EMC Personality Profile
This year, three of our members that were evaluated by the EMC Society Fellow Evaluation Committee were elected to the IEEE Fellow Grade. I would like to congratulate our three new Fellows: Dr. James Knighten, Dr. William A. Radasky and Dr. Omar M. Ramahi. They are featured in the EMC Personality Profile column in this issue of the EMC Newsletter.



Dr. James (Jim) Knighten was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow “for leadership in and contributions to the understanding of electromagnetic noise coupling paths for product compliance with regulatory standards.”
     Jim received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science degrees from Louisiana State University. He is employed by Teradata Corporation (formerly NCR Corporation) working in EMC design and test as a high-speed signaling engineer. He conducted research on common-mode currents on cable shields due to differential imbalance, effects of termination networks on differential transmission line radiation, surface transfer impedance of connector assemblies and shielded differential cable constructions, printed circuit board (PCB) material characterization, etc. He was an early researcher in the computer industry in studying the typical noise coupling paths in high-speed digital systems, particularly for transmission speeds higher than 1 Gb/sec. In addition, he was an early researcher into the effects of embedded capacitance materials in PCB design and launched product-level testing of this PCB construction at Teradata. He facilitated serious research on the effects of embedded capacitance layers in PCBs by university and industry.
    Dr. Knighten is a member of a collaborative research team that includes the Missouri University of Science & Technology and IBM that is engaged in the study of the power distribution network (PDN) in high-speed multi-layer printed circuit boards. This team produced a series of practical papers published in the IEEE EMC Society Newsletters that are targeted toward real-world PCB designs. Dr. Knighten managed Teradata’s participation in the Missouri University of Science & Technology’s Industry/Academic Consortium for approximately 10 years, providing leadership and expertise for collaborative work in both areas of electromagnetic radiation mitigation and power distribution network design. He has published more than 80 journal and conference papers and has been awarded 13 patents in the areas of shielding innovations, combined thermal and electromagnetic radiation mitigation improvements, and improved high-speed digital signal quality on multi-layer printed circuit boards, and improved PCB decoupling and PDN performance. Earlier in his career, Dr. Knighten was engaged in hardening military system electronics against the electromagnetic effects associated with nuclear detonations. In 2007, he was awarded the EMC Society’s Technical Achievement Award. He is a Life Member of the IEEE, an active member of the EMC Society’s TC-9 (Computational EMC) and TC-10 (Signal Integrity) technical committees and currently serves on the Society’s Fellow Nomination Support Committee. Dr. Knighten also serves on the National Technical Committee of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS). He is married and the father of two daughters. His hobby interest is photography.


Dr. William (Bill) A. Radasky was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow “for contributions to understanding high-power electromagnetic effects on electrical equipment.”
    Bill graduated from the U. S. Air Force Academy in 1968 with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Science. In 1971 he received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico with a specialty in electromagnetics. In 1981 he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, again specializing in electromagnetics.
    For 41 years, Bill has evaluated and developed computational tools for assessing the adverse effects of the nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and of High Power EM (HPEM) on electronic systems. His main achievement has been the way he has applied this work to the solution of practical technical problems in the EMC area. He has published over 380 reports, papers, and articles.
    Bill Radasky’s contributions to high-power electromagnetics include:

  • In 1971 he worked with Dr. Richard Knight to develop and understand the results from a unique high-altitude EMP (HEMP) code which was the first time-dependent, finite-difference HEMP code that directly solved Maxwell’s equations in retarded time in two dimensions.
  • He published in 1974, in collaboration with Dr. David Merewether, the first application of the finite-difference computational method in 2-D for simultaneously performing an EMP environment and coupling computation for the source region EMP (SREMP), which is a time-dependent ionized medium. This IEEE Nuclear Science paper was awarded a best paper of the year award by the Summa Foundation.
  • He recently participated in the assessment of HEMP threats to the entire U.S. power system for the U.S. Congressional EMP Commission.
  • He has evaluated the threats and design solutions to prevent the loss of transmission power grid stability due to the effects of geomagnetic storms.
  • He evaluated the threats relating to intentional EMI (IEMI) and the development of mitigation methods.

    Bill Radasky has been very active in the IEEE after joining in 1967 as a student. He is currently a member of the EMC, Power and Energy, and Antennas and Propagation Societies. In September 2007 he published an invited article in the IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer entitled, “High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP): A Threat to Our Way of Life.” He served as the guest editor for the August 2004 IEEE EMC Transactions special issue on Intentional EMI (IEMI) and High Power EM (HPEM). He also currently serves as the Chairman of TC-5 (High-Power Electromagnetics) for the IEEE EMC Society. He has held this position since 2001. He has been a reviewer for the IEEE EMC Transactions in recent years and has reviewed over 40 papers since 2003.
    Bill Radasky has also been actively involved in the development of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Geneva, Switzerland for the protection of commercial systems from diverse electromagnetic threats, including those from high-altitude EMP and high-power electromagnetic weapons. He is considered one of the world’s leading experts on standardization for protection of civilian equipment, systems and installations from threats posed by high power electromagnetic (HPEM) fields. For the last 17 years (since 1992), he has served as Chairman of the IEC SC 77C, “EMC-High Power Transients”, and in 1996 he was appointed as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for EMC (ACEC), which coordinates all international EMC standardization. He finished his 12-year term at the end of 2008.
    In October 2004, Bill Radasky was awarded the Lord Kelvin Medal by the IEC for exceptional service in the development of international standards, an award given to only one or two individuals each year who are making exceptional contributions to international standardization. Over 15,000 volunteers are eligible to receive this award each year.
    He was recognized as an EMP Fellow by the Summa Foundation in 1988 for “Contributions to Understanding EMP Generation and Computation.” He is a Professional Engineer (electrical) licensed in the State of California. He is a member of the honor societies Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.
    Bill and his wife, Arlene, just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in June 2009 and enjoy get-togethers with their two daughters, Christi and Kendy. Christi is a bioengineer who lives in San Diego with her husband, Bill (great name), and their two sons. Bill used to have an exercise program, but now this is accomplished by “playing” with his two grandsons, ages 3 and 6 during frequent visits. Kendy is a wildlife biologist living in the Santa Barbara area and is married to Matt.
    Arlene tries to attend the IEEE EMC Symposia as often as possible and enjoys meeting old friends (Hawaii was really great because nearly everyone was there!). Bill tries to get out and play tennis or golf on occasion, but it is difficult to do on an airplane. Arlene is a volunteer in Santa Barbara for several organizations and has recently published her first book, “The Fox”, which is historical fiction. She probably has more Google hits than Bill now, but Bill is not too jealous.

Dr. Omar M. Ramahi was elected IEEE Fellow for “contributions to computational electromagnetics in electromagnetic compatibility.”
    Omar received the BS degrees in Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering (summa cum laude) from Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    From 1990–1993, Dr. Ramahi held a visiting fellowship position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1993 to 2000, he worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (presently Hewlett-Packard), where he was a member of the alpha server product development group working on developing computational algorithms for EMI/EMC and signal integrity problems. In 2000, he joined the faculty of the James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland at College Park as an Assistant Professor and later as a tenured Associate Professor. At Maryland he was also a faculty member of the CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center. Presently, he is a Professor and the NSERC/RIM Industrial Research Associate Chair in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He holds cross appointments with the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has authored and co-authored over 199 journal and conference papers. For more on his publications, please see www.ece.uwaterloo.ca/~oramahi.
    Omar’s contributions to the area of electromagnetic compatibility spans several areas. The first covers his extensive work in the Finite-Difference and Finite-Element solutions of Maxwell equations. Omar contributed quantitatively and ­significantly to the development and theory of absorbing boundary conditions (ABCs). The vast majority of EMI/EMC problems are open-region and therefore, highly accurate boundary conditions are essential to obtain wide dynamic range for the solution. Most notable in this category of contributions is his conception and development of the Complementary Operators Method (COM).
    During his industry tenure (1993–2000), Omar was instrumental in transferring the computational electromagnetic knowledge that he has developed into practice. As a culmination of his efforts during his industry tenure, Omar, in collaboration with Bruce Archambeault and Colin Brench, authored the book EMI/EMC Computational Modeling Handbook. The popularity of this book lead to the first Japanese edition (published in 2005, Kluwer). The book represented the first effort to introduce the subject and use of Computational Electromagnetics into EMI/EMC engineering practice.
    Another important contribution by Omar is his pioneering the use of electromagnetic band gap structures (EBG) for electromagnetic noise mitigation in printed circuit boards and packages. In 2002 Omar became the first to apply electromagnetic band gap concepts to the problem of noise mitigation in high-speed circuits and packages (a different group came up with similar concept independently). Ramahi’s technique of using electromagnetic band gap structures presented, for the first time, a genuine solution to the critical problem of switching noise (power bounce) in high-speed printed circuit boards and packages. Prior to Ramahi’s work, decoupling capacitors were used for frequencies up to 1GHz. Beyond that frequency point, practically no robust solution was available to alleviate the severe problems created by high-speed switching.
    Another contribution by Dr. Ramahi with strong relevance to EMI/EMC engineering is his development of an efficient and highly robust near-to-near field extension algorithm. This simple algorithm allows for determining the near field that lies outside, but yet in the close proximity, of the computational domain when solving problems using the FDTD or FE method.
    When not thinking and teaching electromagnetics, Omar likes to write and think about the challenges of the human race in all its aspects, from issues of governance to pressing economic and societal challenges. And when not doing any of the above, spending time with family and friends saturates the remaining part of his bandwidth!                                                                                                                      EMC

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