Plenary sessions will be scheduled during the conference - a full schedule will be available later. The details of each planned speach can be found below.



From the Engineer’s “Mysterious Feel” to “Cognition-driven Design”: A Quarter Century of Space Mapping Technology


John W. Bandler,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
McMaster University,
Hamilton, ON, Canada

Bandler Corporation


Abstract: Engineering design optimization, in particular, electromagnetics-based computer-aided microwave circuit design has been successfully exploiting “space mapping” technology for twenty-five years. When unveiled in 1994, the concept and its astounding promise surprised the engineering community. Over the years this surprise evolved from an initial disbelief that such a simple mathematical technique could cover such a wide range of design optimization problems to the conviction that the idea had been in widespread use already. Both beliefs turn out to be correct. The underlying idea is simple and, indeed, those with “expert” knowledge, knowingly or unknowingly, harness the space mapping concept in activities ranging from everyday human experiences to expert tuning and design with electromagnetic accuracy of complex systems. Mathematicians tried to annex space mapping as an extension to “surrogate modeling,” albeit physics-based, while design engineers saw space mapping as a programmable manifestation of the engineer’s mysterious “feel” for a problem. It took some work, for example, persuading mathematician and collaborator Kaj Madsen to include space mapping in the title of our jointly proposed International Workshop on Surrogate Modelling and Space Mapping. Here, we address the backstory to space mapping: reactions to it by the scientific and engineering communities, some success stories, some failures; and its ongoing reinvention as “cognition-driven design” and a likely cornerstone of multiphysics-based modeling and design. Here, physically-based surrogates, space mapping technology, and the refinement of feature-based and cognition-driven approaches are essential. This talk complements the 2018 reprinting in IEEE Microwave Magazine> of Bandler’s 2013 IEEE Canadian Review article: “Have you ever wondered about the engineer’s mysterious ‘feel’ for problem.”


John Bandler, OC, is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University. He founded Optimization Systems Associates Inc. in 1983 and sold it to Hewlett-Packard in 1997. Bandler studied in England at Imperial College of Science and Technology and received his B.Sc.(Eng.), Ph.D. and D.Sc.(Eng.) degrees from the University of London. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of several societies, including the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He has published more than 500 technical papers and contributions to books, won numerous professional awards, and pioneered space mapping technology in 1993. He has been honored by a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, by McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement Award, by IEEE Canada’s A.G.L. McNaughton Gold Medal, and by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society through their Microwave Application Award and by their Microwave Career Award—both awards bestowed on a Canadian for the first time. In 2016, Bandler was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada “For his scientific contributions that have helped to position Canada at the forefront of microwave engineering.” He mentors individuals for public presentations, and co-organized the first ever 3MT® competition at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in 2017, an event to be continued in 2018 and 2019. Active in artistic endeavors, Bandler has authored fiction and non-fiction, including a screenplay and nine stage plays. Four of his plays have been performed, one he directed himself. Videos of some of his work, and talks on communication, persuasion, creativity and related topics can be found on the internet.



Microwave Near-Field Imaging Of Human Tissue: Hopes, Challenges, Outlook


Natalia K. Nikolova,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
McMaster University,
Hamilton, ON, Canada


Abstract: Some 40 years ago, Larsen and Jacobi experimented with microwaves in the imaging of canine kidney. Their pioneering work triggered high hopes for a new diagnostic and imaging modality in medicine. Further research identified the main challenges and, to this day, continues unabated toward practical clinical solutions in the battle against breast and lung cancer, brain strokes and bone diseases. We will talk about these challenges and how they are being addressed with a focus on the role of electromagnetic modeling and optimization in real-time image reconstruction with microwave data.


Natalia K. Nikolova (IEEE S’93–M’97–SM’05–F’11) received the Dipl. Eng. (Radioelectronics) degree from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria, in 1989, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan, in 1997. From 1998 to 1999, she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) at two Canadian universities: Dalhousie University in Halifax and McMaster University in Hamilton. In 1999, she joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University, where she is currently a Professor. Her research interests include inverse scattering, microwave imaging, as well as computer-aided analysis and design of high-frequency structures and antennas. Prof. Nikolova has authored more than 250 refereed manuscripts, 5 book chapters, and the book “Introduction to Microwave Imaging” published by Cambridge University Press in July 2017. She has delivered 37 invited lectures around the world on the subjects of microwave imaging and computer-aided electromagnetic analysis and design. Prof. Nikolova is a Canada Research Chair in High-frequency Electromagnetics. She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). She served as an IEEE Distinguished Microwave Lecturer from 2010 to 2013.



Full-Wave EM-based Techniques for the Design of Microwave Circuits, Filters & Antennas


Peter Thoma,
CST - Computer Simulation Technology GmbH,
a Dassault Systèmes Company
Darmstadt, Germany.


Abstract: The development of complex communication systems requires microwave components such as filters, antennas, and circuits to meet the specifications coming from a top-down system level design process. Recent advances in manufacturing technology such as flexible circuits as well as additive manufacturing among others provide more flexibility to the designers and allow the development of lighter and smaller components. However, these new possibilities often result in novel solutions for which traditional design strategies and methods cannot be applied anymore such that full wave EM techniques need to be used instead. An important aspect for practical applications in this context is the robustness of the designs with regard to manufacturing tolerances. The presentation will give an introduction to some of the new design methodologies and illustrates how full wave EM techniques can be applied in order to develop small, lightweight, and robust microwave components.


Peter Thoma received the Diploma and PhD degrees from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1992 and 1997, respectively. During his PhD work he focused on various improvements for time domain simulation of electromagnetic fields by using the Finite Integration Technique. His major contributions include the developments of a stable sub-gridding scheme for FDTD as well as the PBA technique which has now become a standard method being used in commercial high frequency electromagnetic simulators. After finishing his PhD, he joined CST GmbH as a managing director and is since then in charge of managing CST's R&D activities.



Some Recent Developments in Computational Electromagnetics using The Finite Difference Time Domain Method


Atef Z. Elsherbeni,
Distinguished Professor and Electrical Engineering Department Head
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401, USA


Abstract: This presentation will focus on recent developments in the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method for electromagnetics and antenna applications. First a brief introduction to the method, its capabilities, and the type of lumped circuit elements, linear and non-linear, which can be integrated into an electromagnetic simulation will be presented. Other techniques to enhance the applicability’s of the FDTD will be introduced. Among these are:

- The integration and reduction of the computational time for simulations containing
  lossy anisotropic media for antennas and scattering problems.

- The modeling of cylindrical-sectoral structures with the BOR-FDTD Method.

- The use of impedance boundary conditions for terminating the computational domain.

- The integration of thermal analysis with the electromagnetic analysis in one

Some of the recent development of the speed up of the FDTD method using graphical processing gaming cards (GPUs) along with the use of different programming languages such as Fortnan, Matlab, CUDA, and OpenCL will be addressed.


Atef Z. Elsherbeni received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Manitoba University, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1987. Dr. Elsherbeni was with the University of Mississippi from 1987 to 2013. He was a Finland Distinguished professor from 2009 to 2011. He joined the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Colorado School of Mines in August 2013 as the Dobelman Distinguished Chair Professor. Currently he is the Head of the Electrical Engineering Department. His research interest includes the scattering and diffraction of EM waves, finite-difference time-domain analysis of antennas and microwave devices, field visualization and software development for EM education, interactions of electromagnetic waves with the human body, RFID and sensor integrated FRID systems, reflector and printed antennas and antenna arrays, and measurement of antenna characteristics and material properties. His academic achievements includes:13 books, 29 book chapters, 176 journal publications, 15 developed software packages, 56 (35 MS and 21 PhD) graduate students advised, 40 invited presentations, 225 proceedings publications, 175 conference abstracts, 74 technical reports, 35 short courses offered, 43 invited talks. Dr. Elsherbeni is a Fellow member of IEEE and ACES. He is the Editor-in-Chief for ACES Journal. He was the general Chair for the 2014 APS-URSI Symposium and was the president of ACES Society from 2013 to 2015.