their business in providing useless education.

So in response to my friend eswnl sorry for late reply 1 year late but still i had to say these, I think the issue is not RF engineering jobs the issue is the situation of engineering in this country.
 23 May 2013 06:06 PM
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jencam

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The problem is total lack of (financial) investment in engineering. The banks are not lending and investors would rather pile their money into property.
 27 May 2013 08:48 PM
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cblackha

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A good idea. I'd like to find out if there are courses on how to use RF test equipment eg. spectrum analysers, VNAs.

I don't want to sound harsh, and it can be chicken and egg, but I would expect people applying for an RF engineering role to know how to use this equipment already.

Another option you might want to look at for work, if you haven't already, is http://www.peopleperhour.com/

Charlie
 31 May 2013 02:49 PM
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kengreen

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I fear that the real problem lies in the atrocious quality of education today and, at the heart of that, lies the almost total lack of Fundamentals in today's Teachers.

Given good groundwork any with BASIC training should be able to take on a job and learn the ropes in detail as he/she progresses. But when I find "experts" today who have never heard either of Thevenin's or (thingamebob's) complementary theorems I give thanks that, at least, Bakers still know how to bake (what they think is) Bread.

Without some learning in the field of RF engineering you will be lucky to take an RF chip, connect it into a board and have it work.

Ken Green
 31 May 2013 08:00 PM
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jencam

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I hope you are referring to higher education teachers. Thevenin's theorem is NOT taught in British schools.

At RF impedance matching is the name of the game rather than the low output resistance high input resistance which dominates low frequency design.
 01 June 2013 04:14 PM
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kengreen

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Oh jencam

I'm ashamed of you.

"Low output impedance high input impedance" is not in the domain of just LF design. A bipolar semiconductor input stage has a low and variable resistance/impedance unless it is incorporated in a particular feedback loop. It can matter very much that you drive it from a suitable source impedance ?

And yes ... the whole point of my moan is that Thevenin and (can't recall the damned man's name) seem not to be taught in ANY schools today -so how in hell do Designers design; oh, of course, they don't. They simply work with a wet finger and a one-finger keyboard ? :-)

Ken Green
 02 June 2013 03:27 AM
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jarathoon

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Ken,

Thanks for the "(can't recall the damned man's name)". I now know why you call him damned.

The answer is related to Julian Schwinger and quantum electrodynamics

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobe...65/schwinger-bio.html

"He first approached electromagnetic radar problems as a nuclear physicist, but soon began to think of nuclear physics in the language of electrical engineering."

i.e. equivalent circuit analysis of wave guides originating with Edward Lawry Norton (1898-1983) amoungst others. See Norton's paper from 1926 linked to on this site...

http://www.ece.rice.edu/~dhj/norton/

There is a very direct influence of the electrical engineering education of Paul Dirac and Yoshio Nishina on the development of quantum electrodynamics. But also Julian Schwinger was influenced by linear equivalent circuit analysis which he learnt during his engineering work on radar during the second world war.

So I think you're sentiment on not learning the basics applies.

Modern theoretical physicists almost never start their lectures with the statement "the cross fertilization of ideas and experiment from the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering has been the key to our status and success"

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 02 June 2013 11:24 AM
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kengreen

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James,

As usual you make yo make your Post sound very erudite but in reality it has not a deal to do with the subject matter.

Thank you yes, the name of the Man who escaped my laggardly memory was indeed Norton; the point I wished to make was thqt while Thevenin's theory is a piece of mathematical absurdity which enables us to make calculations ref. voltage-controlled circuitry sol Nolrton's effort provides the same facility for current-controlled circuitry. Indeed the market place has provided ample examples of failed design which owes its disaster to the lack of this understanding.

Ken Green
 02 June 2013 10:13 PM
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jencam

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Originally posted by: kengreen
"Low output impedance high input impedance" is not in the domain of just LF design. A bipolar semiconductor input stage has a low and variable resistance/impedance unless it is incorporated in a particular feedback loop. It can matter very much that you drive it from a suitable source impedance ?


I'm not an engineer. My background is politics and economics. Most of my knowledge of electronics comes from my son who is an engineer. I have some idea of what Thevenin's theorem is and its effect in the real world but I'm completely lost when it comes to how feedback affects the input impedance of amplifiers.

And yes ... the whole point of my moan is that Thevenin and (can't recall the damned man's name) seem not to be taught in ANY schools today -so how in hell do Designers design; oh, of course, they don't. They simply work with a wet finger and a one-finger keyboard ? :-)


It wasn't on my O-Level physics course back in the 1980s either but my son says it was in his A-Level electronics. He finds it difficult to understand why it isn't taught at GCSE level because it's even useful in digital electronics for understanding how the voltage of an output of a gate drops when a load is connected and the maximum current it can source. I asked him about the other 'damned man' and he immediately announced Norton's theorem for a current source.
 05 June 2013 08:07 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
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jencam,

Sorry about the delay - broadband connection went down. Nobody in the IT fraternity will believe that it is a regular Springtime occurrence caused by the rising sap in our trees absorbing the rf signal. A little lady, of non-technical stature, ascertained that we had not been sent a new and more sensitive ROUTER AND NOw all is WELL. I'm sure that Son of yours will understand my meaning. Please pass to him my congratulations - for what they are worth. Actually both Thevenin's and Norton's theories apply to ANY source of power - steam boilers, domestic water taps ... you name it.

However I doubt if any of today's breed of Physicists will understand; things like Black Holes and Big Bangs are not to be seen here on Earth and so our "Natural Laws" don't (necessarily) apply.

This is a problem found in similar vein in the teaching of mathematics. Why on Earth is not Algebra taught until the students have had their first shave? Algebra is all about the Rules and the Manipulations of maths; very few Teachers and Ministers of Education realise that it is utterly impossible to do division unless you master the Multiplication Tables ? Counters, old buttons and abacus' apart.
 09 June 2013 07:06 PM
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jencam

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Originally posted by: kengreen
Actually both Thevenin's and Norton's theories apply to ANY source of power - steam boilers, domestic water taps ... you name it.


Do you have any more information about this?

Why on Earth is not Algebra taught until the students have had their first shave?


Algebra is part of the National Curriculum at KS2. It was definitely taught at my son's primary school when he was in Y5. I didn't learn algebra until secondary school because only arithmetic was taught in the maths lessons at my primary school. In one maths lesson the teacher told the class to perform calculations from left to right rather than by the rules of BIDMAS. I knew that this was wrong but the teacher and the class wouldn't accept it even when I showed them a book from home explaining how it should be done. The way in which schools worked in the 1970s was that it was very easy for teachers to convey misinformation and the kids would almost always fall for it. I suspect that the teachers had a weak knowledge of advanced topics like geometry or algebra which is why they didn't teach them.

I have little faith in the current education system but I refuse to accept that standards were always better in decades gone by. O Levels were more rigorous (and probably better suited to students with Asperger syndrome than GCSEs are) but standards elsewhere were invariable, or even quite low, by today's standards.

Back to the original subject of RF engineering. My son says that RF engineering is a specialist area of electronics and is not particularly popular amongst young people as it is perceived to be difficult and mathematical. Therefore the small number of people who are serious about a career in RF engineering are naturally inclined so have almost always mastered the basic principles of RF electronics and know what Thevenin's theorem is. Their secondary schooling (or lack of it) is probably immaterial.
 10 June 2013 11:33 AM
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kengreen

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Thanks jemcan for your response

Does Thevenin's and Norton's efforts apply to ALL power sources? Well I suppose the correct answer is both YES and NO. In truth both concepts are mathematical absurdities. I won an hour-long argument by asking a senior engineer what was the maximum power that either a constant-voltage or a constant-current Generator could deliver. To give him credit it took every bit of 15 seconds for him to recall the Maximum Power-transfer Theorem and so make a gracious withdrawal.

The most revealing aspect - regrettably little realised by most - is that the so-called Internal Resistance (Impedance) cannot be measured directly for the simple reason that it does NOT exist. It can be measured only by combining experiment with a little mental arithmetic ? A water engineer will test the pressure of your mains supply by measuring the STATIC PRESSURE followed by the fall in that pressure with water flowing. The difference, which represents the frictional losses as water rubs against the walls of the delivery pipes, is represented mathematically as the Internal Resistance of the water-delivery system; and you can treat the Mains Supply either as a constant-pressure source or as a constant-flow source.

'Nuff said ?

I have much to thank my old Maths Master at the Technical College where I studied from11 - 16 years. He would award 2/10 for a correct answer and the remaining 8/10 for "Style" ; i.e. the method used to obtain an answer - set out in full step by step - be that result correct or wrong. He taught me to THINK.

Ken
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