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Professor Joe McGeehan

Professor Joe McGeehan

Professor Joe McGeehan
CBE, DEng, PhD(Liv), BEng, FREng, CEng, FIET, FRSA

Emeritus Professor

Merchant Venturers Building,
Woodland Road, Clifton BS8 1UB
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Summary

Professor McGeehan has been conducting research and development into mobile communications technologies and systems since 1973 and has pioneered with colleagues many of the major developments in the field including: deterministric ray-tracing for propagation prediction and network coverage, linear modulation techniques and systems, linearised RF power amplifiers, SMART antennas, wideband CDMA for 3G, WLAN technologies and 60GHz propagation and communication systems.  This research, which has attracted significant funding over the years from EPSRC, EU, TSB and industry worldwide, has from the very outset addressed the key issues of spectrum and power efficiency for achieving increased user capacity in a network. 

Based upon his early research in the 1970s, he designed a mobile radio for Securicor which was manufactured by Mobira-Oy, a Finnish communications company and subsidiary of Nokia.  This product became the first civil land mobile radio product of the Nokia company. 

In 1975, with a research grant from EPSRC, Professor McGeehan used the then new computer technology to deterministically predict radio coverage of mobile radio systems based upon topography.  This work has formed the basis of the CAD tools used today by network operators to plan the location of base-stations and system performance.

In the late 1980s, he initiated with Motorola Research Europe, the EU project LAURA, which established the system design parameters for high bit-rate Wireless LAN technology in Europe.  The output of this work was used by the RES10 Committee of the European Standards Institute (ETSI) to form the HIPERLAN standard which also impacted on the IEEE802.11 standards emerging in the USA.

At this time, Professor McGeehan also started with Professor Chris Railton research in the area of electromagnetic modelling by means of the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) technique. The Group has received international recognition for its R&D in this activity in areas as diverse as food processing in microwave ovens, conformal antenna design, breast cancer detection and wearable antennas. Of particular note is the use by the Photonics and Quantum Information Group of our advanced code in their highly successful research work.

Recognition of the research capabilities in communications signal processing was also received in 1992 when Professor McGeehan and colleagues were Winning Finalists in the Prince of Wales Award for Innovation for the development of a ‘Speech Scrambler’. The device then won, with collaboration from GEC-Marconi, an open competition organised by the Home Office and was subsequently used by all UK Police Forces for securing their mobile networks.

More recently, fundamental research into the use of Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA), in collaboration with Lucent Bell Telephone Research Laboratories (Whippany, USA) and HP Labs (Bristol), led to its use for the first time in two 64kb microcells in the centre of Bristol. This truly pioneering R&D was the first known live demonstration of WCDMA which ultimately led to its acceptance as the world 3G standard.

In addition, his idea of steering energy from the fixed Base-stations towards individual users/groups of users by means of SMART antennas (in order to increase the capacity, range and reliability of wireless networks) has now been widely adopted and deployed in the almost all branches of wireless communications throughout the world.  Subsequent research by myself and colleagues in the CCR, led to the award of the IEEE Neal Shepherd Best Paper Award (1991) in ‘Antennas and Propagation’.

Professor McGeehan's achievements in research have been acknowledged by my membership of a number of national and international committees in the field of Communications, external examiner positions and mentoring of start-up companies.  His involvement in Communications over several decades led to being awarded in the Queens Birthday Honours 2004 a CBE for ‘services to the Communications Industry’ and being listed in 2004 as No.6 in the world’s ‘Technology AgendaSetters’ by silicon.com (USA) (N.B., Bill Gates was placed No.2).

View a selection of Professor McGeehan's publications

Biography

Professor Joe McGeehan completed his PhD in 1971 and since then has been very active in many aspects of research and teaching in the field of Communications.  On joining the University of Bristol in 1985, after several years in industry and a period at the University of Bath, he established the Centre for Communications Research (CCR). 

He has been conducting research and development into mobile communications technologies and systems since 1973 and hase pioneered with colleagues many of the major developments in the field including: deterministric ray-tracing for propagation prediction and network coverage, linear modulation techniques and systems, linearised RF power amplifiers, SMART antennas, wideband CDMA for 3G, WLAN technologies and 60GHz propagation and communication systems.  

Professor McGeehan's achievements in research have been acknowledged by membership of a number of national and international committees in the field of Communications, external examiner positions and mentoring of start-up companies.  His involvement in Communications over several decades led to being awarded in the Queens Birthday Honours 2004 a CBE for ‘services to the Communications Industry’ and being listed in 2004 as No.6 in the world’s ‘Technology AgendaSetters’ by silicon.com (USA) (N.B., Bill Gates was placed No.2).

Keywords

  • Communication Systems
  • WLANs
  • Propagation modelling
  • electromagnetics
  • RF/Microwave theory and techniques

Expertise

I am an expert in mobile communications and have pioneered many techniques both experimental and theoretical in propagation modelling and network coverage, linear modulation techniques, linearised RF power amplifiers, WCDMA for 3G, SMART/MIMO antennas and WLANs. Personally interested in propagation modelling, base-band signal processing and RF/microwave technologies and together with colleagues am very interested in the design of communication systems. I am interested in applying wireless communication technologies to many application areas including: Home Networks, Smart Grid and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). I lead the World-wide University Network (WUN) for the Wireless Communications Exemplar and the University of Bristol Communications Theme. I am Director of the Centre for Communications Research at the University of Bristol. I am mentor to various start-up companies in ICT.

  • wireless communications
  • wireless LANs
  • mobile phones; 3G; 4G; WiMAX; LTE; UWB
  • MIMO
  • smart antennas
  • modulation and coding
  • networks
  • Memberships

    Organisations

    Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

    Other sites

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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