Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Nima Mahanfar
Amazon Project Kuiper

Amazon’s Project Kuiper: Overcoming Antenna Design Challenges to Advance Global Broadband Connectivity and Reach Unserved and Underserved Communities

Abstract & Bio


Project Kuiper is Amazon’s initiative to increase global broadband access through a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). Its mission is to deliver fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. Some of the challenges include building large, wideband spaceborne phased arrays for the satellite payload, as well as low-cost phased arrays for customer terminals that can be manufactured at scale. In this talk, we present Amazon’s approach to addressing the unmet need for broadband connectivity using a LEO constellation, Project Kuiper’s system architecture, and progress to date in developing the antenna technology for this use case.


Nima Mahanfar, Ph.D. has been leading satellite phased array antenna and customer terminal development for Amazon since 2018, when he joined as a founding team member of Project Kuiper. He has 20+ years of experience leading research and development in RF and antennas at SpaceX, Microsoft, and Nokia. At SpaceX, he was a founding member of Starlink program, where he built and led the Phased Array Team and developed several generations of phased arrays for satellite payloads. At Microsoft, as Director of Antennas and RF Engineering, he built and led a center of excellence for antenna and RF development for consumer electronics, such as Xbox and HoloLens products, shipping tens of millions of products for consumer use. Prior, he held engineering and leadership roles in consumer electronics at Nokia and Sierra Wireless. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Université de Limoges (France) in 2005. He has authored and co-authors over 70 conference papers, journal articles and patents in the field of antennas for satellites and wireless communication applications.

IEEE AP-S Invited Speaker

Dr. Stefano MACI
University of Siena

Metasurface Antennas in 5G and Beyond Scenarios

Abstract & Bio

The new paradigm of smart radio environment (SRE) is discussed in this talk from the perspective of metasurface-based intelligent surfaces (IS). These surface can be categorized by using the synthetic notation RIS-n, where n counts the number of “R”-type functionalities embedded in the IS: Reflecting IS (RIS-1), Reflecting-Reconfigurable IS (RIS-2) Receiving-Repeating-Reconfigurable IS (RIS-3), Receiving-Regenerating-Repeating-Reconfigurable IS (RIS-4). For increasing n, RIS-n possess an increasing level of complexity, environmental impact, power consumption and costs, but a decreasing level of densification and standardization requirement. The deployment of RIS-n in SRE is reviewed considering the new challenges that the RIS-n technology implies when implemented through metasurfaces. Special emphasis is given to efficient ray-model for both Fresnel and far zone coverage, where the scattered field from polygonal contoured RIS-1 or RIS-2 is represented in terms of few rays. The latter formulation can be conveniently used in a ray-tracer to speed-up dramatically the calculation of the field coverage. All types of RIS are well suited to be implemented by metasurface technology, that have now reached a maturity for reconfigurable low-cost antenna implementations. Examples of RIS-1, RIS-2 and RIS-3 will be discussed.


Stefano MACI (F04) received the Laurea Degree cum Laude at University of Florence in ‘87 and from ‘97 is a Professor at the University of Siena. Since 2000, he was member the Technical Advisory Board of 13 international conferences and member of the Review Board of 6 International Journals. In 2004-2007 he was WP leader of the Antenna Center of Excellence (ACE, FP6-EU) and in 2007-2010 he was International Coordinator of a 24-institution consortium of a Marie Curie Action (FP6). In 2004, he was the founder of the European School of Antennas (ESoA), a post graduate school that presently comprises 34 courses on Antennas, Propagation, Electromagnetic Theory, and Computational Electromagnetics and 150 teachers coming from 15 countries. Since 2004 is the Director of ESoA. Since 2010, he has been Principal Investigator of 6 cooperative projects financed by European Space Agency.

Professor Maci has been a former member of the AdCom of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), associate editor of AP-Transaction, Chair of the Award Committee of IEEE AP-S, and member of the Board of Directors of the European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP). From 2008 to 2015, he has been Director of the PhD program in Information Engineering and Mathematics of University of Siena, and from 2013 to 2015 he was member of the first National Italian Committee for Qualification to Professor. He has been former member of the Antennas and Propagation Executive Board of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET, UK). He founded and has been former Director of the consortium FORESEEN, involving 48 European Institutions. He was the principal investigator of the Future Emerging Technology project “Nanoarchitectronics” of the 8th EU Framework program, and he is presently principal investigator of the EU program “Metamask”. He was co-founder of two Spin-off Companies. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), and EurAAP distinguished lecturer in the ambassador program. He was recipient of the EurAAP Award in 2014, of the IEEE Schelkunoff Transaction Prize in 2016, of the Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator award in 2016, and of the URSI Dellinger Gold Medal in 2020. He has been TPC Chair of the METAMATERIAL 2020 conference and Chairperson of EuCAP 2023. In the last ten years, he has been invited 25 times as keynote speaker in international conferences. He is President of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society 2023.

The research interest of Prof Maci includes high-frequency and beam representation methods, computational electromagnetics, large phased arrays, planar antennas, reflector antennas and feeds, metamaterials and metasurfaces. His research activity is documented in 200 papers published in international journals, (among which 100 on IEEE journals), 10 book chapters, and about 450 papers in proceedings of international conferences. The papers he coauthored have been cited about 10,000 times (h index 50, source: Google Scholar).

AMTA 2023 Lunch & Learn Keynote Speaker

Dr. Bing Brunton
University of Washington

Data-Driven Analytic Methods for Sparse, Dynamic Models of Multimodal Brain and Behavior Data

Abstract & Bio

Introduction by Zhong Chen, AMTA 2023 Host Committee: Antenna engineers face the dual challenge of dealing with either excessive or insufficient data. In situations with excessive data, it becomes necessary to reduce the data dimension to uncover the underlying physical meaning. Conversely, limitations such as time constraints or limited data collection may hinder engineers from obtaining sufficient data, e.g., necessitating sub-Nyquist rate sampling. As an example, compressed sensing may serve as a valuable tool for such scenarios.  Our Lunch & Learn Keynote presentation focuses on the transformative potential of data processing, utilizing modern data analytical tools in the context of biology applications. Having personally watched several of Bing’s enlightening talks on YouTube, such as the one at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_nd4HN3NVc, I found a great deal of inspiration for my own research work.


Discoveries in modern biology are increasingly driven by quantitative understanding of data, and my work lies at the emerging, fertile intersection of computation and biology. I lead an interdisciplinary research group developing data analytic methods that are applied to, and are inspired by, neuroscience and behavior. I am particularly interested in exploring natural behaviors in diverse animals, including humans. In this talk, I will highlight several projects where we seek understanding of and inspiration from living systems, which provide proof by existence that sparse sensing, processing, and computation can achieve remarkably agile and rapid control in complex, nonlinear, and uncertainty environments.


Bing Wen Brunton joined the faculty at University of Washington (UW) in 2014 to build an interdisciplinary research program at the intersection of biology, neuroengineering, and data science. She is currently a Professor and H. Stewart Parker Faculty Fellow at the Department of Biology, with affiliations at the eScience Institute for Data Science, the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and the Department of Applied Mathematics. She studied at Caltech (2006, B.S. in Biology, focus on biophysics) and then Princeton (2012, Ph.D. in Neuroscience, focus on computational and systems neuroscience). Her postdoctoral work (2012–2014, University of Washington) expanded her expertise in applied mathematics, dynamical systems, and neuroengineering.

Her lab now develops data-driven analytic methods that are applied to, and are inspired by, neuroscience. The Brunton Lab is particularly interested in uncovering spatiotemporal patterns in high-dimensional, time-series data, especially exploring the neural basis of naturalistic movements in diverse animals. She has demonstrated a strong record of working collaboratively as a part of interdisciplinary teams, as well as mentoring early career researchers interested in advancing both methods development and neuroscience questions. Her work has been recognized with awards and honors, including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Neuroscience (2016), a UW Innovation Award (2017), a Young Investigator Program award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (2018), and as a Weill Neurohub Investigator (2020) and a Moore Distinguished Scholar for visiting faculty at Caltech (2021).

Read more about our inspiring AMTA 2023 Lunch & Learn Keynote Speaker here and the Brunton Lab at University of Washington, Seattle here.

EurAAP Invited Speaker

Dr. Manuel Sierra Castañer
University of Madrid, Spain

New Challenges in Antenna Measurements Towards an Interconnected World

Abstract & Bio

Antenna measurements have had a large evolution in recent years with new test procedures making it possible to measure with irregular grids, using handhelds, drones, and robots, to name a few special techniques. At the same time, the use of novel algorithms has progressed to improve the data acquired in the antenna measurement process.

The latest advances in antenna measurement research, together with the availability of new technology that is faster and more complex to acquire data, increased accuracy in the positioning of antenna probes and antenna under test (AUT), as well as the revolution in computing capabilities, have prompted antenna measurement challenges created by the new technology.

This presentation reviews the new challenges in antenna measurements and summarizes some of the most important advances in mobile communications for automotive, space, and defense applications. The presentation will summarize the work done at the University of Madrid in near- to far-field transformation and post processing techniques in antenna measurements for the new wireless applications.


Manuel Sierra Castañer was born in 1970 in Zaragoza (Spain). He obtained the degrees of Telecommunication Engineering in 1994 and the Ph.D. in 2000, both from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) in Spain, where he is Full Professor since 2017. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, he was a visiting Professor at Tokyo Tech. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and Fellow of the AMTA. Since January 2016, he has been a member of the EurAAP (European Association on Antennas and Propagation) Board of Directors, serving as the EurAAP Vice Chair from 2019 to 2021. He was the General Chair of EuCAP 2022 in Madrid. Currently, he is the Dean of the Telecommunications School of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and has been appointed as the EurAAP ambassador for 2023 to 2024.