Reporter 397, 17 February 1997


Dream team

Leading American universities - including Berkeley - have been beaten to a prestigious £3m US government contract by a consortium including members of Leeds' Department of Electronic and Engineering. Professor Chris Snowden was invited to join a group of leading engineers at the Universities of Michigan, North Carolina State, Florida, Clemson and Colorado - and the resulting consortium was dubbed the 'Dream Team' by the US government.

The project assessor said Leeds had a pivotal role to play with its special expertise in modelling and CAD in the work on quasi-optical technology - which uses uses some of the ideas associated with steering light, such as mirrors and lenses, to control very high frequency microwave signals.

This is becoming an important new technology and will be vital for the development of electronic and communications technology at these very high frequencies - likely to appear in the systems of the future and in state-of-the-art systems in the next few years.

The consortium will be working with the Hughes aircraft corporation, founded by Howard Hughes. The Leeds share of the funding will total over $300,000, with the possibility of additional finance. An associated contract with the US Army will provide a further $50,000. This is the only contract of its type to be awarded in the UK, and

the only UK university to be supported in this area.

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