School of Engineering


A Doctoral degree in Electronic Engineering for Dr Emmanuel Chemweno.

Electronic Engineer Designs High-Frequency Antennas for Future Wireless Communication

Working on the design and investigation of substrate integrated waveguide-fed dielectric resonator antennas for D-band applications bore fruit for Dr Emmanuel Chemweno in the form of a PhD in Electronic Engineering!

‘My research was into the design of antennas for future 5G/6G communications,’ said Chemweno. ‘These antennas are important elements in wireless communication systems, which support the numerous emerging internet-based applications such as online banking, industrial automation, social media, entertainment, smart farming and autonomous vehicles.’

Chemweno explained the motivation behind his research: ‘The desire to improve the quality of human life has seen the development of internet-based applications and services which have now become integral to daily human lifestyle. Every day, new applications are emerging and are continuously imposing capacity and speed constraints on the existing wireless communication networks.

‘As the demand for such services increases, there is a need to develop wireless communication systems capable of handling the higher data generated by these applications. Besides, some of the applications require higher data rates with low latencies that exceed the capabilities of the existing 5G communication networks.

‘It is for this reason that I have developed my research interest in the field of high-frequency antennas for future wireless communication applications.’

Chemweno’s research offers a contribution in the development of future wireless communication systems. The high frequencies with which such systems are required to operate suffer inherent limitations of low propagation distances and higher power requirements, and his research proposes high performance antenna designs to mitigate these limitations.

Based at Moi University in his home country, Kenya, he hopes to build a career in academia starting with post-doctoral research.

‘My dream is to contribute to humanity by way of research, to offer training and mentorship to upcoming student generations and to become a professor in the field of electrical and electronics engineering,’ he said.

He thanked his two mentors, Professor Pradeep Kumar and Professor Thomas Afullo, for their guidance and supervision throughout his studies.

‘Emerging applications such as the Internet of Things and Smart Cities require extremely high frequency broadband antennas,’ said Kumar. ‘To enhance the capacity of these wireless systems, Chemweno presented a novel wideband, low-isolation, multiple-input multiple-output antenna. From his PhD he has published two journal papers and two conference papers. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.’

‘Three years after I started my PhD I am now preparing for my graduation – I give glory to the Almighty God for the His love and kindness,’ said Chemweno. ‘I am proud to be an alumnus of UKZN.’

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini