EMC Personality Profile

A couple of months after Frank Sabath had joined the German Navy for his compulsory duty in July 1986, he changed carriers to become an officer of the naval reserve. His training as a technical officer on mine counter measure vessels raised his interest in defense technologies and their reliabilities. Frank graduated from the University of Paderborn, Germany with a diploma degree (Dipl.-Ing.) in electrical engineering.

In 1993, Frank entered the area of EMC by joining the analogue system-engineering group (ASE) of the C-Lab, a joint R&D institute of the University of Paderborn, Germany, and the Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG, Paderborn. His initial job description included research on electromagnetic field theory, numerical field calculation, and the development of appropriate numerical models for the EMC analysis of a printed circuit board (PCB). Over the years his responsibilities were complemented by EMC analysis of PCBs and providing technical advice to industrial customers. Frank had his first experience in a multinational team while working on the bi-national R&D program QUELLE. In cooperation with his project partners at the Technical University of Gdansk, Poland and the WIDIS GmbH, Berlin, Germany he developed both methods for radiation analysis of PCBs and material for an EMC training course. At that time, he started giving training courses about radiation analysis of PCBs and EMC aspects of PCB design.
During the same period he was working on his PhD thesis on “a hybrid method for computation of the radiated field of a PCB” under the supervision of Professor Heyno Garbe of the University of Hanover, Germany. After having completed his PhD thesis, Frank left the C-Lab and joined the Federal Office for Defense Technologies and Procurement (BWB) as a civil servant. Frank spent 18 months training in the civil service before he obtained his recent position as a scientist at the Federal Armed Forces Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection (WIS) in Munster, Germany.
Frank shifted his scope from the EMC of PCBs and subsystems to the susceptibility and hardening of whole systems to transient electromagnetic field threats generated by nuclear and conventional weapons. At that time, the EMP branch started to focus on the effects of UWB threats, both conducted and radiated. Frank and his colleague Daniel Nitsch started studies on the susceptibility of electronic devices to UWB field signals, protection measures and numerical as well as analytical analysis of UWB coupling. Due to the lack of UWB field simulators for high-power test trails of medium and large systems, Frank investigated the theory and design of impulse radiating antennas (IRAs) and developed the needed UWB simulator. As a benefit of their work, Daniel Nitsch and Frank were able to provide significant contributions toward the German high-power microwave weapon program; both gentlemen hold two patents for components of non-lethal weapons radiating ultra-wide band (UWB) field signals of high magnitude.
Beside his original responsibilities, Frank was assigned as the BWB representative in a working group on national standards for NEMP and lightning protection of defense material. In 2002, he became chairman of this working group. He is a member of national and international working groups on high frequency immunity tests.

Frank (right) presenting a parachute IRA.

In 2002, the German armament sector decided that it should concentrate and coordinate all activities, test centers and research institutes dealing with EMC and electromagnetic effects. As a result, Frank became involved in establishing a virtual center of competence (VCC EME) that coordinates all EMC and E3 activities. This led Frank to become one of two spokesmen chairing the VCC EME.
In the spring of 2002, Professor Jürgen Nitsch asked Frank if he was interested in sharing his knowledge and experience with students. Since then Frank has been a temporary lecturer at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, teaching theory, design and applications of impulse radiating antennas. Based on his teaching experience, Frank initiated an award program of the IEEE German EMC chapter.
In 2004, Frank is collaborating with colleagues in the Surveillance Technology Branch of the Radar Division of the US Naval Research Laboratory as an exchange engineer under the DoD’s Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP).
Frank is currently involved in the organization of the European Electromagnetic Symposium (EUROEM 2004), which is going to be held in Magdeburg, Germany during July 12 – 16, 2004. As the chairman of the 7th Ultra-Wide Band – Short-Pulse Electromagnetic Conference (UWB SP 7), which is part of EUROEM 2004, he is responsible for the creation of the technical program regarding UWB and the edition of the UWB SP 7 book. He has assembled an active and well-experienced team of session chairs that is willing to make the UWB SP 7 the best of the whole EUROEM/AMEREM series. For the benefit of the EMC Society with EUROEM 2004, Frank is organizing special events such as a Regional chapter meeting and a Region 8 workshop on numerical field computation. He looks forward to welcoming a large number of EMC Society members to Magdeburg.

Frank and his son Peter.


Frank is a senior member of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Antennas and Propagation (AP) and Microwaves Theory and Techniques (MTT) Societies. He has served as the treasurer of the German chapter of the EMCS since 2000. During his service, he initiated an annual workshop that focuses on the discussion of selected issues in the area of electromagnetic effects and electromagnetic interactions.
With respect to his various activities, the EMCS Board of Directors appointed him as the first Regional Conference Coordinator in Region 8, encompassing Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Frank and his wife Martina are parents of a two-year-old son Peter and are expecting a second child in May 2004. On the personal side, Frank is involved with several activities. He has been a tuba player for more than 18 years. Over the years, he was with several brass bands covering the spectrum from classical wind music, brass bands, and swing. He is also active in his church. EMC

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