Master

Physics of RF technology

The educational program "Physics of RF Technology" is aimed to prepare creative research engineers and scientists working in the field of modern radio systems for data transmission, communications, medical diagnostics and navigation. The competitive advantage of our graduates is a deep knowledge of radio sciencr with a high level of proficiency in the newest methods of calculation, computer simulation and prototyping of antennas, digital and analog high-frequency devices. During the training, students acquire their skills, actively participating in advanced research and development in the field of new types of antennas and devices for applications such as 5G, wireless power transmission, MRI, GNSS, RFID, etc. Students carry out these projects together with representatives of leading international research centers and companies, many of which are also involved in the educational process. As a result, by the time of graduation, our graduates have a prominent place in the radio engineering and scientist community, and can choose between continuing their graduate studies in the PhD school and working for leading companies in the industry.

Program description
Knowledge, practical experience and entry into the professional community with an individual selection of a career track within two years of study. The educational program Physics of RF Technology provides these opportunities for creative research engineers and scientists working in the field of modern radio systems for data transmission, communications, medical diagnostics and navigation.

The program consists of four semesters, the first three of which are mostly educational, while the fourth is fully devoted to research and the preparation of final qualification work. In the first three semesters, dedicated days of the week are also organized for the purpose of research work. Within the framework of the educational program, two preferable specializations are organized - the "MRI" module and the "Antenna" module. The choice of specialization is carried out already in the first semester and determines the set of specialized disciplines in the second and third semesters. After choosing a specialization, each of the students has the opportunity to attend disciplines related to another specialization as electives, as well as take additional courses in electronics, circuitry and special chapters of electromagnetics. In addition to specialization subjects, there are two blocks, presented in all three semesters and compulsory for all students. The first of them - the "basic module", consists of disciplines on experimental and theoretical methods in radio science. The second is a "numerical module" devoted to the basics of programming, the study of modern packages for electrodynamic simulations and the practical study of numerical calculations of electromagnetic processes and optimization methods using the example of antenna technology problems. Finally, the curriculum includes university-wide soft skills and foreign language teaching.

1
semester

In the first semester, basic courses are taught in the fundamentals of our two specializations - Fundamentals of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for the MRI specialization and the classic course in antennas for the corresponding specialization. The rest of the courses are general and are aimed at quickly learning the basics of programming necessary in scientific work (for the subsequent mastering of numerical methods and methods of processing experimental data), work in specialized software packages for electromagnetic simulations, as well as methods of RF measurements  including in an anechoic chamber. For the first semester, all students must select a supervisor from among the faculty staff and / or representatives of employing companies and begin to engage in research work.

2
semester

In the second semester, from the basic module, a unique course for Russia is taught - Electrodynamics of Metamaterials, aimed at studying the physical foundations and using periodic structures (focused on metamaterials and metasuarfaces) in the RF and, in particular, in antenna technology. The study of this course helps students to navigate in the modern direction of electrodynamics of metasurfaces and metamaterials and to use the knowledge gained in their own scientific work. Teaching this course helps to maintain the continuity of St. Petersburg scientific school on electromagnetics of periodic structures, which has been famous from Soviet times. Within the framework of the chosen specializations, students are taught either the physical principles and methods of obtaining MRI images (module "MRI"), or special chapters of antenna theory (module "Antenna"). For students who have chosen the specialization in MRI, classes are conducted on operating high-field clinical MRI scanners on the basis of partner medical centers. During the second semester, students are actively engaged in research work and are involved in work on current grants or projects in the interests of customer companies.

3
semester

The third semester is dominated by specialized disciplines in accordance with two specializations. In the module "MRI" subjects of disciplines cover the principles of construction and operation of magnetic, gradient and RF systems of magnetic resonance imaging, as well as methods of analysis and processing of MRI images. In the "Antenna" modeule, attention is paid to antennas for the most important modern applications: telecommunication systems, satellite positioning and radar systems. A common discipline for all students is the discipline "Optimization Methods in Radio Science", where students learn to use various methods of numerical optimization to solve the problem of synthesis of radiating systems (based on their own codes). During the third semester, students conduct active research work, including interaction with partner companies and colleagues from various research centers and universities. As a rule, by this time they have built professional relationships with future employers, which helps to build an individual track for each student in their future career.

4
semester

In the fourth semester, there are no classroom lessons. This semester is completely devoted to research work and the preparation of Master's thesis. At the beginning of the semester, as a rule, all students become employees of the laboratory and can apply the knowledge gained, working on the implementation of real research and development. During this semester, as a rule, students create a foundation for their work after graduating from the Master's degree - they begin to work on the topic of a future Ph.D. thesis together with ITMO scientists or external collaborators, or work together with representatives of partner companies for the purpose of subsequent employment.

In the second and third semesters, the program includes intensive courses from visiting scholars and lecturers who are leading experts in the industry.

Requirements for applicants

The "entrance ticket" for applicants is fluency in the methods of mathematical analysis at the level of university programs and knowledge of the course of general physics, including the section "electricity and magnetism". The ability to solve any problem from the corresponding middle-level problem books (or similar) is required:

- Demidovich VP, "Collection of problems and exercises in mathematical analysis";
- Irodov IE, "Problems in General Physics".

Confident knowledge of courses in electromagnetics, theory of electrical circuits, linear algebra, antennas, quantum physics, as well as the presence of basic programming skills, will significantly help in the successful development of the program and quick career guidance. The list of questions of entrance examinations is given at the link (in Russian).

 

Scholarships and salary
While studying under the program, along with the state scholarship, students are entitled to receive an additional scholarship from the faculty in the amount of 5 to 40 thousand rubles per month for excellent studies. In addition, for students with Scopus publications, an ITMO University scholarship is provided for students on a competitive basis. The amount of this scholarship is set depending on the level of the portfolio (articles, patents and other achievements) and reaches 20 thousand rubles per month or more. The faculty also supports student applications for regional and federal scholarships and grants (for example, grants from the Government of St. Petersburg), as well as scholarships from international scientific communities (IEEE, SPIE, ISMRM).

In any semester of study, students have the opportunity to join the implementation of current research projects carried out at the faculty, which gives them the opportunity to work part-time directly in the laboratory and on a topic related to the educational program. The practice of attracting talented students as faculty staff for the position of an engineer or laboratory assistant is supported by all research groups leading projects and provides students with material support during the Master's program in addition to scholarships. Work and educational processes take place on a single site - the campus at Lomonosova st. 9. Additional classes in English are provided for students, organized by the faculty for various initial levels.

 

Intensive Courses
In the second and third semesters, the courses include intensive courses and workshops from visiting scholars and lecturers who are leading experts in the industry.
RF coils for high-field and ultra-high field MRI
Lecturer

Dr. Nikolai Avdievitch, Senior Research Scientist, The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany

Semester
Semester 3

The lecturer is one of the leading experts in the development of radio frequency coils and electronic devices for experimental ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging scanners. The technologies created by him allow obtaining homogeneous images of a person with increased resolution at ultra-high fields and increase the possibilities of medical diagnostics and research. He is the author of a unique course on the development of radio frequency MRI systems, which he reads annually as part of the educational courses of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). The corresponding course isread by him in the framework of the 'MRI' module of the program as an intensive course and contains practical exercises using various types of radio frequency coils and measuring equipment.

Topics of Magnetic Resonance Hardware
Lecturer
Dr. Carlos Cabal-Mirabal, Titular Professor Physics Faculty Havana University. Merit Professor University of Oriente, Santiago de Cuba. Merit Professor National University La Plata, Argentina. Merit Member of Cuban Academic of Science.
Semester
Semester 3
The lecturer is an eminent scientist in the field of magnetic resonance imaging techniques with unique experience in the design and development of MR scanners. In his course, Professor Carlos Cabal introduces the audience to the general structure of a modern magnetic resonance imaging scanner based on a superconducting magnet. The course covers both the physical prerequisites for the functioning of various MR subsystems, and their structure and interaction with each other. The main focus is on the study of the magnetic and gradient subsystems of the scanner. The principles of creating a uniform magnetic field and technical aspects of spatial coding of an MR signal are considered in detail. The architecture of MR scanners and their modes of operation are discussed.
A Practitioner’s Introduction to Best Practices in Modern Antenna Design
Lecturer
Dr.-Ing. Alexander Popugaev, Programme Manager GNSS Antennas, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Germany
Semester
Semester 3
The lecturer is a leading researcher and developer of antenna systems at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits and specializes in antennas and satellite navigation systems, automotive and airborne systems. This course is oriented toward students and scientific staff intending to develop professional or research careers in the field of antenna design. It consists of four main parts and serves as a very useful addition to classical lectures and seminars on antennas and related disciplines. The first two topics are practically oriented and focus on knowledge essential for all budding antenna developers. The other two topics are more specific and give an insight into the development of high-performance GNSS antennas. The course consists of the following parts: Part I. Impedance Matching Using Smith Chart: Principles and Practice Part II. Antenna Design: How to Start and Design What the Customer Wants Part III. GNSS Antennas Part IV. RF Frontends and Preamplifiers
RF and microwave metamaterials
Lecturer
Silvio Hrabar, Full professor, Department of Communication and Space Technologies, University of Zagreb
Semester
Semester 2
The lecturer is one of the founders of the experimental study of metamaterials, being the author of pioneering works on the experimental demonstration of metamaterials in general, and non-Foster metamaterials, in particular. His research interests include applied radio schience, electromagnetic compatibility, antennas and microwave technology. The one-week course of lectures tells about the physical principles of the operation of electromagnetic metamaterials, the limitations in the creation of passive and active metamaterials with unique material parameters and methods of their practical implementation in the radio frequency range. The course also includes experimental demonstrations performed using microwave measurement equipment.
Modern signal processing methods
Lecturer
Andrey Slavyanskiy, Deputy Leading Engineer, JSC NPP "SPETS-RADIO", postgraduate student of the Moscow State University of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Automation.
Semester
Semester 2
The lecturer has experience and knowledge in the development of radio engineering monitoring tools, the development of synthetic aperture radar stations, onboard direction finding systems for spacecraft, unmanned systems, thermal imaging systems for observation, navigation-time equipment for mobile platforms. In his course, the lecturer acquaints students with the main directions of the development of digital processing methods as applied to the creation of modern radio engineering devices. The course covers both the algorithms underlying the methods and their implementation when creating complex technical systems.
Program Curriculum
The program consists of four semesters, the first three of which are mostly educational, while the fourth is fully devoted to research work and the preparation of the Master's thesis. In the first three semesters, dedicated days of the week are also organized for the purpose of research work. Within the framework of the educational program, two preferable specializations are organized - the "MRI" module and the "Antenna" module.

The educational program “Physics of RF technology” aims to prepare creative research engineers and scientists working in the area of modern radio systems for data transmission, communications, medical diagnostics and navigation.

Antenna module
MRI module

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1st semester 2nd semester 3rd semester 4th semester 5th semester 6th semester 7th semester 8th semester
Fundamental module
Antenna module
MRI module
Computational module
Scientific work and internship
Optional courses
General education module
Digital culture
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