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Title: Wearable Antennas for WBAN: Design Considerations and Assessments

Speaker: Dr. Ping Jack Soh


The increasing demand for multi-functional, multi-band wireless operation and consumer-centric technology have motivated major developments in wearable antennas. Future wearable systems should be unobtrusive, flexible, and operating with minimal degradation in proximity to the human body. These antennas have to meet bandwidth, efficiency and safety requirements, while being consistent with low cost manufacturing techniques. Moreover, in wearable applications, flat surfaces cannot be guaranteed. Thus, an important antenna requirement is its ability to work with good robustness against environmental, positional and location changes when being worn, besides complying with medical and safety regulations. Such body-centric antennas are capable of catering for various current and future wireless standards and applications. Among others, wearable antennas could assist medical monitoring for hospitalized, home-bound, or outpatients; facilitate communication for emergency services and public safety support; and in search, rescue and location-tracking alerts. However, degradation of the antenna performance when worn on the human body has been one of the major deterrents in its successful implementation, be it in terms of frequency detuning, bandwidth reduction, and efficiency degradation or radiation distortion. Ideally, a wearable antenna must be designed to be immune enough for an on-body operation. This talk will provide a brief overview of the types of wearable antennas, with a specific focus on fully-textile antennas. Next, the design considerations will be discussed, prior to the recommendations on modified/specialized characterization procedures using a commercial setup for the assessments of these antennas. Finally, a summary of available fabrication technologies will be discussed prior to the conclusion.

Speaker’s Bio

Ping Jack Soh, PhD, C.Eng, SMIEEE, MIET, was born in Sabah, Malaysia. He received the Bachelor and Master degrees in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunication) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in 2002 and 2006, respectively, and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium in 2013.

He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer and Communication Engineering (SCCE), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP). From 2002 to 2004, he was a Test Engineer in Venture Corp., working on hardware and software test solutions for the manufacturing of All-in-One printers. In 2005, he joined Motorola Solutions Malaysia as an R&D Engineer. There, he worked on the characterization and testing of new two-way radios’ antennas and RF front-ends. From 2006, he joined SCCE-UniMAP as a Lecturer, and was also appointed as the Deputy Director of the Centre for Industrial Collaboration (CIC) between 2007 and 2009. He went on leave from UniMAP in 2009 to pursue his Ph.D and research attachment in KU Leuven, Belgium. He was first a Research Assistant (2009-2013), then a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2013-2014) and is currently an External Research Affiliate in the ESAT-TELEMIC Research Division. Within his Fellowship, he was also involved an industrial project with AGFA Healthcare, Mortsel, Belgium, which resulted in a filed European patent and a joint journal. He also holds a granted Malaysian patent and another two filed patents. Upon his return to UniMAP, he was then appointed as the Deputy Dean of the university’s Research Management and Innovation Center (RMIC) between 2014 and 2017. He has published about 75