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Excellence in antennas and propagation research Spotlight on Women’s contributions

Excellence in antennas and propagation research Spotlight on Women’s contributions

Acknowledging the central role of women in driving advancement and prosperity in every society sector, the 2024 United Nations (UN) theme for the observance of the International Women’s Day is "Invest in women: Accelerate progress". Women have indeed made significant strides in research and innovation up to date through remarkable achievements and substantial contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

However, gender inequality persists as a formidable challenge across various fields including science, engineering, and technology. Women are still faced with systemic barriers and biases that hinder their progression and recognition within professional circles - both in academia and industry. In high-profile journals within engineering fields, women are underrepresented as first and last authors relative to the proportion of women scientists. Moreover, the steady increase of women in STEM over the past decades has been accompanied by an overall decrease of female productivity with respect to male productivity, which is mainly associated with a higher female than male dropout rate, as reported in an article published in PNAS 2020 (Huang et al., vol. 117, no. 9, pp. 4609-4616, 2020).

In the realms of science, engineering, and technology, cognitive diversity and interdisciplinary collaboration are key drivers to tackle complex challenges. In this context, fostering diversity and addressing the existing gender gap can fuel creativity and excellence and, thus, lead to new discoveries and novel solutions. In line with the unconditional need for diversity, gender equality is central to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with SDG5 calling for the world to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" by 2030. Beyond the confines of science and engineering, the imperative for diversity echoes throughout society at large, inviting us to cultivate a more equitable and inclusive community that will enable socially relevant and impactful solutions, crafted to address contemporary global challenges.

At IEEE TAP, we are committed to devising strategies aimed at nurturing talent to promote diversity and inclusion across the antennas and propagation community. On the occasion of the 2024 International Women’s Day, we are proud to celebrate women’s leading role in engineering by curating a special article collection to spotlight excellent research on antennas and propagation carried out by women. The articles featured in this collection have been selected through a two-step process:

  • Based on the sole criterion of scientific excellence, our editorial board preselected the top 10% of 2298 articles published in 2022 and 2023.
  • From these articles describing excellent research, those with women appearing as first, last, or corresponding authors were identified and featured in this special collection.

We are also thrilled to kick off a month-long celebration of excellent contributions of women in the field of antennas and propagation with a compelling mini video series, created to further showcase the research presented in the special article collection. The first part of the collection, featuring five women researchers, is released on Women’s Day. Three more parts will follow throughout March.

We invite you to explore the special article collection and the accompanying mini video series and learn how women researchers are pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery to accelerate innovation, drive progress, and shape the future in the field of antennas and propagation. Stay tuned to discover the complete line-up of featured women researchers. To facilitate greater access, all articles included in the collection will be available as open access until the end of May 2024.

Part 1 of 4

The first part of the special article collection highlights five articles, presenting research performed and/or directed by women engineers. Pilar Castillo Tapia et al., in their article "Two-Dimensional Beam Steering Using a Stacked Modulated Geodesic Luneburg Lens Array Antenna for 5G and Beyond" propose a linear array of modulated geodesic Luneburg lens antennas, operating at 56–62 GHz, that feature 2-D beam scanning with low structural complexity. The article "Ultra-Miniature and Circularly Polarized Ferrite Patch Antenna" by Sarra Jemmeli, Laure Huitema, et al. describes the development, design, and measurement of a circularly polarized ultra-miniature antenna by leveraging the magnetic properties of ferrite materials to achieve desired specifications. Xiaolan Xu et al.’s article "Modeling of Scattering by Dense Random Media Consisting of Particle Clusters With DMRT Bicontinuous" presents the development and evaluation of a dense media radiative transfer model for random media with densely packed particle clusters, focusing on remote sensing of terrestrial snow at C-band. Marianna Ivashina et al., in their article "A mm-Wave Phased-Array Fed Torus Reflector Antenna With ±30° Scan Range for Massive-MIMO Base-Station Applications", propose a phased-array fed reflector antenna system which can be used for mm-wave base station applications. The article "Planning of EM Skins for Improved Quality-of-Service in Urban Areas" by Arianna Benoni et al. addresses the planning of EM skins in real-world urban scenarios through a System-by-Design-based strategy, able to determine optimal tradeoff solutions, which jointly maximize the level of power received within no-coverage/low-Quality-of-Service RoIs while minimizing the overall cost and environmental impact.

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Part 2 of 4

In the second part of the special article collection, we showcase the outstanding contributions of five additional women in the journal. Shilie Zheng et al., in their article "A THz-OAM Wireless Communication System Based on Transmissive Metasurface", propose for the first time a THz-OAM wireless communication system operating at 100 GHz based on a transmissive metasurface and verify the feasibility of the multiplexing metasurface to support wireless communication systems for future large capacity wireless services. Giada Maria Battaglia et al.'s article, titled "Effective Non-Iterative Phase Retrieval of 2-D Bandlimited Signals With Applications to Antenna Characterization and Diagnostics", addresses the phase retrieval problem for the challenging case, where just a single set of (phaseless) field data is available, through the adoption of a new set of intersecting curves in the spectral plane, eliminating limitations on the source size and reducing complexity in terms of the number of possible solutions. Hui Chen and Kwai-Man Luk, in their article "An On-Body Matched Differentially Fed Magnetoelectric Dipole Antenna for Head Imaging Systems", propose a magnetoelectric dipole antenna for head imaging systems, enabling the detection of intracranial hemorrhage. Sumitra Dey et al.'s article "Method of Moment Analysis of Carbon Nanotubes Embedded in a Lossy Dielectric Slab Using a Multilayer Dyadic Green's Function" addresses the modeling of the electromagnetic response of carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced composites by proposing a fast and accurate full-wave electromagnetic solver based on a multilayer dyadic Green’s function approach, able to account for the effects of the dielectric slab, where the CNTs are embedded, without explicitly discretizing its interfaces. Marta Ferreras et al., in their article "A 94 GHz Monopulse Duplexing Horn Antenna for a 3-D Tracking Radar", present the first demonstration of a full-waveguide feed at W-band, enabling transmit–receive duplexing and 2-D tracking of targets, which is designed to be used as feed of a 94 GHz space-borne radar.

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Part 3 of 4

In the third part of the special article collection, we continue to explore excellent research performed and/or directed by women engineers, as presented in selected articles published in the journal. Francesca Vipiana et al., in their article "Multi-Antenna System for In-Line Food Imaging at Microwave Frequencies", propose the design and numerical assessment of a novel microwave imaging system, capable of providing a full 3-D image of food/beverage products content in order to disclose the possible presence of physical contaminants, such as plastic fragments. The article by Mei Li et al., titled "A Compact, Single-Layer, Index-Modulated Microstrip Antenna With Stable Customized Tilted Beam Over a Wide Bandwidth", presents the development of an index-modulation principle for tilted-beam microstrip antenna designs, enabling the realization of tilted-beam antennas with wide bandwidth, stable radiation pattern, customized tilt angle, and compact size, that could be utilized in space-limited platforms, such as small cell base-station systems. Thi Hai-Yen Nguyen et al., in their article "Surface Wave Suppression for Improved Isolation and Bore-Sight Gain Based on Dipole Moment Conversion", introduce a novel approach to surface wave suppression based on dipole moment conversion for isolation and bore-sight gain improvement. Bing Wang et al.’s article, titled "Electromagnetic Functional Surfaces Related to Frequency Response Control Using Back-Loaded Radio Frequency Circuits" proposes a novel scheme for designing electromagnetic functional surfaces (EMFSs), using the antenna array and the back-loaded radio frequency circuit to control the frequency response of EMFSs. Tiantian Yin et al., in their article "Subspace-Rytov Approximation Inversion Method for Inverse Scattering Problems", present a novel non-iterative method to solve inverse scattering problems, which improves the inversion results of the Rytov approximation by retaining the integral term neglected therein.

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Part 4 of 4

In the fourth and concluding part of our special article collection, we discover the work of four additional women, as presented in their articles published in the journal. Ting Shi et al., in their article "Multipole-Based Electrically Small Unidirectional Antenna With Exceptionally High Realized Gain", demonstrate an electrically small directive antenna that requires only one specially engineered port to excite a set of multipoles. Rodica Ramer et al.’s article "All 3-D Printed Antennas Based on Phase Velocity Control for Beam Steering and Size Reduction With Low Cost", proposes a concept based on engineering a dielectric filling material to adjust the phase velocity of the propagating electromagnetic wave in a horn antenna. Fengyuan Yang et al., in the article "Near-Reflectionless Wireless Transmission Into the Body With Cascaded Metasurfaces", demonstrate an approach to overcome the large reflection encountered at the interface between air and biological tissue, using cascaded metasurfaces with deeply subwavelength thickness to transform the wave impedance at the air–tissue interface. Sandra Costanzo et al., in their article "Fresnel-Zone Focused Antenna Arrays: Tolerance Analysis for Biomedical Applications", present a detailed tolerance analysis for antenna arrays focused on the Fresnel zone, with the aim to derive the field distribution guaranteeing health safety issues.

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All articles included in the collection will be available as open access until the end of May 2024.