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Health, wearables and 5G topics emerge at IMS2015

8,600 Participants convene upon record-breaking exhibitors in Phoenix


More than 8,600 attendees, 23 percent of whom were first-time attendees, and a record-breaking 904 exhibitor booths filled the show floor at the Phoenix Convention Center for the recent IEEE MTT-S 2015 International Microwave Symposium (IMS). IMS, the annual conference and exhibition of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S), is the leading international meeting for technologists involved in all aspects of microwave theory and practice.

The six-day event welcomed RF designers, researchers, developers and academics representing 56 countries, including strong technical program participation from Japan (3% of attendees), China (3%) and Germany (3%). Attendees from the U.S. constituted 72 percent of the symposium.

“As the microwave and RF industry’s most important event, it is essential that we offer a program that encourages the building of connections and exchanging of ideas amongst our technical attendees and exhibitors,” said Vijay Nair, IMS2015 symposium general chair. “RF and microwave technologies are driving key developments in wearables, 5G and even health, and connections made at IMS enable leaps forward in the development of these important technologies.”

The intersection of health and RF and microwave technologies was a particularly hot topic during both the symposium’s keynote addresses as well as the technical sessions. In his plenary presentation, University of Illinois’ Swanlund Chair Professor John Rogers demonstrated his developments in using advanced sensors circuits and radios in the form of “tattoos” for health monitoring, while Agilent Technologies’ Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President Dr. Darlene Solomon shared her vision for biology’s evolution into a purely engineering-driven discipline. Additionally, 17-year-old engineering whiz Joey Hudy inspired attendees with his enthusiasm and message on the importance of continuing to design, develop and create.

Along with the three-day exhibition and full schedule of 75 technical sessions, workshops and panel sessions, IMS2015 included the symposium’s first ever Wearables + Wireless Pavilion, which showcased emerging wearable electronics that utilized RF and microwave technologies, including robots, an Edison-powered quadcopter and elements for light-up garments and tapestries. As part of the Pavilion, the mind-controlled car racing experience “Thinking Forward” enabled attendees to participate in a “head-to-head” drag race in which the cars were powered by each driver’s thoughts. This demonstration, based on standards set forth by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), showcased how microwave and RF technology make many of today’s greatest innovations possible.

In addition, the symposium continued to encourage education with the debut of the RF Bootcamp, a three-quarter day course for newcomers to the microwave world. The RF Bootcamp featured multiple presenters from industry and academia presenting on a variety of topics and also had test equipment on-hand for demonstrations and visualization.

Furthering the commitment to the professional growth of its future leaders, IMS2015 also consisted of a full student program. The program included the student paper competition, Ph.D. student sponsorship initiative and the IMS2015 STEM program, which welcomed 196 middle and high school students from the Phoenix area. The STEM program integrated university and industry educational engagement with technical speakers, hands-on activities, informational tables and a tour of the show floor.

IMS2016 will be held May 22-27, 2016 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.