SYnthesizing 3D METAmaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications (SYMETA)

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng

Abstract

The outcomes of SYnthesizing 3D METAmaterials for RF, Microwave and THz Applications (SYMETA) have the potential for significant academic, economic, societal and environmental impacts. To achieve these outcomes SYMETA will bring together leading expertise in engineering, physics and materials science from five institutions: Loughborough University, University of Exeter, University of Sheffield, Oxford University and Queen Mary, University of London together with twelve industrial partners from a range of sectors including defence and electronics manufacture. The Grand Challenge will be led by Loughborough University.

SYMETA responds to Grand Challenge 3: Engineering across length scales, from atoms to applications. This Challenge area requires researchers to consider design across the scales for both products and systems looking at new approaches to bridge the meso-scale (intermediate-scale) gap and taking into consideration that many engineering systems are dynamic. SYMETA's grand vision is to deliver a palette of novel, multi-functional 3D metamaterials (synthetic composite materials with structure that exhibit properties not usually found in natural materials) using emerging additive manufacturing (AM), with the potential to support a single 'design-build' process. Our goal, to compile a palette of meta-atoms (the basic building blocks of metamaterials) and then to organise these inclusions systematically to give the desired bulk properties, opens up a plethora of new structures. This will not only improve existing applications but inspire new applications by breaking down barriers to innovation.

Introducing these novel structures into the complex world of electronic design will offer a radical new way of designing and manufacturing electronics. The metamaterials will be developed to give end-users the electromagnetic responses they require, for a wide range of communication, electronics, energy and defence applications. The meta-atoms comprising the metamaterial will be micro-scale, i.e. small in comparison to the wavelength of operation, and fabricated from a range of new and existing raw materials, including the incorporation of dielectric, metallic and magnetic components. They will facilitate complex multi-component systems, incorporating elements such as inductors, capacitors, and resistors through to transmission lines and matching circuits and filters, to be created in hybrid and multi system AM - reducing waste, cost and timescales.

The SYMETA project has three overarching research goals:

1. To synthesize a palette of 3D meta-atoms using suitable materials.
2. To construct designer-specified 3D arrangements of meta-atoms using process efficient AM to create metamaterials
3. To build demonstrators for applications at RF, microwave and THz frequency ranges.

Supplementing these research goals SYMETA will:

4. Build a cohort of new knowledge by bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise from a number of institutions and companies and share this knowledge across academic networks.
5. Engage industry, sector relevant professional bodies and the wider academic community to ensure that the potential of this research is recognised and realised. To translate and condense the exciting science to key messages and outcomes and to communicate these to the public to boost the public understanding of science.

The likely impacts of the SYMETA are manifold. It has the potential to transform manufacturing processes and to significantly shorten the time it takes for innovative new technologies to reach consumers whilst reducing waste and removing some of the more harmful processes associated with the manufacturing such as the use of harsh chemicals. This is transformation science, which could place the UK at the leading edge of engineering innovation stimulating economic growth and opening up huge potential for innovation in many sectors from consumer electronics through to defence and space.

Planned Impact

The outcomes of SYMETA have the potential for significant academic, economic, societal and environmental impacts. Academically, it will bring together expertise which has been made possible by the rapid advancement of the technological age to bring into reality concepts which have previously been restricted to theoretical investigations. In the research field, the project will open up new avenues of scientific enquiry with the potential to push forward the knowledge boundaries of several specialist areas from pure physics through to manufacturing science. The academic impact of the project is described in detail in the section 'Academic Beneficiaries'.

From an economic perspective, the outcomes of SYMETA will transform the design and manufacture of electronic components and circuitry. Production times will be reduced, the time taken for new technologies to reach their end beneficiaries drastically cut and the costs associated with mass manufacture reduced as waste and time lines are cut. This will be transformational not only for component manufacturers but for the multitude of industries who use these components from space and defence through to consumer electronic devices (e.g. mobile phones, tablet computers). The technology will enable industries to realise many of the aspirations encapsulated in lean manufacturing an important impact as the 2020 vision for the UK electronics sector is to grow the sector's economic contribution to the economy from £78 billion today to £120 billion, presenting an annual growth rate of 6% (Electronics Systems Challenges & Opportunities Report).

As the technology impacts on industry the skills profiles required for the technical workforces that support these industries, are likely to move away from traditional tooling and wet processing to design and 'print' based skills. This will have implications for the training and education of engineers and scientists working in this area. Currently around 856,000 are employed in the UK ectronics sector and the sector's goal is to grow this to 1,000,000 by 2020. Exciting research of this kind is attractive to talented potential (and experienced) scientists and researchers. The collaborating institutions will be cascading their research to their teaching activities and developing the engineers and scientists who with the potential to become future industry leaders specialising in this new field. Originating from the UK, the research will establish the UK's reputation as a leading centre of excellence and innovation in this emerging field and ultimately benefit UK Plc.

The societal benefits are manifold. Military staff working in the field could use a 'product printer' to download bespoke software remotely and 'print' essential circuitry or devices without the delay or need for costly transportation. Consumers will be able to access more bespoke, better value for money products and benefit from new technologies without the delays of traditional manufacturing. In settings such as healthcare, professionals will be able to 'print' consumables as required and increasingly design bespoke solutions to medical problems which combine aesthetics with electronic functionality. Currently, the manufacture of electronic components can involve harsh chemical processing resulting in negative environmental impacts both from the manufacturing process and the disposal of component at the end of life. This technology will negate these issues leading to environmental improvements world-wide.
 
Description Within this project we have so far realised a number of break throughs including: The development of novel low temperature sinterable ceramic material for additive manufacturing processes. Worlds first 3D printed metamaterial filter. The combination of dielectric and conducting structures using a unique laser sintering technique that will lead to the additive manufacture of RF and microwave circuits.
Exploitation Route We shall be looking to further develop the above website over the next year with more research results due out, and to present it as a resource for others working in the field. In addition, through promotion of the project's research and consortium's capabilities, we have entered into negotiations to provide research services to industry.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

URL http://www.symeta.co.uk
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI)
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Adaptive Tools for Electromagnetics and Materials Modelling to Bridge the Gap between Design and Manufacturing (AOTOMAT)
Amount £935,611 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P005578/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description MBDA ITP Award: High Temperatuer Conformal Antenna
Amount £83,000 (GBP)
Organisation MBDA Missile Systems 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2019
 
Description Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Industrial Professorship
Amount £27,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGENTIC WAVES (ANIMATE)
Amount £1,631,777 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R035393/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2022
 
Description SYnthesizing 3D METAmaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications (SYMETA)
Amount £4,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N010493/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2021
 
Description TERAhertz high power LINKS using photonic devices, tube amplifiers and Smart antennas (TERALINKS)
Amount € 1,000,000 (EUR)
Funding ID EP/P016421/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description THz Antenna Fabrication and Measurement Facilities (TERRA)
Amount £1,232,783 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S010009/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 11/2021
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Plextek
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Aveiro - Sheffield 
Organisation University of Aveiro
Department Aveiro Institute of Materials
PI Contribution This is a well established collaboration which occurs each year through study visits. There are a number of mutual projects for which the PI provides guidance and TEM expertise
Collaborator Contribution The partners provide samples and experimental work
Impact There have been approximately 20 papers published through this collaboration and a number of small travel grants have been awarded.
 
Description Centre for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP 
Organisation Center for Dielectrics & Piezoelectrics
PI Contribution Centre for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP). Sheffield has now been voted in as an Affiliate Partner in the NSF funded CDP alongside North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Pennsylvania State University (PSU. The CDP has ~25 members which include Samsung, Apple, Murata and 3M. The joint grant with PSU was instrumental in cement our relationship with the centre based on a number of high profile publications with the CDP co-director Susan Mckinstry (international CoI on grant)
Collaborator Contribution Susan McKinstry and Ian M. Reaney are now co-directors of the CDP. The publications helped demontrate to the Industrial Members the strength of the partnership between the CDP and Sheffield
Impact Multidisciplinary. Ceramic Engineering, Life Cycle Assessment, Materials Modelling. Has led to joint projects, research, secondments and industrial funding
Start Year 2017
 
Description Compact Rotman Lens for 5G base station antennas 
Organisation Huawei Technologies Sweden AB
PI Contribution A Rotman lens based compact beamforming system has been proposed for some time in terms of developing cost-effective beam-steering antennas. Original designs are often frequency-dependent and they are bulky for RF frequencies, which are targeted, for example, current generations of mobile communication. Conventional techniques for Rotman lens size reduction often result in increased fabrication costs and reduced antenna performance such as beam-scanning. In this proposal, we present two techniques for the miniaturisation of Rotman lens without degrading major antenna radiation performance. The new design is based on several techniques developed at Queen Mary University of London, including artificial dielectrics, metamaterials, transformation optics and advanced manufacturing. We anticipate that all proposed solutions are cost effective and can be scalable based on low cost substrate materials such as FR-4 for industrial applications.
Collaborator Contribution Huawei is funding a PDRA for 6 months for a feasibility study.
Impact The project is still ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Metasurfaces 
Organisation University of Siena
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Novel metamaterials
Collaborator Contribution Simulations
Impact Phase 3. In progress
Start Year 2016
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES (ANIMATE) 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The ultimate objective of ANIMATE is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation. Specifically, in this project, we will: 1. Establish a holistic approach of software-defined materials for communication, sensing and computation, by building novel integrated and adaptive antenna technologies. 2. Integrate wireless sensor networks into the design of computer interface and control units for tunable materials to demonstrate and validate the wholly new concept of "networked materials" at subwavelength scales. 3. Exploit challenging applications of proposed antenna and material technologies with our core industrial partners at all stages of development: prototyping, manufacturing, toolbox validation, platform integration and testing. 4. Research novel active and tunable materials and investigate fundamental limits of relevant materials to industrial challenges. 5. Develop simulation tools that span from materials, device and process modeling with intricate complexities that open up the design domain significantly and enable the production of optimal structures with improved performance.
Collaborator Contribution Our industrial partners are a vital part of our impact strategy, keeping our focus on what they need for innovative devices and systems to commercialise. We have recently established a strategic collaboration with Dr Sajad Haq (SH) and his team at QinetiQ (QQ), who have committed strong financial support and co-created the ANIMATE project. Other industrial collaborators include Thales UK, Huawei, BAE Systems, Satellite Application Catapult and UK SMEs including Flann Microwaves and Plextek, et al. We have a long history of collaborations with universities (Oxford, Sheffield, Exeter and Loughborough), some of whom (SYMETA) have provided letters of support for this application.
Impact A news release from Qinetiq can be found from https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration As the project just started, there has been no publishable outputs and outcomes.
Start Year 2018
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES (ANIMATE) 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales UK Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The ultimate objective of ANIMATE is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation. Specifically, in this project, we will: 1. Establish a holistic approach of software-defined materials for communication, sensing and computation, by building novel integrated and adaptive antenna technologies. 2. Integrate wireless sensor networks into the design of computer interface and control units for tunable materials to demonstrate and validate the wholly new concept of "networked materials" at subwavelength scales. 3. Exploit challenging applications of proposed antenna and material technologies with our core industrial partners at all stages of development: prototyping, manufacturing, toolbox validation, platform integration and testing. 4. Research novel active and tunable materials and investigate fundamental limits of relevant materials to industrial challenges. 5. Develop simulation tools that span from materials, device and process modeling with intricate complexities that open up the design domain significantly and enable the production of optimal structures with improved performance.
Collaborator Contribution Our industrial partners are a vital part of our impact strategy, keeping our focus on what they need for innovative devices and systems to commercialise. We have recently established a strategic collaboration with Dr Sajad Haq (SH) and his team at QinetiQ (QQ), who have committed strong financial support and co-created the ANIMATE project. Other industrial collaborators include Thales UK, Huawei, BAE Systems, Satellite Application Catapult and UK SMEs including Flann Microwaves and Plextek, et al. We have a long history of collaborations with universities (Oxford, Sheffield, Exeter and Loughborough), some of whom (SYMETA) have provided letters of support for this application.
Impact A news release from Qinetiq can be found from https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration As the project just started, there has been no publishable outputs and outcomes.
Start Year 2018
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation Filtronic
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation Institute of Circuit Technology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation MBDA Missile Systems
Department MBDA UK Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation MTG Research Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation Printed Electronics Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation Radio Design Limited
Department Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation Viper RF Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description SYMETA Industry Steering Group 
Organisation e2v Technologies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared research ideas and progress with our industrial partners and taken their advice on the demonstrators which would be the most interesting and valuable to industry
Collaborator Contribution The companies listed have been Project Partners on the SYMETA project since it started in March 2016. They have provided expertise and insights into industry's requirements and trends through the medium of regular meetings. Members of the SYMETA research team have visited the companies. Some have provided samples and materials.
Impact Multi-disciplinary - engineering, physics, mathematics Too early for any concrete outcomes to be recorded
Start Year 2016
 
Description Sheffield - NIST 
Organisation National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution There have been frequent study visits and exchanges of samples culminating in a one month placement at NIST as a Visiting Researcher in 2014. There have been >10 papers published due to this collaboration
Collaborator Contribution NIST provides equipment and expertise in structural refinements
Impact There have been >10 papers published between NIST and Sheffield
 
Description Software Defined Materials for Antenna Applications 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project is aimed to develop a new paradigm for software defined materials with wireless sensor network at subwavelength scales, in industrial contexts, which can be programmable for current and evolving standards, security requirements and multiple functionalities. It arises from several industrial challenges relevant to the development of future wireless communication, radar and sensor systems, which require frequency agile, broadband and beam-steerable antenna solutions. It is related to topic areas including "materials for antennas" and "novel electromagnetic materials".
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate objective of this PhD project is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation.
Impact The project is about to start and PhD recruitment is in the process.
Start Year 2019
 
Description 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting. IEEE, Boston, Massachusetts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Additive manufacturing of metamaterials: A BAE & NPL workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BAE Systems and NPL workshop on additive manufacturing with a focus on metamaterials and microwave structures. Darren Cadman presented the SYMETA project providing an overview of its aims. Presenting at this workshop raised further awareness of the project within BAE and NPL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Attendance at Loughborough Antenna and Propogation Conference (LAPC) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attended the international conference and took a stand to showcase the work of SYMETA. Attracted considerable attention from industry and academia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/meme/events/lapc-2016/
 
Description BBC4 documentary on our nanostructured implants work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Our research work on 3D printing of nanostructured ceramics for healthcare applications had featured in a hour long BBC 4 documentary titled "The Secret Story of Stuff: Materials of the Modern Age." It explores the world of material science, uncovering the innovations in manufacturing that are set to change the world we live in. See: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/materials/news/2018/materials-at-loughborough-featured-in-bbc-4-documentary.html

This was also reviewed as one of the best TV educational programmes by many newspapers of the country including Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/oct/31/secret-story-stuff-tv-review
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/materials/news/2018/materials-at-loughborough-featured-in-bbc-4-...
 
Description Centre for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk on 5G ceramics at the NSF funded Centre for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics in front of 27 industrial member organisations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference Presentation - 3D Printing 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference Presentation at LAPC2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ESA Industry days: Additive manufacturing of microwave components 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The European Space Agency organised a 2 day workshop full of presentations on additive manufacturing of microwave components. Darren Cadman presented the Symeta project to attending industrialists, promoting the use of additive manufacturing of metamaterials for microwave applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/154/
 
Description Electronic Applications of Materials 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to speak on 5G ceramics. S[arked debate with leading groups on the nature of the materials required for 5G applications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description European School of Antennas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Around 15 post-graduate students from across Europe attended a summer school in Athens convened by the European School of Antennas. SYMETA sponsored two student places and SYMETA researchers Professor Yiannis Vardaxoglou and Dr Will Whittow used SYMETA research partly as the basis of their teaching across the week.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.esoa-web.org/
 
Description First Lego League Junior 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Darren Cadman organised for Etwall Primary School to attend the First Lego League Junior event at Loughborough University. A team of 6 pupils ranging in ages from 7 to 10 attended and engaged with building lego recycling 'facility'. The outcome is that with the event running again this year, the School are very keen to attend again especially having bought the associated electronics and software for controlling the Lego structures. This activity also aligns with the school's curriculum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.juniorfirstlegoleague.org/
 
Description Institute of Circuit Technology Northern Seminar 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination of early Symeta activity to a stakeholder group that are monitoring the progress of additive manufacturing techniques within the electronics domain. Potential interest in the project was expressed by delegates and this will be nurtured as the project progresses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.instct.org/news/seminar-reports/418-ict-northern-seminar-dec-2016
 
Description Institute of Circuit Technology Winter evening seminar: D Cadman presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Evening seminar organised by the UK's printed circuit board professional society, the Institute of Circuit Technology. Darren Cadman presented to approx 50 industrialists on 3D printed electronics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Institute of Microelectronics and Packaging Advanced Circuit Boards workshop: presentation D Cadman 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Darren Cadman presented updates on 3D printed electronics within the research community to an industry audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.imaps.org.uk/events/advanced-circuit-boards/
 
Description International Symposium on Integrated Functionalities 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation in symposium on tunable devices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited presentation at Exeter University's XM3 conference, promoting research in metamaterials for microwave applications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presented the SYMETA research programme at Exeter University's XM3 conference on microwave applications of metamaterials. Through this conference I established links with 2 potential companies that are interested to know more about the programme and potentially become partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://xm3.ex.ac.uk
 
Description Invited presentation at the ARMMS (microwave society) conference, November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk to present the Symeta research programme to the UK's microwave industry community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.armms.org/conferences/?conference=66
 
Description Invited presentation in a prestigeous international congress 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave an invited presentation in the 7th International Congress on Ceramics held at Brazil (2018). This is a very important conference for the advanced ceramic materials practitioners and it was excellent to represent our pioneering work on 3D printing of ceramics and green processing. This has resulted in an invitation to write a book with one of the most famous book publishers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.icc7.com.br/
 
Description Invited talk in a National Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presented a talk on "Making Materials with Microwaves" at the Sustainable Functional Materials Conference SFM2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description KTN workshop on industrial application of Metamaterials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Materials Knowledge Transfer Network ran this event in 2017 and also in February 2018. The more recent of these, we presented our work in the breakout sessions on the form of a poster display and exhibits. Through attendance at these events we have firmly established the SYMETA programme within certain industry sectors, attracting more industrial partners to the programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ktn-uk.co.uk/events/industrial-and-commercial-applications-of-metamaterials-2
 
Description Keynote Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a keynote lecture at the International Conference on Biomaterials, BioEngineering & BioTheranostics
(BioMET 2018), In Vellore, India. The talk was extremely well received and our institution was invited to take part in further collaborative initiatives and a mutual exchange visits have taken place.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in KTN special interest group workshop on 3D printing of ceramics at the MTC. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Thanos Goulas (PDRA) contributed to the discussion on ceramics 3D printing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participation in KTN special interest group workshop on 3D printing of ceramics at the MTC. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The UK's Knowledge Transfer Networks ran a workshop on addressing the issues, needs/challenges, markets for the additive manufacture of ceramics. I performed a 5minute pitch on the capabilities at Loughborough University and actively engaged with the workshop sessions contributing information on the microwave communications sector's need for ceramics and the potential 3D printing has. While serval of Symeta collaborators were in the audience, we have also had follow requests to engage with industry funded research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ktn-uk.co.uk/events/applications-for-ceramics-in-3d-printingadditive-manufacturing-special-i...
 
Description Presentation at IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting(APS/URSI) by Shiyu Zhang 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Zhang presented updates on the advances in 3D meta material for microwave and antenna applications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://2018apsursi.org
 
Description Presentation at International Workshop on Antenna Technology by D Cadman 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Darren Cadman presented advances in the 3D printing of materials for electromagnetic applications to an academic conference audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://iwat2019.org
 
Description Presentation at Loughborough Antennas and Propagation Conference 2018 by Shiyu Zhang 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Zhang gave two presentation to the research and industry community present updating them on the latest 3D printed microwave and antenna concepts being developed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/conferences/cp746
 
Description Presentation at the European Space Agencys 38th ESA Antennas workshop 4th October 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented the Symeta project at the 38th ESA antennas workshop at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. The event provided an opportunity to promote additive manufacturing methods to the space sector, albeit, the methods deployed within Symeta are still very far from being adopted by the Space sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://old.esaconferencebureau.com/2017-events/17c15/introduction
 
Description Research mentioned in ~ 70 Visit Day Talks and Outreach Events 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr. Whittow was the UG Admissions Tutor and hence part of my job was to go to schools and give talks about Engineering. As this research combined the exciting area of 3D printing and antennas, I use(d) it in all my talks at schools or Open Days. I have also used it when i talk about promoting Women In Engineering of which I am strong supporter. Total amount of talk is estimated at 70. It is a powerful communication tool to be able to show an animation of the electric fields while the students can hold the 3D printed samples in their hands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.wes.org.uk/content/men-allies-award