EMC Personality Profile

Introducing Andrew C. Marvin


Andrew (Andy) Marvin is one of the most active European scientists in the area of EMC. We can read his name on nearly every committee roster of European EMC conferences, he has authored more than 150 papers on EMC related issues, including more than 20 articles for the IEEE Transactions on EMC, and he is an active member of various standardization and educational committees.
Personally, I met Andy the first time during an ERASMUS summer course on EMC in Oostende, Belgium, in 1995. Due to other duties and an unfavourable schedule of flight connections between the UK and Belgium, he arrived in the late afternoon of the first day. Fortunately, he was just in time for his first lecture on the basics of EMC measurements. Although all the students, including me, were feeling tired from a full day of lessons, he had the ability to draw our attention to his main items. It was delightful to follow his presentations and pick up every piece of information.
In the evening, he joined our group of students for dinner and a tour through local bars. He displayed a reasonable knowledge of Belgian beers and gave a status report on the English soccer league. Evidently, Andy and the innkeeper of the last bar favoured the same soccer team. The main drawback of this evening appeared the next morning. Due to the beer, we students had problems with the English language and Andy forgot about the non-native speaker audience and taught the first lessons in the York dialect. Those were fond memories!
Andy started his career as a student of electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Sheffield and received the B.Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K., in 1972, 1974 and 1979, respectively.
Andy started in EMC in 1978 at British Aircraft Corporation (now BAE Systems) at Bristol working on improving screen room radiated emission measurements at frequencies below200 MHz. This work led to two major research themes when he joined the University of York in 1979, the use of resistive and magnetic absorbers to dampen resonances in screen rooms and the use of circuit based modeling techniques for rapid analysis of EMC problems in enclosures. The former is still ongoing in a colleague’s work to determine human body water content using resonant cavity perturbation – the human body is now the absorber! It also resulted in a revised version of UK Defense Standard 59/41.
Since he has been with the University of York, Dr. Marvin has built up an EMC research group, which is part of the larger Physical Layer Research Group. The EMC group now has five academic staff and a varying population of typically ten or so research students and research fellows. As the head of the Physical Layer Research Group, he leads the group’s work that covers EMC, antennas, microwave and optical components, electron microscopy, and spin electronics. A major part the EMC group’s work focusing on design problems for EMC is the investigation of circuit based modeling techniques. This technique offers sufficiently rapid solution times to allow statistically significant populations of problems to be studied for evolutionary design and the study of complex systems.
The majority of Andy’s personal research work has been on EMC metrology covering screen rooms, TEM cells, anechoic chambers, and mode-stirred chambers. Lately, he has been most concerned with the measurement of shielding effectiveness in equipment enclosures at microwave frequencies. During his research on EMC measurement, he and his colleagues invented the bilog type antennas that have been copied by many manufacturers. Over the years the bilog antenna has become a fixed part of standard measurement equipment of EMC test labs.
A spin-off of Andy’s research work was the establishment of York EMC Services Ltd. in 1995. York EMC Services Ltd. is a subsidiary company of the University of York. It has 30 employees at two test labs. Andy’s engagement is not limited to forming the company; currently he is the Technical Director of York EMC Services Ltd.
Andy has been a member of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society for 22 years. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on EMC. He is the UK delegate to URSI Commission A “EM Metrology” and is a member of the IEEE Std 299 “Shielding Effectiveness Measurement” working group. In 2005, he was elected to the position as co-convener of the IEC/CISPR joint task force on TEM waveguides for EMC testing.
On the personal side, Andy is married to Heather who is the coordinator of volunteer workers at the local cancer hospice and he is the father of a daughter and a son. His daughter Ros is a medical student in Edinburgh and his son Tom studies geography at St. Andrews University, also in Scotland.
In his leisure time Andy really likes to fly a glider. He especially enjoys aerobatics and as part of his dedication, he holds the highest level of instructor rating from the British Gliding Association.
Besides his family and gliding, he likes mountain walking, mainly in the UK and mainland Europe, but he has made a couple of trips to the Canadian Rockies. Wherever his job takes him, Andy tries out the local beer. From his point of view, he has not yet found anything to beat real English bitter served, as it should be, without gas pressure at around 10°C (50°F). On this last point I definitely disagree with Andy, but this is an issue for further meetings. Finally, he is rather proud of the fact that in fifty years of going to school, university, and work, he has only used walking or cycling as his daily mode of transportation. EMC

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