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 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 will give you 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.

During the lectures you will see live demonstrations involving test equipment and computer-based simulation tools to illustrate concepts.

In addition, you 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.

Programme details

Download a trial version of the CAD software (AWR Microwave Office) provided by Cadence

Day 1 


  • Microwave Overview - Peter Gardner
  • Transmission lines - Peter Gardner
  • The Smith Chart and its uses in impedance matching network design - 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 Device design - couplers, power dividers and baluns - Peter Gardner
  • RF/Microwave Passive Filter Design - Peter Gardner
  • Note: the lectures will include demonstrations and S-parameter measurements of some example passive circuits which can then be simulated in the afternoon CAD session. 


  • RF/Microwave CAD Design - Peter Gardner
    A continuation of the CAD sessions from Day One. Additional CAD design exercises include: 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
  • Control Components - 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 - Jue Wang
    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


  • Network Analysis II: Accuracy enhancement and calibration of high frequency network analysers - Clive Barnett

  • Review of VNA architecture - Clive Barnett

  • Error Correction - Clive Barnett

  • Advanced Calibration Techniques - Clive Barnett

  • Network Analysis I: Applications and capabilities of high frequency network analysers - Clive Barnett

  • Modern VNA Measurements - Clive Barnett

  • Amplifier Measurements - Clive Barnett

  • Converter Measurements - Clive Barnett


  • Overview of Noise Figure measurements, theory and practice - Clive Barnett

  • Y-Factor vs Cold Noise techniques - Clive Barnett

  • Phase Noise: What is it and why is it important in RF systems - Clive Barnett

  • Absolute and Residual Phase Noise - Clive Barnett

  • Overview of the different Phase Noise measurement methods - Clive Barnett

Day 5


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


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

Attending Your Course 

Further details will be emailed to you two weeks ahead of your course, which will include registration information. 

Please get in touch if you have not received this information within five working days of the course start date.  

In the meantime, you may wish to plan your travel: Travel information

Digital Certification

To complete the course, you will be required to attend and participate in all of the sessions on the course in order to be considered for a certificate. Participants who complete the course will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will also be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course fee £1995.00


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 email us.
Please do not send card or bank details via email.


Clive Barnett


Clive is currently working as a Solution Engineer with Keysight Technologies and he has been with HP, Agilent and now Keysight for 23 years, before that for Com Dev Europe for 4 years. 

In that time he’s worked as an R&D Engineer designing components for Satellite payloads,  as an Application Engineer specialising in VNA measurements in the UK for HP, before becoming a Custom Systems Engineer working in the 8510 group for HP in California. He then spent 2 years working for HP in Queensferry, in Marketing, before HP split into Agilent.  

Since 2007 Clive has been working supporting Component Test solutions for Agilent/Keysight which includes VNA solutions, Phase Noise, Antennas and Lightwave Component Analysers. 

Professor Peter Gardner


Emeritus Professor of Microwave Engineering 
Former Head of Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham

Professor Peter Gardner joined the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Birmingham University as a lecturer in 1994. His 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 has designed and delivered many taught programme modules including undergraduate modules in IT and Communication Skills, Communications Systems, Algorithms and Data Structures, and postgraduate modules on RF and Microwave Circuit Design and on Satellite, Mobile and Optical Communications. 

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, Manchester, as a Research Associate, in the course of which he obtained an M.Sc. in 1990 and PhD in 1992. He has over 240 publications on microwave and mm-wave component design and radar research. He has carried out consultancy work for a number of radar and communications companies and is currently a member of the Technical Committee of antenna company Novocomms. 

Professor Yi Huang


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

Prof Yi Huang received BSc in Physics (Wuhan, China), MSc (Eng) in Microwave Engineering (Nanjing, China), and DPhil in Communications from the University of Oxford, UK in 1994. He has been conducting research in the areas of antennas, radio propagation, applied electromagnetics, radar, wireless communications, and energy harvesting since 1987. His experience includes 3 years with NRIET (China) as a Radar Engineer and various periods with the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford, and Essex 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 as a Lecturer in 1995, where he is now a Chair in Wireless Engineering, Deputy Head of Department, and Head of High-Frequency Engineering Research Group.

Dr Huang has published over 500 refereed papers in leading international journals and conference proceedings and authored books on Antennas: from Theory to Practice (John Wiley, 2008, and 2021) and Reverberation Chambers (Wiley 2016, and 2019). He has received over 10 awards (e.g. the IET Premium Award 2022 for Best Paper, EuCAP2023 Best Antenna Paper, the IET Innovation Award 2018, and BAE Systems Chairman's Award 2017) and many research grants from research councils, government agencies, charities, the EU, and industry, acted as a consultant to various companies, and served on a number of national and international technical committees (such as the IET, EPSRC, European ACE, COST-IC0603, and COST-IC1102, and EurAAP) and been an Editor, Associate Editor or Guest Editor of four of international journals (including IEEE AWPL 2016-2022). He has been a keynote/invited speaker and organiser of many international conferences and workshops (e.g. EuCAP2018, IEEE iWAT, WiCom, and LAPC). He is at present the Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Engineering and Technology, Associate Editor of IEEE Trans on Antennas and Propagation, a College member of EPSRC, the UK/Ireland Delegate to EurAAP (2016-2020, 2022-2024), a Fellow of IEEE (FIEEE), a member of IEEE AP-S New Technology Directions Committee, a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE AP-S (2022-date), and Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Dr Jue Wang


Jue Wang received PhD degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow in 2014 and currently working at Ultrafast Group, School of Engineering, University of Glasgow as senior researcher.  

He leads research activities in many projects such as EPSRC and European Horizon 2020. He developed his expertise in Microwave/mm-wave circuit especially negative resistance oscillator design, fabrication, and characterization with over 10 years researching/working experience.  

He has over 30 publications on high performance mm-wave/THz oscillator design and applications.  

His research interest also includes mm-Wave applications in such as next generation high-speed wireless communication systems, imaging systems, etc. 

Course aims

  • Acceleration through the RF/MW learning curve
  • RF theory supported by numerous demonstrations, case studies and examples
  • Group size normally limited to 15 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.