On 25th July the UKESF held an award ceremony for the finalists of the RF Engineering & Communications Competition at the University of Bristol. This annual competition, run in partnership with the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF), highlights the work of students at UKESF partner universities who are focusing on RF engineering and communications in their final year.

L–R: Merv Hayes, Scott, Trevor Gill, Jonathan, Andy Nix, Max, Stew Edmondson

Jonathan Rawlinson (Imperial College London) was named the winner for his project, RF Signal Classification Utilising Neural Networks – ‘SignalDoctor’, and received £1,000. He said, “I had a wonderful time meeting the other participants and to see so much exciting work by students in the RF area. It is great to see RF being promoted by the UKESF and RCF as it is such an important subject for modern life! In addition I was very impressed by the Bristol EEE department facilities. I would like to thank the UKESF, RCF, Bristol University and Leonardo for organising such an exciting and informative event.” Find out more about Jonathan’s project here.

Two runners-up also received £500 each: Max Landles (Heriot-Watt University) for his Satellite Propagation at Millimetre Wave Bands project, and Scott Dearnaley (Lancaster University) for his Low Cost Flexible Antenna for Body Area Network project.

L–R: winner Jonathan and runners-up Scott and Max with their project posters

Max said, “The competition was a fantastic experience. It was fascinating to hear what people outside of university thought of the work I had been doing and getting listed as one of the top three entries for this year was a huge surprise to me that gave me a lot more confidence in myself. It is encouraging to see that companies are prepared to dedicate time and money to run this competition as I believe it shows a willingness to invest in the future of the RF industry and will hopefully encourage more students to consider doing their major projects in this area.”

Scott said, “The competition gave me a great opportunity to display my work and be rewarded for it as well as giving me the opportunity to meet industry professionals. The event was well organised and gave a useful insight into the current and future state of RF engineering.”

Prof Andy Nix’s presentation

Finalists, judges and guests enjoyed lunch and networking followed by a series of presentations from speakers: UKESF CEO Stew Edmondson, journalist Nick Flaherty, Bristol’s Dean of Engineering Faculty Prof Andy Nix, Merv Hayes from Leonardo, the RCF’s Trevor Gill, and UKESF Founding Chairman Indro Mukerjee. Trevor, Indro and Andy presented the awards, after which Andy led a tour of the university labs.

Stew Edmondson said, “Our aim in organising this competition is to encourage the study of RF and communications engineering among undergraduates. Therefore, it was very heartening to see the high quality of the entries submitted this year; the judges selected worthy winners from a strong shortlist of finalists.”

Many thanks to the national judging panel, and the University of Bristol for hosting the event.