This annual report covers the second year of the activities of the Research Chair, from April 1, 1993 to March 30, 1994. After the inevitable initial obstacles and difficulties, research activities have reached cruising speed in the second year. The research group has grown to eight permanent members, while two Visiting Professors and three Research Trainees have joined the team for limited periods between one and six months.
As in the previous year, the principal research effort has been directed towards electromagnetic field modeling and simulation, with emphasis on applications to telecommunication technology. However, an important new application of our modeling techniques relevant to British Columbia's Forest Industries has emerged, namely the modeling and design of RF Kilns for drying of softwood lumber. This new application has, in turn, stimulated new research into the modeling of coupled electromagnetic/thermal systems in the time domain. The results of this new endeavour will enable us to model a large variety of situations in which electromagnetic fields are used to deposit energy in arbitrary media. At the same time, we have refined a number of algorithms, accelerated the signal extraction techniques, taylored the computational effort of a simulation to the required band width, and reduced the errors that affect the accuracy of our computations in the presence of field singularities.
While research into novel and improved modeling procedures will continue, the aspect of technology transfer in the form of simulation and design tools to the end users - namely industry and government laboratories - will now be emphasized. Wireless Communication, identified as one of the fastest growing technical areas, relies to a great extent on electromagnetic field modeling, ranging from the design of the circuity and of antennas with minimal biological impact for handheld digital telephones, to indoor and outdoor propagation, signal processing, and electromagnetic compatibility.
We look forward to a challenging and exciting third year of Research and Development at the University of Victoria.
Wolfgang J.R. Hoefer
Victoria, May 1994