Practical RF/Microwave Design


Due to the huge proliferation of wireless products, the use of RF system and sub-system elements is increasing. However, market demands in many business sectors are forcing dramatic cuts in the product-to-market schedule and on unit costs.

One of the major causes for RF projects running over budget or timescale projections is due to the prototype re-work phase, which arises from the complex nature of RF design.

This course can be taken as a stand-alone course or in conjunction with the Successful RF PCB Design course. A discount package is available when registering for the two courses together, and a reduced fee is available if you have already attended Successful RF PCB Design.

This intensive, five-day practical course provides acceleration through the RF design learning curve by presenting a comprehensive introduction to RF and microwave design theory, techniques and measurements. It gives an overview of the fundamental concepts involved with RF/Microwave design and presents design methodologies for both passive and active RF and microwave circuits and antenna design. Common RF/Microwave measurements are detailed and demonstrated.

Many of the lectures rely on the use of live demonstrations involving test equipment and computer-based simulation tools to illustrate concepts. In addition, the delegates will have several opportunities to use the AWR Microwave Office design suite during the "hands-on" sessions of this course. The course will also demonstrate the use of state-of-the-art measurement instruments on day 4 (Thursday).

The presenters on the course are specialists drawn from both academia and industry, with a combined design experience of over fifty man-years.

What people say about this course

Good course, covered a good section of RF and Microwave areas
- Richard Hood, MBDA UK Ltd

Professional and well structured
- M Smith, Consultant, Plextek Limited

Very good value course, covers a wide range of material, I will be able to use the acquired knowledge directly in my day-to-day activities
- Darek Maksimiuk, Radar R & D, Honeywell

Programme details

Download a trial version of the CAD software provided by AWR Corporation

Day 1 


  • Microwave Overview - Peter Gardner
  • Transmission lines - Peter Gardner
  • The Smith Chart, matching impedance - Peter Gardner
  • Scattering Parameters - Peter Gardner


  • Introduction to RF/Microwave CAD Design - Peter Gardner
    This 3-hour session reinforces the concepts presented in the morning sessions by giving you access to the AWR Microwave Office Design Suite. A structured set of exercises, will be used in these practical sessions and include the following CAD design exercises: transmission line analysis and synthesis, lumped component performance at RF due to parasitics, quarter wave transformers, attenuator design, design of one port matching networks. You can then explore the various aspects of the design exercises at your own pace, during the three hour session.

Day 2


  • Striplines - Peter Gardner
  • Passive Devices - Peter Gardner
  • RF/Microwave Filter Design - Peter Gardner


  • RF/Microwave CAD Design - Peter Gardner
    A continuation of the CAD sessions from Day One. Additional CAD design exercises include: lumped and lumped-distributed branchline and rat race coupler designs, lumped element filter design (low pass, bandpass), distributed element filter design (low pass, bandpass) to complement the morning sessions.

Day 3


  • RF Amplifier Design - Peter Gardner
  • Designing with PIN Diodes - Peter Gardner
  • Mixers - Peter Gardner


  • RF/Microwave CAD Design - Peter Gardner
    The final CAD session in which you will have the opportunity to complete the outstanding exercises and also design a low noise, small signal amplifier.
  • Oscillator Design - Andy Dearn
    General Theory of RF/Microwave Oscillators; Introduction to Negative Resistance Oscillators; Small Signal (Linear) Design Techniques; Large Signal (Non-linear) Design Techniques; Practical Examples. 

Day 4


  • Overview of Noise Figure measurements, theory and practice – Marty Myers
  • Phase Noise theory - Marty Myers
  • Absolute and Residual Phase Noise - Marty Myers
  • Direct Spectrum measurements - Marty Myers
  • Mixers used as phase detectors - Marty Myers
  • Phase lock loop measurement technique - Marty Myers
  • Frequency Discriminator Technique - Marty Myers
  • Advantages of Cross Correlation to system floor noise - Marty Myers


  • Network Analysis I: Applications and capabilities of high frequency network analysers - Marty Myers
  • Network Analysis II: Accuracy enhancement and calibration of high frequency network analysers - Marty Myers

Day 5


  • Unexpected Problems at High Frequencies - Yi Huang
  • Radio Wave Propagation Fundamentals - Yi Huang


  • RF/Microwave Antennas Analysis, Design and Measurements - Yi Huang


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford certificate of attendance. This will be presented to you prior to the end of the course wherever possible.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.


Description Costs
Course fee, standard £1895.00
Course fee, Successful RF PCB Design already completed £1795.00
Discount package fee (add Successful RF PCB Design) £2290.00


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

If you require an invoice for your company or personal records, please complete an online application form. The Course Administrator will then email you an invoice. Payment is accepted online, by credit/debit card, or by bank transfer. Please do not send card or bank details via email.

Discounts Available

A reduced course fee is available to those who have previously attended the Successful RF PCB Design course.


Mr Andy Dearn


Principal Consultant Engineer
Plextek RFI Limited

Andy Dearn has been employed by Plextek RFI Ltd since 1997 and is currently a Principal Consultant Engineer. Plextek RFI provides an Electronics Design and Consultancy service and has extensive experience in RFIC/MMIC and discrete Microwave/mm-wave design for commercial applications.

Andy's work involves the design and development of RF and Microwave ICs and components, primarily GaAs and GaN MMICs. Design frequencies cover VHF to mm-wave. For the Previous six years he was responsible for Multi-function GaAs MMIC design at GEC-Marconi Materials Technology Ltd., based in Caswell. Circuits designed included Oscillators, Mixers and complete Transceiver circuits, utilising MESFET, pHEMT and Bipolar technologies.

Prior to this he spent five years at Ferranti International Microwave Division (Poynton) where he was responsible for the design of miniature Voltage Controlled Oscillator products. He graduated from Loughborough University of Technology in 1985 with a BSc in Engineering Physics.

Professor Peter Gardner


Head of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering and Chair in Microwave Engineering
Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
University of Birmingham

Professor Peter Gardner joined the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Birmingham University in 1994. His current research interests are in active and passive microwave and mm-wave component development, including active antennas, mm-wave antennas, wireless transceivers, low noise amplifiers and linearisation of microwave transmitters.

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering at Birmingham, and teaches undergraduate modules in IT and Communication Skills, Communications Systems, Algorithms and Data Structures, and postgraduate modules on RF and Microwave Circuit Design.

After graduating in Physics with first class honours from the University of Oxford in 1980, he gained eight years of industrial experience in research and development of active microwave components for Ferranti International, Poynton, Cheshire. He then returned to academic research, joining the Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at UMIST as a Research Associate, in the course of which he obtained an M.Sc in 1990 and PhD in 1992. He has over 50 publications on various aspects of microwave component design. He has carried out consultancy work for a number of radar and communications companies.

Professor Yi Huang


Professor of Wireless Engineering
BSc (Wuhan), MSc (Nanjing), DPhil (Oxford), SMIEEE, FIET, CEng
Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics
University of Liverpool

Yi received BSc in Physics (Wuhan, China), MSc (Eng) in Microwave Engineering (Nanjing, China), and DPhil in Communications and Electromagnetics from the University of Oxford, UK in 1994.

His research interest has been in the areas of radio communications, applied electromagnetics, radar, antennas and radio propagation.

His experience includes 3 years spent with NRIET (Nanjing, China) as a Radar Engineer and various periods with the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford, and Essex at the UK as a member of research staff. He worked as a Research Fellow at British Telecom Labs in 1994, and then joined the Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics, the University of Liverpool, UK as a Faculty in 1995, where he is now the Head of High Frequency Engineering Research Group and MSc Programme Director.

Prof Huang has published over 300 refereed papers in leading international journals and conference proceedings, and is the principal author of the popular book Antennas: from Theory to Practice (John Wiley, 2008).

He has received many research grants from research councils, government agencies, charity, EU and industry, acted as a consultant to various companies, and served on a number of national and international technical committees (e.g. EPSRC) and been an Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor or Guest Editor of four of international journals.

He has been a keynote/invited speaker and organiser of many conferences and workshops (e.g. IEEE iWAT 2010, WiCom 2010, LAPC 2012 and EuCAP2018). He was the Leader of Focus Area D of European COST-IC0603 (Antennas and Sensors) and is the UK and Ireland delegate to EurAAP (2016-2020), a Senior Member of IEEE, and a Fellow of IET.

Marty Myers

Applications Engineer, Keysight Technologies

Marty is currently working as an Applications Engineer with Keysight Technologies and he has been with HP, Agilent and now Keysight for 34 years.

In that time he’s worked in the calibration facility,  specialising in RF Power measurements, before becoming an Applications Engineer working on bespoke test systems using Spectrum Analysers and Vector Network Analysers. 

After working as a Project Manager, delivering custom switch matrices, he is now supporting custom measurement solutions and delivering RF & Microwave training classes.

Course aims

  • Acceleration through the RF/MW learning curve
  • RF theory supported by numerous demonstrations, case studies and examples
  • Group size normally limited to 18 delegates to maintain an effective delegate to course tutor ratio
  • Opportunity to discuss specific engineering applications with the course tutors
  • Use of industry standard RF test equipment
  • Hands-on use of AWR Microwave Office RF CAD Tool


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.


Level and demands

  • Design engineers and technical managers wanting to gain an overview of RF/microwave engineering principles.
  • Designers and those with some RF experience but little formal training who wish to broaden their design skill base.
  • Baseband and signal processing designers who need to be aware of RF issues.

If you're uncertain whether this course is suitable for your requirements, please email us with any questions you may have.


Although not included in the course fee, accommodation may be available at our on-site Rewley House Residential Centre. All bedrooms are en suite and decorated to a high standard, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

To check prices, availability and to book rooms please visit the Rewley House Residential Centre website.