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Applied Electromagnetics & RF Circuits

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Graduate-level ECE courses related to this area (click the EM column to see Major area courses)
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Applied electromagnetics (EM) plays an essential role in areas such as wireless technologies, the environment, life sciences, transportation, and more. Faculty and students perform research in all aspects of applied EM, including Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Circuits, MEMS Circuits, Antennas, Wave Propagation Studies for Wireless Applications, Scattering, Computational Electromagnetics, Active and Passive Microwave Remote Sensing, Plasma Electrodynamics, and EM Metamaterials.

Faculty in this area make up the Radiation Laboratory (Radlab). The Radlab’s reputation and sustained preeminence dates back to the end of World War II, and is now a leading RF and electromagnetics laboratory with strong theoretical and experimental research, major laboratory facilities, and rich undergraduate and graduate curricula.

The Radiation Laboratory is equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art microwave and millimeter-wave test equipment, anechoic chambers, near-field and far-field antenna measurement systems, EMC/EMI testing facilities, microwave and millimeter-wave fabrication facilities, polarimetric radar systems covering 0.1-210 GHz, and extensive computational facilities.


  • Advanced Electromagnetic Materials for RF and Microwave Applications
  • Antennas
  • Computational Electromagnetics
  • Plasma Science and Engineering
  • Radio Frequency (RF), Microwave, and Millimeter-wave Circuits
  • Remote Sensing
  • Space Plasma Electro-Dynamics
  • Wave Propagation

ECE Faculty

Ehsan Afshari


Anthony England


Brian Gilchrist


Anthony Grbic


Mark Kushner


Somin Eunice Lee


Eric Michielssen


Amir Mortazawi


Adib Nashashibi


Leland Pierce


Kamal Sarabandi


Leung Tsang


Fawwaz Ulaby


David Wentzloff


CSE Faculty

Alanson Sample


Affiliated Faculty

Roberto Merlin


Christopher Ruf



Jordan Budhu

News Feed

Kaleo Roberts receives scholarship from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Roberts works to improve remote sensing of soil moisture, which is important for environmental conservation, natural resource management, and agriculture.

Pioneering a way to keep very small satellites in orbit

More than 250 students had a hand in a satellite launching on January 10th, the first in space for a project to keep nanosats in orbit by harnessing Earth’s magnetic field.

Cody Scarborough wins Exceptional Student Contributions Award at Metamaterials 2020

PhD student Cody Scarborough was recognized for his work advancing the understanding and study of electromagnetic waves.

U-M startup SkyGig aims to take 5G to the next level

With new funding in the company, the hardtech startup is bringing revolutionary technologies to reshape mmWave wireless.

Eric Michielssen receives ACES Computational Electromagnetics Award

This award recognizes major contributions in the field of computational electromagnetics.

Eric Michielssen receives IEEE AP-S Field Award in Computational Electromagnetics

Michielssen is a leader in the field of Computational Electromagnetics and its application to real-world problems

Improving cancer and disease treatments by understanding electromagnetic communication among biological cells

Prof. Kamal Sarabandi and ECE PhD student Navid Barani won a best paper award for their research on how biological cells may use electromagnetic signal transmission to communicate.

Zhanni Wu awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Wu is working on advanced metasurfaces, which could help next-generation wireless communication, commercial and military radar systems, imaging, and antenna systems.

Leung Tsang elected to the National Academy of Engineering

A professor of electrical engineering and computer science is awarded one of engineering’s top honors.

Wireless Communication Under the Sea

U-M researchers have created a new means of enabling reliable wireless underwater communication, which could aid military, environmental, and conservation purposes.

Two members of ECE will represent U-M at the 2019 Rising Stars in EECS Workshop

The intensive workshop brings together outstanding women who are graduate students or postdocs interested in pursuing academic careers in electrical engineering and computer science.

Prof. Kamal Sarabandi welcomes Emperor and Empress of Japan at IGARSS 2019

Predicting future disasters is an important goal of those participating in the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium

Six teams of ECE researchers make the finals at AP-S/URSI 2019

Second Prize overall went to doctoral student Xiuzhang Cai for his radar target classification research applicable to autonomous vehicles.

Counting snowflakes for better water resource management

Mostafa Zaky has built an award-winning model that helps estimate the amount of water stored in snowpacks, which could improve climate change and flood forecasting, as well as overall water resource management.

Huanting Huang improves accuracy of remote sensing

Huang won the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics for her work developing better electromagnetic models that calculate microwave interactions with tree and vegetation cover.

Milad Zolfagharloo Koohi receives IEEE MTT-S Fellowship to advance 5G communications

EECS-ECE PhD student Milad Zolfagharloo Koohi is working to make smartphones faster and smaller through his research in the field of RF devices.

Unravelling the mysteries of bacterial communication

EECS-ECE PhD student Navid Barani received the IEEE APS Doctoral Research Award for his work modeling how bacteria use electromagnetic waves to communicate, which could lead to medical breakthroughs.

Time-varying metamaterials for next generation communication, sensing, and defense systems

With $7.5M MURI grant, Professor Anthony Grbic is developing metamaterials for a new generation of integrated electromagnetic and photonic systems.

U-M researchers develop small device that bends light to generate new radiation

This device, the size of a match head, can bend light inside a crystal to generate synchrotron radiation in a lab.

Prof. Amir Mortazawi receives MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award

Mortazawi recognized as a distinguished educator in the field of microwave engineering and science.

Prof. Anthony Grbic receives U-M Faculty Recognition Award

Grbic is a world leader in the development of metamaterials and metasurfaces.

Alumna Rhonda Franklin honored for her accomplishments with the Willie Hobbs Moore Award

From blowing up microwaves to inspiring a new generation of microwave engineers, Professor Franklin shares her research, insights, and thoughts on the future of women in engineering.

Solving impossible equations

Eric Michielssen has discovered a new way to rapidly analyze electromagnetic phenomena, and it’s catching on.

Huanting Huang and the mathematical shape of trees

An award-winning modeling method will help us better understand our natural environment

SMAP Update: A mission to manage water globally

The satellite mission to collect global data of surface soil moisture can help weather forecasting around the world.

Professor Leung Tsang Receives 2018 Van de Hulst Award

Prof. Tsang is a world-renowned expert in the field of theoretical and computational electromagnetics, and in particular microwave remote sensing of the earth.

Prof. Amir Mortazawi introduces robust wireless power transfer

Compared to conventional methods of wireless power, which require a specific distance and alignment, Prof. Mortazawi’s version operates over a range of distances and orientations without a drop in power.

IGARSS Interactive Symposium Paper Award for modeling the world’s forests

The paper outlines a better way to quantify forest structure, which has been successful in two tree species.

Lifelong Radiation Lab researcher Valdis Liepa retires

Dr. Valdis Liepa retires after nearly 50 years as a faculty member in the Radiation Laboratory.

Behzad Yektakhah earns paper award for research in seeing through walls

Yektakhah’s system improves on the speed, portability, and accuracy of many commercial models

A Q&A with Rhonda Franklin – connecting diverse students

Franklin believes the best research results are achieved from a diversity of backgrounds, something she learned as a graduate student at Michigan and fosters in her own research group at Minnesota.

Kamal Sarabandi elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The AAAS seeks to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.

Nader Behdad Receives the Inaugural ECE Rising Star Alumni Award for his Transformative Research in Antennas

Behdad has tackled some of the toughest problems in antenna research. But for his applications, they need to be very small – small enough to be used to treat cancer.

An award winning radar system for collision avoidance and imaging

Armin’s research is focused on the development of a sub-millimeter-wave radar system for the next generation of navigation and imaging sensors.

A new way to test low-frequency antennas for long-range communication

Choi has developed a new technique for testing these antennas based on very-near-field measurements and a newly-developed, high-precision formula to compute the antenna’s radiation fields.

A new, low-cost way to monitor snow and ice thickness to evaluate environmental change

Mohammad has developed a new way to remotely measure the thickness of ice and snow with a technology he calls wideband autocorrelation radiometry (WiBAR).

The Radlab: People in Service to Society

U-M’s Radlab is known worldwide for their contributions to Applied Electromagnetics.

Amr Ibrahim earns Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for research in high millimeter wave radar systems

Amr is investigating both the unique advantages and the performance limitations of radar systems operating at 240 GHz in typical outdoor environments.

Eric Michielssen named Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Engineering

Eric is an international leader in the field of computational electromagnetics and specializes in the development of fast-solution methods and optimization algorithms.

Researching the future of remote sensing

Directed by Kamal Sarabandi the new program aims to create theoretical models for remote sensing of ice and snow.

New Michigan-Saudi Arabia collaboration promises exciting new research – beginning with the auto industry

KACST will provide manpower and will collaborate with Michigan faculty and students on their projects.

Iverson Bell – Researching the future of space satellites

Mr. Bell is investigating the potential of electrodynamic tether propulsion technology to enhance the capabilities of an emerging class of smartphone-sized satellites.

‘Space tethers’ can be used to fling spacecraft into interplanetary space

The tether could be used to deorbit out-of-use spacecraft, push spacecraft from low Earth orbit into higher orbits, or even push spacecraft out of Earth’s orbit altogether.

Researchers build groundbreaking device for NASA SMAP mission

The SMAP mission is NASA’s most ambitious sensing project yet for measuring global soil moisture levels.

Iverson Bell’s small satellite wins big

Iverson developed an experimental facility to simulate key characteristics of the space environment.

Gurkan Gok receives Paper Award for making better antenna beams

Gok’s developed antenna system promises a large bandwidth of operation and a wide angle of coverage.

Shrinking the size of optical systems, exponentially

The researchers believe that metasurfaces could one day be used to completely control the phase, amplitude, and polarization of light.

Jiangfeng Wu receives Best Paper Award for research in safe fracking

The Mikio Takagi Student Prize is given to the top three Student Prize Paper Awards granted at the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium.

Eric Michielssen receives IEEE APS Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award

This award is in recognition of being an outstanding educator, mentor and role model for the next generation of faculty members.

MEMS research by Muzhi Wang recognized at IMS 2014

The paper reports on the design, fabrication, and results of a directly heated phase change RF switch using germanium telluride.

Student Spotlight: Luis Gomez – An expert in computational electromagnetics and teaching

The goal of Gomez’s research is to alleviate the communications blackout that sometimes occurs when vehicles are traveling through the earth’s atmosphere.

Jason Heebl receives NDSEG Fellowship

Jason’s current research focuses on developing systems to wirelessly charge or power electronic devices.

Investigating a new material to help you stay connected

His final goal is to build novel RF circuits including frequency-selective switched oscillators based on his models.

Students rewarded for their circuit designs in EECS 413

The course, Monolithic Amplifier Circuits, has a tradition of offering prizes for the top final projects designed by the students.

New algorithms and theory for shining light through non-transparent media

Their technique utilizes backscatter analysis to construct “perfectly transmitting” wavefronts.

How a metamaterial might improve a depression treatment

The headpiece design is a big departure from today’s figure 8-shaped devices made of just two coils.

Chris Berry receives Paper Award at IMS 2013 for Research in Terahertz Technology

Berry’s paper addresses important limitations such as low output power and poor power efficiency.

After Newtown: A new use for a weapons-detecting radar?

The technology could potentially identify a hidden weapon from a distance in less than a second.

Chris Berry awarded 2012 AP-S Doctoral Research Award

The award will support Berry’s doctoral research in the area of plasmonic photoconductive antennas for high power terahertz generation.

Student Research: Amit Patel earns prize in IEEE AP-S Student Paper Competition for antenna research

The method can be useful in the design of low-profile antennas integrated into body panels of vehicles.

Shang-Hua Yang receives SPIE Scholarship in Optics & Photonics

Yang’s research is focused on designing plasmonic nano-structures to enhance efficiency of conventional photoconductive terahertz emitters.

Chris Berry awarded 2012 Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

The proposed emitter incorporates plasmonic photoconductors to more efficiently convert power from incident laser light into terahertz radiation.

Research Spotlight: 3-D electrical force fields manipulate microscale particles

The primary advance shown in this research as compared to earlier work is the successful use of a 3-D potential force field.

David D. Chen awarded NSERC Fellowship for Earth Remote Sensing

The bulk of Chen’s current research centers on the detection and mitigation of radio frequency interference with microwave radiometers.

A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams

The researchers have optimized an optical resonator to take an infrared signal from relatively cheap telecommunication-compatible lasers and boost it to an ultraviolet beam.

Fikadu Dagefu receives 2011 Lincoln Lab Fellowship

The applications Dagefu’s research include wireless channel characterization, radar through-wall imaging, and distributed sensor networks.

Xueyang Duan receives first prize for research in soil moisture sensing

Duan’s research has important applications in global climate change studies and weather forecasting.

Using imprint processing to mass-produce tiny antennas could improve wireless electronics

The antenna is typically the largest wireless component in mobile devices, and shrinking it could leave more room for other gadgets and features.

Sung Ho Park receives 2011 IEEE MTT-S Scholarship

Sung Ho plans to design photoconductive antenna arrays with optimal radiation efficiency and broadband operation.

Morteza Nick receives Best Paper Award at IMS2011

Morteza introduces a new voltage-controlled-oscillator design technique that offers significant advantages in terms of size, DC power consumption and frequency tunability.

Iverson Bell awarded NSF Fellowship for Research in Space Propulsion

Bell is investigating how to use an electrodynamic, propellantless propulsion concept to push against the Earth’s magnetic field in order to maneuver satellites and counteract drag.

Safer medical imaging with microwaves

The goal of the research is to develop an alternative method to x-ray imaging that is safer and uses nothing stronger than radio frequency waves.

Chris Berry awarded Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

Berry is designing an emitter to operate as a light-weight, local oscillator for a terahertz spectroscopy system suitable for use in space.

Jungsuek Oh, EE Grad Student, awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship

Oh’s research focuses on designing highly miniaturized planar antennas with vertical polarization and high radiation efficiency.

Jackie Vitaz receives Top Prize at USNC/URSI

Soil moisture study aims for climate change insights

Moghaddam will oversee the design and fabrication of the AirMOSS instrument, a high-powered, low-frequency radar that NASA/JPL collaborators will build for the project.

Ruzbeh Akbar receives NASA Fellowship for SMAP Mission Research

SMAP is a satellite mission for mapping surface soil moisture and freeze/thaw states for the purpose of scientific advances and societal benefits.

Amit Patel Awarded SMART Fellowship

The Fellowship will support Patel’s research on the theory and development of textured electromagnetic surfaces.

Prof. Mona Jarrahi awarded a DARPA Young Faculty Award

The award acknowledges Jarrahi’s efforts to develop a new generation of compact high power terahertz sources.

Kamal Sarabandi Receives Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

He is honored for his excellence in research, mentorship, and contributions to professional organizations.

Prof. Thomas B. A. Senior Receives the 2010 IEEE Electromagnetics Award

The award is based on outstanding contributions to electromagnetics in theory, application or education.

Mark Kushner to head new $10M DoE plasma research center

The research that will be conducted at the center could lead to more efficient solar cells, finer-featured microchips and new medical tools.

Tony Grbic awarded Presidential Early Career Award

The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Michael Thiel earns first place in SEMCAD X Student Research Award

Thiel’s detection method allows the analysis of human backscattering within a realistic building environment.

Michael Benson receives NASA Fellowship

For his research, Benson plans to utilize SAR in order to estimate variable vegetated parameters and monitor the planet’s crustal movement.

Tony Grbic receives NSF CAREER Award to advance metamaterials

Grbic was awarded the grant for his project: Advances in Metamaterial Structures and Devices

Kamal Sarabandi: Bridging the Divide of Fundamental Science and Technology

Kamal Sarabandi Receives Humboldt Research Award

The Humboldt Research Award is a highly competitive award granted to scientists and scholars from all disciplines.

Tony Grbic Receives AFOSR Young Investigator Award

This three-year grant will support research that is expected to open new opportunities in antenna design and microwave/millimeter-wave device development.