Ana Belén Amado Rey began to do her PhD at Fraunhofer IAF in February 2014, a research institute in Freiburg, Germany. Her research focused on the design of sub-millimeter wave integrated power amplifiers (at frequencies between 200 GHz and 300 GHz) for high resolution imaging and communication (radars) applications.
“At the beginning, it was not easy to develop those amplifiers “, says Ms Belén. “Potential parasitic and instabilities that occur in this frequency range makes this a challenging field to work in. Furthermore, model inaccuracies make it even more daunting.”
“…the work has shown some progress” she adds.
These progresses were recognized at the European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC) 2016 that took place on the 3rd and 4th of October in London. Ana Belén was awarded the Young Engineer Prize at the conference. This prize is given each year at the conference to an outstanding paper that has been written by a young PhD student (under 30 years old).
The work demonstrated the first ever stacked or series configuration topology achieved at 280 GHz. The paper is called: ‘A 280 GHz Stacked-FET Power Amplifier Cell using 50 nm Metamorphic HEMT Technology’. It has been experimentally proven that this topology at this frequency provides more output power than the conventional ones, making it clearly advantageous.
The paper was orally presented and a tribunal decided the winner. Competing for the first time in a Conference at a European level, Belén found the experience humbling and extremely informative. The works presented at the event were all rigorously executed and backed by strong experimental data.
“I was honored with this prize and that made me much more confident on my chances as a young research engineer, in the possibilities of expanding myself and continuing my research in this field” Belén reminisced as she recounted the feeling of hearing her name announced for the award. “Most importantly, it has prompted me to achieve much better results for the future on something that I really like doing.” she adds excitedly.
Apart from the Young Engineer Prize, the conference also facilitated a student Fellowship for her. The fellowship from the GAAS Association provides financial assistance to international PhD students who show promise in pursuing a graduate degree in microwave electronics.