Karl F. Warnick interview

We asked authors, of our esteemed IET eBook publications, a series of 10 questions ranging from their career, body of work, challenges – to their ideas on how to get kids interested in math and science. Below you can read honest answers as the authors give an exclusive glimpse into their wide ranging thoughts.


Karl F. Warnick is the author of “Numerical Methods for Engineering: An Introduction Using MATLAB and Computational Electromagnetics”, a title published under SciTech Publishing (an imprint of the IET). Dr. Karl Warnick

Dr. Warnick is a Fellow of the IEEE and is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Outstanding Faculty Member award for Electrical and Computer Engineering, the BYU Young Scholar Award, the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology Excellence in Scholarship Award, and the BYU Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award. He has served the Antennas and Propagation Society as a member and co-chair of the Education Committee and is Senior Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation and Antennas. Dr. Warnick has been a member of the Technical Program Committee for the International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation for several years and served as Technical Program Co-Chair for the Symposium in 2007.

1. What factors, passions, preferences, influences, etc. lead you down your current career path? In other words, why do you choose to do what you do and how did you get here?

When I was about ten years old, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to become a computer engineer and direct a research lab. I had no idea that this sort of thing happened at universities, but when I was a college student and realize that this was what Professors did, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

2. What do you find to be the most interesting or intriguing aspects of your work?

The opportunity to work on all sorts of different projects as different ideas and open challenges come up in the community.

3. Right now our country faces some challenges in getting kids interested in math and science and, as a result, careers such as engineering that depend on both. Do you have any thoughts on how to create a stronger interest in these areas?

Personal contact with experts and people who work in these fields has had the most impact on me. Perhaps in today’s world, these contacts could be made not just in person but online as well.

4. What is the primary focus of your current work?

High efficiency phased array antennas for applications like wireless communications, magnetic resonance imaging, radio astronomy, and satellite communications.

5. What are some of the biggest challenges you face?

Recruiting and training top quality graduate students.

6. What have been some of your most rewarding professional experiences?

Other than the sheer joy of solving a touch technical problem, collaborations with colleagues around the world on open research problems is the most rewarding part of what I do.

7. Who are your heroes or people you look up to and admire?

My heroes are the decent people around me who work to accomplish good and great things without necessarily seeking the spotlight.

8. If you could wake up tomorrow morning knowing one thing that you don't know today, what would it be?

An idea for the Next Big Thing!

9. If you could have any super hero power, what would it be and why?

Does time travel count? One look into the future would be really, really informative.

10. Without giving too much away, what do you think is the biggest takeaway from your book?

How to take a mathematical equation and turn it into a practical computer code that can be run to solve useful engineering design problems.