"This RF award was an incredible surprise, and I am ecstatic to have won. It’s great to know that the time I have spent researching and writing lead me to conclusions that other people may use in the future."

Andrey Miroshnikov, 2019 winner

Radio Frequency Engineering & Communications Competition

Radio Frequency (RF) engineering and communications are an important part of the Electronics sector in the UK, however the decline in numbers of young people taking an interest in radio communications has created a specific skills shortage. With kind support from Leonardo, the UKESF and the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF) jointly run an annual competition for students at UKESF partner universities who are focusing on RF engineering and communications in their final year.

The Competition

This national competition is open to undergraduates who are completing their major individual project (3rd or 4th year; 4th or 5th year in Scotland) with a principal focus on RF engineering and communications. Entrants are required to submit to their university contact a summary of their project on an A1 printable poster, including:

  • Aim and objectives relating to RF engineering and communications
  • A circuit diagram (if applicable; projects based on simulations still eligible)
  • Results
  • Impact and outcome in relation to RF engineering and communications
  • Next steps

Universities then submit three entries to the national judging panel (via the UKESF). The award ceremony normally takes place as part of the annual Cambridge Wireless Conference in June, however due to COVID-19 the 2020 conference will take place virtually in September. The announcement of the competition winners is currently TBC.


The overall winner will receive £1,000, with two runners-up receiving £500 each. Winners will be expected to help promote RF Engineering and Communications.


Entry deadlines are set by universities individually (towards the end of July); each university will then submit their top three entries to the UKESF by mid-August. To qualify, entrants must:

  • Be registered at a UKESF partner university on a BEng or MEng degree that contains a substantial amount of Electronics or Electronic Engineering;
  • Qualify as a UK or EU student for tuition fees or be a British National, with a permanent right to work in the UK upon graduation;
  • Submit their own work, no pairing or team entries will be accepted.

Any questions, please email competitions@ukesf.org.

Past Winners

UKESF Scholar Andrey Miroshnikov (University of Bristol/Dialog Semiconductor) was the 2019 winner; the runners-up were Edward Lewis (Lancaster University) and Calum Bolland (University of Edinburgh). Prizes were awarded as part of the CW International Conference in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire – find out more here.

L–R: Stew Edmondson, Trevor Gill, Calum, Edward, Andrey, Prof Kevin Morris

The 2018 winner was Jonathan Rawlinson (Imperial College London), with runners-up Max Landles (Heriot-Watt University) and Scott Dearnaley (Lancaster University). Read about the finalists and award ceremony for the 2018 competition here.

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

The winner of the 2017 prize was Mihnea Trifan (University of Sheffield), with Samantha Heyes (Loughborough University) and Rob Astill (University of Bath) named as runners-up. The prizes were awarded at the UKESF Celebration Event on 3rd July 2017.

The 2017 finalists with Don Beattie and Trevor Gill from the RCF

Finalist Samantha said: “The competition was brilliant, it was simply a case of submitting the same academic poster that I had made as part of my project! It meant that no extra time was taken up during the busiest part of my degree apart from sending off the email. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what people outside of university thought of my idea: Recognising People Using Smart Phone Antennas. It was also encouraging to know that my project was of interest to those judging and in this instance it was being looked at in the ‘real world’ and not for marks at university. It gave me a major confidence boost to have got so far in the competition and made the effort I put into the project feel worthwhile – it was a lovely ending to my degree.”