6 February 2017 11:18

A Lancaster University engineer has been selected to head up a prestigious international committee in a field that is at the cutting edge of modern communications.

Professor Claudio Paoloni, who is head of Lancaster University’s Engineering Department, will become the chair of the IEEE EDS Vacuum Devices Committee for the next two years.

The appointment is especially poignant as one of the fathers of vacuum electronics, John Fleming, inventor of the first valve in 1904, was born in Lancaster.

More than a century after Fleming’s invention, vacuum electronics is still the only technology able to provide high power at microwaves, millimetre waves and terahertz frequencies – used for satellite communications, healthcare diagnostics, as well as in the research of technologies such as nuclear fusion.

“Vacuum electronics is a dynamic, lively and exciting discipline,” said Professor Paoloni. “It combines cutting-edge electronics, mechanics, material science, chemistry and physics technologies to produce devices with unrivalled performance.

“It is a great honour for me to take up this position and I am especially happy to chair the committee given Lancaster was the birthplace of one of the founding fathers of modern wireless communications.”

IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organisation. The IEEE Vacuum Devices Technical Committee comprises world experts in the field from industry, universities and research organisations.

Professor Paoloni’s research projects include leading on the TWEETHER project, a major multimillion pound international project looking at ‘millimeter wave vacuum electronics technology’ for high speed wireless mobile and fixed access Internet.