Morteza Nick (PhD EE 2011, exp.) received the Best Paper Award at the 2011 International Microwave Symposium for his paper, “A compact very low phase-noise voltage-controlled-oscillator at X-band,” co-authored by his advisor, Prof. Amir Mortazawi.
Morteza stated that in this paper, he introduced a new voltage-controlled-oscillator design technique that offers significant advantages in terms of size, DC power consumption and frequency tunability, while achieving a state-of-the-art phase-noise performance, compared to conventional oscillator design techniques.
He recently defended his PhD dissertation, titled, “New high-Q planar resonators for low phase-noise radio-frequency oscillators.” “Low phase-noise oscillators are key components of high-performance communication and radar systems,” explains Nick. “The design of low phase-noise oscillators faces many challenges at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies due to low quality-factors of their resonators. The work carried out during the course of this thesis has been directed toward the design of high-Q planar resonators intended for low phase-noise applications. We investigated the design of complex resonant structures, including active and high-order resonant circuits, capable of overcoming the limited quality-factors of current planar hybrid and integrated circuits. The high-Q properties of the proposed resonators allows for the design of oscillators with state-of-the-art phase-noise performance while having compact and planar structures compatible with hybrid and IC fabrication technologies.”
Morteza was a graduate student instructor (GSI) for the senior undergraduate major design experience course EECS 411 (Microwave Circuits), which he taught for 4 semesters, and for the graduate-level course, EECS 533 (Microwave Measurements Laboratory). He earned an EECS Outstanding GSI award for his excellence as an instructor of both of these courses during the 2010-2011 academic year. Dr. Nick will join Marvell Semiconductor in Santa Clara, CA this summer to work as Senior RFIC Design Engineer.
The International Microwave Symposium is the “premier annual international meeting for technologists involved in all aspects of microwave theory and practice.” More than 800 papers were presented at the Symposium, and 205 of those papers competed in the student paper competition. Only one first student paper award is given.