Student Design Competitions

Date: Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Time: 9:30 – 17:00 EDT

Location: Exhibit Hall, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

All eligible students or student teams are invited to take part in the Student Design Competitions (SDCs) during the 2019 International Microwave Symposium in Boston, MA. The goal of the SDCs is to encourage student innovation and facilitate hands-on experience. Students design and build a circuit, system, or algorithm, in order to meet a set of performance specifications described in each competition. They then bring their designs to IMS where they compete against other student teams. Winning teams are awarded cash prizes and a chance to publish their designs in the IEEE Microwave Magazine. 

The SDC application site will be open for submissions in the near future. Until then, students can read about the competitions listed below. Students are advised to contact the coordinators of the competitions of interest as early as possible, to ensure a full understanding of the design specifications and judging criteria before beginning their designs.

Design Competition Topics

Click the links below to download the individual competition descriptions and rules

      1. Carrier Aggregation BAW Quadplexer Module
      2. High-Performance Optoelectronic Oscillator
      3. High Efficiency Power Amplifier
      4. Videos at a Fancy Bar Counter: Sub-Six 5G Flexible Low-Interference Receiver 
      5. Four-Channel Switchable/Reconfigurable Filter Bank
      6. Power Amplifier Linearization through Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD)
      7. Wearable/Frugal Microwave Energy Harvesting
      8. High-Sensitivity Motion Sensing Radar
      9. High-Efficiency Power Amplifier for 1.8 MHz
      10. Adaptive Relay Transceiver
      11. Backscatter Radio

All student design competitions will take place on Tuesday, 4 June, 2019, with the competition winners recognized at the Student Awards Luncheon on Thursday, 6 June, 2019. Student competitors should be aware that the IMS will not assist participants in getting necessary equipment or designed circuits/systems into the United States.

General Rules and Requirements

Note: Some competitions have requirements which are different than those listed below. Where stated, each individual competition’s specific rules and deadlines will supersede these general rules.

a) There may be between 1 and 4 people working together on a project. 

b) All team members must be full-time students while working on the project.

c) At least one team member must register for IMS2019 and attend the student design competitions on Tuesday, 4 June in order to assist with measurements (where applicable) and answer questions while it is being tested/judged.

d) You must notify the student design competition organizers a week before the date of the judging if you need to withdraw from the competition or will not be able to participate in person. Failure to participate in person may prevent you from being accepted for future participation.

e) Your professors and advisors must certify that this is your work, not theirs.

f) You must submit a competition application form along with the form from your professor or advisor no later than April 1, 2019, or as indicated in the rules of the competition of interest. You are encouraged to contact the coordinators of the competition of your interest as early as possible to ensure a full understanding of the design specifications and judging criteria before your submission. 

g) Travel visas and possibly shipping of your project equipment are your responsibility.


Student Design Competitions are sponsored by the 27 Technical Committees of the MTT. Each committee has been given $2000 in prize money if they choose to sponsor a competition in their technical area. Not all technical committees participate in the competition every year. Each will make their own rules for the competitions that they sponsor.


Contact Information

General questions or comments can be directed to the IMS2019 Student Design Competition Committee Chair, Mark Hickle, via email at

Questions or comments regarding a specific design competition should be directed to the organizers of the competition in question.