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Buon Kiong Lau

buon kiong

Prof. Buon Kiong Lau
Department of Electrical and Information Technology 
Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund,Sweden
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Buon Kiong Lau received the B.E. degree (with honors) from the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, and the Ph.D. degree from the Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, in 1998 and 2003, respectively, both in electrical engineering. During 2000 to 2001, he was a Research Engineer with Ericsson Research, Kista, Sweden. From 2003 to 2004, he was a Guest Research Fellow at the Department of Signal Processing, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. Since 2004, he has been with the Department of Electrical and Information Technology, Lund University, where he is now a Professor in the Communications Group. He also holds a Senior Researcher appointment with the Swedish Research Council since 2010. He has been a Visiting Researcher with the Department of Applied Mathematics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China; the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; and the Takada Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

Dr Lau's primary research interests are in various aspects of multiple antenna systems, particularly the interplay between antennas, propagation channels, and signal processing. He has co-authored 34 journal papers (17 in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation), 5 book chapters, over 100 conference papers and 3 patents/patent applications.

Dr. Lau has been an Associate Editor, a Senior Associate Editor and a Track Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, for which he was also a Guest Editor of the “Special Issue on MIMO Technology” (2012) and the Lead Guest Editor of the “Special Issue on Theory and Applications of Characteristic Modes” (2016). In addition, he was the Lead Guest Editor of the “Special Cluster on Terminal Antenna Systems for 4G and Beyond” (2013) for the IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters.

From 2007 to 2010, he was the Co-Chair of Subworking Group 2.2 on “Compact Antenna Systems for Terminals” within EU COST Action 2100. He has also served as a Swedish National Delegate and the Chair of Subworking Group 1.1 on “Antenna System Aspects” within COST IC1004 between 2001 and 2015. From 2012-2015, he was the elected Regional Delegate of European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP) for Region 6. He is also a member of the Education Committee within the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), where he had been the Coordinator for the annual IEEE AP-S Student Design Contest during 2013-2015.

In 2015, Dr. Lau received an award from IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation for exceptional performance as an Associate Editor (one of 3 awarded among 46 Associate Editors). His co-authored papers have received several Best Paper Awards, including two CST University Publication Awards in 2010 and 2013.

Terminal Antenna Design for Future Wireless

Massive MIMO, full-dimension (FD) MIMO, millimeter-wave and small cells are some popular candidates for the 5th generation (5G) wireless communication systems. However, as much as these technologies present exciting new challenges for antenna design, the conventional design framework is expected to remain, partly due to the current emphasis on non-antenna issues. Conventionally, terminal antennas are designed based on simple, and often unrealistic criteria, including an emphasis on antenna performance in free space. Moreover, the need for compact multi-antenna implementation makes it even more challenging to deliver efficient antenna designs. Though poor antenna performance in reality is largely overlooked for different reasons, future wireless systems with high performance requirements will greatly benefit from a more comprehensive antenna design paradigm.

In this lecture, I will start by giving an overview of conventional terminal antenna design and comment on its limitations. Then, I will outline current trends in terminal antenna design for 4G systems. I will then introduce a new antenna design paradigm that has the potential to dramatically improve 5G performance. In particular, the paradigm takes into account the interactions of the antenna system with its nearfield and farfield surroundings and provides a powerful framework to optimize these interactions. Finally, I will provide some practical techniques to take advantage of this design paradigm, where each technique offers promising performance gains over the state-of-the-art.

Theory and Applications of Characteristic Modes

The Theory of Characteristic Modes (TCM) had its humble beginnings in the early 1970’s, when it was first conceived for analyzing the scattering of plane waves from arbitrary source directions by a given object in their paths. The method was then refined and also applied to analyze the radiation from an object (antenna) due to electric field excitations. The beauty of TCM lies in its ability to fully characterize the radiation and scattering properties of an arbitrary object based only on the object’s geometry and material properties. This ability provides valuable insights into how an antenna can be optimally excited, independent of the feeding arrangement. This feature has led to its use to design integrated antennas in the High Frequency (HF) band for land vehicles, ships and aircraft. However, TCM has largely remained a specialist field until it was rediscovered for aiding the design of mobile handset antennas about a decade ago.

In this lecture, I will present the main principles of TCM as well as its applications to antenna design. In particular, I will focus on the application of TCM to designing optimal multi-antennas for compact Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) terminals, where the inherently orthogonal characteristic modes are ideal for achieving efficient and uncorrelated MIMO antennas. Moreover, I will also introduce some latest advances in the field (e.g., from the 2016 Special Issue on the topic in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation), which further improves on the applicability of TCM to a much wider context.

For Better, For Worse – A Story of Two Dipoles

Mutual coupling is an important topic in the field of electromagnetics, as many practical applications call for multiple antennas to be located in close proximity to one another. It is also a persistent and fascinating topic, in which many new results and insights continue to be produced over the years. For simplicity, and with no loss in generality, many of the fundamental studies are based on this simple case of two parallel, half-wavelength dipole antennas.

In this lecture, I will focus on the mutual coupling of two dipoles in the context of wireless communications. I will begin by describing several performance metrics for characterizing the performance of two dipoles. I will then describe the impact of mutual coupling on the dipoles’ performance, as well as different approaches devised to compensate for the negative effects of coupling, illustrated with numerical examples. I will also comment on the relevance of the dipole based studies in the general context and some common pitfalls in existing studies on mutual coupling. I will finish with an outlook on opportunities for future work in this topic.

The Society – Up Close and Personal

Although the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society is most visible in its role in organizing conferences and journal publications in the field, the Society also offers many other great opportunities for involvement at every level – there is something for everyone! I am convinced that the Society has a lot more to offer to its members than what they are already receiving, and conversely, the Society has a lot more to gain from its members than what they are already giving.

In this talk, I would like to promote the Society as a home for members to help one another along their career journey, through the inseparable act of giving and receiving. In particular, speaking from my personal experience, I will highlight several key opportunities for students and young researchers/faculties to get up close and personal with the Society, including the annual Student Design Contest and publication-related roles. I will also address some common roadblocks and myths for those wanting to benefit from these opportunities.