School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Staff

Dr Robert Edwards BEng (Hon) PhD MIET SMIEEE

Photo of Dr Robert Edwards

Reader in Mobile Communications

Director of 5G Research Centre

Received a B.Eng. (Hons.) in Electronic Engineering(Communications) from the University of Sheffield, and then studied for a PhD with the Department's internationally respected Communications and Radar Group. Sheffield University belongs to the Russell Group. The Russell Group is an association of 20 major research-intensive universities of the United Kingdom.

Former Director of Sheffield's Centre for Mobile Communications Research (C4MCR), Dr Edwards moved to Loughborough University with his research group in September 2004.

Director of 5G Research Centre

Dr Edwards has reviewed for several of the technology programmes organised by the UK Government and also reviews numerous publications relating to Mobile Communications, Signal Porcessing and the possible effects of Radio Frequency Radiation on humans.

Professional Affiliations

Senior Member of Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers
MIET

External Activities

Chief External Examiner - American College of Thessaloniki (Open University)
Hallam University - External Examiner
University of Bedfordshire - External Examiner

Arab Open University - External Examiner (2004-2011)
British University of Egypt - Subject advisor (Communications Electronics) 2006-2011
Wireless World Research Forum Communications Division Nominee

Broad Interests and Expertise

Personal Biometric Radio. The concept of using a biometric mobile communications device that can recognise a user is right out of the popular space series ‘star trek’. In the series "The Next Generation" which was first shown in 1994 the crew used a chest worn device that could be used to talk to others who were miles away or in the next room. It needed no code word to input, was the size of an acorn and knew who was using it. Therefore the concept of the biometric phone is not new. However, how to actually make one is quite challenging. Because of the nature of electromagnetic waves a great deal of information about the body of a user is available to the phone. Recently’ engineers have been trying hard (and for the most part failing), to remove the effect of the user from the radio channel. This work is about finding a user by the effect they have on the phone and the channel.

Mobile Communications. The fresh and inspiring adoption of mobile communications devices has opened up an exciting new branch of wireless to which I feel hugely grateful to be able to contribute. Mobile technology is now closer to people than ever before with more antennas close to the head than on rooftops. Almost all aspects of mobile communications currently offer extremely rewarding research opportunities and I intend to make the most of as many as possible. Mobile Communications is the biggest opportunity for research and industry to impact on society for many decades.

Radio Frequency Radiation in Humans. Uncertainties that surround the possible harmful effects of radiation from mobile phones have recently led to an upsurge in public interest. For a technology that has become as pervasive as the common shoe the resource being devoted to research in this area is grossly inadequate. New generations of devices are still being introduced (example mobile communications enabled PDAs), prior to any rigorous testing. I feel that a great deal of work can be done to design systems that have less effect on biological tissue and are by inference safer to use.

Advanced Mobile Communications. "The fresh and inspiring adoption of mobile communications devices has opened up an exciting new branch of wireless to which I feel hugely grateful to be able to contribute. Mobile technology is now closer to people than ever before with antennas close to the head as well as on rooftops. Almost all aspects of mobile communications currently offer extremely rewarding research opportunities and I intend to make the most of as many as possible. Mobile Communications is the biggest opportunity for research and industry to impacts on electronics for many decades."

Radio Frequency Radiation in Humans.Uncertainties that surround the possible harmful effects of radiation from mobile phones have recently led to an upsurge in public interest. For a technology that has become as pervasive as the common shoe the resource being devoted to research in this area is grossly inadequate. New generations of devices are still being introduced (example mobile communications enabled PDAs), prior to any rigorous testing. I feel that a great deal of work can be done to design systems that have less effect on biological tissue an.

Advanced Radio Frequency/Microwave Design and Measurement relating to Mobile Communications. In order to validate models, experimental results are always necessary. Therefore my research has also had a strong practical component in that I have modelled, designed and then fabricated many printed structures using a variety of techniques. Radio frequency design and measurement has therefore formed a large and interesting component of my work at the University of Sheffield. A current related area is that of small flexible antennas for mobile communications devices.

Previous Teaching

Computer Networks, MSc Research Project, Professional Issues in Engineering, Analogue Electronics, Radiated and Guided Waves, Antenna Theory, Multimedia Systems, Internetworking and Mobility

Current PhD Topics 

Yi Zeng - Wearable Biodegradeable Antennas using High Impedance Surfaces

Dina Al-Safar - Modulation Techniques for On-Body Communications

Elijah Adegoke - Energy Harvesting for Mobiel Handsets

John Brister - Spherical Helical Antennas on on-body communications. 

 

(15/03/2015)

High Frequency On-Body Antenna Arrays for location awareness and position finding.

The project will investigate optimal configuration, placement and elementary elements for next generation 1.5cm wavelength antenna arrays for on-body electronic systems. Applications are location awareness, remote sensing, biomedical telemetry and position finding.

Building upon work already undertaken within the Centre for Mobile Communications Research at Loughborough University on on-body antennas this work will involve the design, synthesis, build and testing of an array robust elementary elements to work in the presence of perturbations caused by biological matter at between 10 and 30GHz.

Advanced antenna techniques for low power on-body networks

Arrays of antennas can be used to communicate point to point between low power electronic systems. Typical applications are biotelemetry, dosimetry, location awareness, macro navigation and remote sensing. Choice of elementary elements with respect to feeds and near field interactions with biological tissue are topical and important aspects of such arrays.

This project will look at ways to reduce power consumption in on-body arrays and thereby facilitate low power body-area networks. Antenna Engineering and signal processing are key components of this work.

Antenna Measurement Techniques for Small High Frequency Arrays.

10-40GHz arrays can be made small enough to be worn upon the body. However, perturbations to input impedance, the lossy nature of biological tissue combined with strict standards for the amounts of radio frequency energy that may be absorbed safely make accurate measurement critical in the design of such arrays.

This project will concentrate on related problems and solutions for the measurement of high frequency arrays in the presence of humans. Particular tasks will include the characterisation of an anechoic chamber, the development of associated positioner software and the design and synthesis of small high frequency arrays with flexible technical textile elements with high drapabilty