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Microwave and Optical Applications of Novel Physical Phenomena

The 7th European Doctoral School on Metamaterials and 14th International Student Seminar on “Microwave and Optical Applications of Novel Physical Phenomena” was held in Queen’s University Belfast recently.

The event was organised by Queen’s University Belfast and the EU Network of Excellence “METAMORPHOSE” (METAMaterials Organised for Radio, millimetre wave, and PHOtonic Superlattice Engineering) in the framework of the II Metamorphose Summer Training Week.

The multidisciplinary training programmes involve the core METAMORPHOSE researchers working in the areas of electrical engineering, material science, electromagnetics, optics, solid state physics, etc. As the METAMORPHOSE leading experts represent the state-of-the-art contributors in the rapidly growing field of metamaterials, the students gain an invaluable benefit from the structured and interdisciplinary research training program.

The geographically Distributed European Doctoral School on Metamaterials, has been established by the Consortium of 19 European universities to address the educational and training needs of rapidly advancing research in artificial electromagnetic materials.

Queen’s University Belfast and particularly the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) are actively involved in the Consortium operation and governance. The Consortium has developed the European Doctoral Programmes on Metamaterials for comprehensive training of a new generation of researchers for this broad and multifaceted field.

An important feature of the European Doctoral School on Metamaterials is its international nature. The topical courses are taught at several sessions each year at different locations in Europe. The Belfast School has been the seventh event of this kind, and the previous sessions were held in Spain, France, Italy, Finland, Poland and Russia (for further details see the paper by F. Capolino, S. Tretyakov, F. Bilotti, A. Schuchinsky, F. Martin, V. Podlozny, A. Sihvola, D. A. Pawlak, I. Vendik, S. Zouhdi, C. Craeye, N. Johnson, J. M. Arnold, T. Szoplik, R. Gonzalo. “METAMORPHOSE European Doctoral Programmes on Metamaterials. State of the Art”, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 219-223, Dec. 2006).

The II Metamorphose Summer Training Week in Belfast has had a distinctive feature that the Doctoral School was held together with the 14th International Student Seminar “Microwave and Optical Applications of Novel Physical Phenomena”. The latter event continued the successful series of the annual International Student Seminars founded by Prof. O.G. Vendik in 1994.

During the Belfast training week, 34 PhD researchers from 9 countries including Spain, Russia, UK, Turkey, Austria, Italy, Ukraine, Poland, and France have attended the lectures and presented their works in the area of micro- and nano-structured artificial electromagnetic materials (metamaterials) and their applications.

The lectures on the selected topics of the symbiotic course “Dielectric and Plasmonic Metamaterials: fabrication, properties and modelling techniques” were given by the leading experts actively involved in this field of research. Prof. V. Fusco, H. Gamble, A. Zayats, Dr. R. Cahill, M. Armstrong, R. Bowman, A. Schuchinsky, J. Schilling (QUB, Schools of Electronics, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and Pure and Applied Physics), Dr. N. Johnson (Glasgow University), and Prof. O. Vendik (St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University, Russia) have addressed the fundamental aspects of the metamaterial theory, fabrication and applications. In conclusion, the Distinguished IEEE Lecturer, Dr. P. deMaagt from European Space Agency has presented an inspirational talk entitled “Terahertz Technology for Space and Earth Applications."

In order to fulfil the Doctoral School requirements, the students had not only to attend the lectures but also to complete their assignments and present brief reports on their findings. The students have enthusiastically worked on the assigned tasks in groups and demonstrated their high creativity in tackling the challenges of metamaterial research.

The Seminar scope has been closely related to the School theme and encompassed a range of topics concerned with phenomenology of artificial electromagnetic media, metamaterials, and their applications to innovative designs of microwave and optical functional devices. The Seminar represented an ideal opportunity for young researchers to present their work to a friendly yet rigorous peer audience and to establish international links with colleagues from different countries.

The quality of the papers included in the Seminar programme was of the high standard, and they addressed a variety of challenging problems in this exciting area of emerging technologies. The student presentations were well perceived by the audience, and three prizes have been awarded for the best papers.

The winners were:
-Pavel Turalchuk, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University, Russia, for the best theoretical paper “Modelling of tuneable bulk acoustic resonators based on barium titanate films with induced piezoelectric effect”;
-Aleksey Shitvov, Queen’s University Belfast, for the best experimental paper “Experimental observations of distributed nonlinearity in printed lines”;

-Yoonjae Lee, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK - Grand Prize for the paper “A low profile directive millimetre wave antenna using freeformed metamaterial”

In addition to the lectures, assignments and seminar talks, the attendees visited ECIT and the International Research Centre for Experimental Physics (IRCEP). The social programme included a dinner held in the Canada Room, a tour to Giant’s Causeway.

Dr. Alex Schuchinsky | alfa
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