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£300,000 research prize set to help transform satellite and mobile communications

25 November 2015


A world expert in antenna and electromagnetics has been awarded a prestigious international prize from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Professor Yang Hao from Queen Mary University of London has today been announced as the winner of the £300,000 IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize. He was chosen from high-calibre candidates from across the world as a result of his outstanding contributions in the fields of microwave, antennas and electromagnetics.

Professor Hao’s ‘Tailoring Microwave Antennas using Smart Materials via Transformation Optics’ research is focussed on developing a new generation of antennas with better aesthetics and fundamentally novel designs, which could allow them to be used in new and exciting ways, particularly in satellite communications and the aerospace industry.

One of the long-term aims for Professor Hao’s research is to develop advances in communications that can deliver faster, cheaper mobile phone charging and widespread availability of mobile coverage whilst on board aircraft. His work is likely to result in streamlined antennas, which could in future be integrated into mobile phones, improving network coverage. They could also spell the end of satellite dishes, with the next generation of antennas instead being built into the smart homes of the future.

Professor Hao said: “The IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize will enable us to take our work a step further, out of the lab towards real engineering applications and industry.

“We want to make smarter but lower cost antennas, an engineering reality that can be enjoyed by everyone, from those working in satellite communications within the aerospace industry, to people who travel regularly by airplane and would like to be able to use their mobile phone seamlessly throughout their flight.”

Sir John O’Reilly, Chair of the IET’s Selection Committee for the Prize, said: “Professor Hao is awarded the Prize in recognition of his research achievements in microwaves, antennas and, in particular, metamaterial antenna innovations drawing inspiration from transformation optics. We hope the Prize will become a
springboard for propelling Professor Hao's research to even higher levels, while providing distinct economic benefits to his partners and to society in general.”

Professor Hao will give a talk about his research at the IET A F Harvey Prize Lecture on Thursday 17 March 2016 at the IET in central London. For more information, please visit www.theiet.org/harvey.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 163,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.

About the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize:

  • The award, worth £300,000, is named after Dr A F Harvey who bequeathed a generous sum of money to the IET for a trust fund to be set up in his name after his death. The terms of the trust specify that the money is to be used for the furtherance of scientific research into the fields of medical, microwave, laser or radar engineering. The award was first made in 2011 (this is the fifth time the award has been made).