My BSc

Growing up, I enjoyed making electronic stuff as a hobby.  Some of the things I constructed are:

  • Audio pre-amp
  • Audio power amp
  • Audio mixer
  • HiFi speakers (using KEF units)
  • SW radios (valve and solid-state)
  • UHF TV pre-amps
  • Phased array yagi-uda antennas for TV reception (Southern, Midland as well as Thames!)
  • CB antennas
  • VHF transmitter
  • Valve power amp
  • Intercom system
  • 2-way radios
  • Turning a TV into an oscilloscope!
  • Metal detector
  • Sounds effects unit

After studying Maths, Physics and Electronic Systems A’levels at college, I got a place at Essex University studying Electronic Engineering (09/86 to 06/89).

In the 3rd year I specialised in Electronic Engineering (Telecommunications). I took the following core and optional modules in each year:

  • Year 1
    • Introduction to Electronic Circuit Design
    • Feedback Systems
    • Telecommunications
    • Circuits, Signals and Systems
    • Digital Systems Engineering
    • Electrical Materials and Components
    • Electronic Packaging Technology
    • Communication and the Professional Engineer
    • Electronic Systems Design
    • Engineering Mathematics
    • Programming Principles and Applications
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Physics of Solids
  • Year 2
    • Computer Engineering
    • Telecommunications Engineering
    • Circuit and Systems Theory
    • Digital System Design
    • Circuit and System Design
    • Mathematical Methods
    • Engineering Electromagnetics
    • Semiconductor Devices
  • Year 3
    • Signal Processing
    • Software and Systems
    • Mathematics
    • Semiconductor Devices
    • Signals and Systems for Communications
    • Radio Frequency Systems
    • Optical Communications
    • Computer and Communication Networks
    • Television Engineering
    • Audio Engineering

My 3rd year project was called “The Design and Construction of a Collapsible Yagi-Uda Antenna for Operation in the VHF Region”.  This project involved learning about antenna fundamentals, designing the antenna from tables, designing and building a grid-dip oscillator to tune the antenna, designing a Gamma matching circuit and optimising S11 on a VNA, and testing the antenna in the field.  The antenna was collapsible using a trigger mechanism – some interesting Smith Charts S11 plots could be observed as the antenna elements opened out!  Back in 1988, whilst writing up the project report, was also my first experience of using a laptop, wordprocessor and the Windows operating system (3.0 !!!).

University gave me many experiences (some good, some not so good), but greatly helped me begin working in my chosen career – RF.