Student Design Competitions

Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Time: 9:30 – 17:00 EDT

Location: Exhibit Hall, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia

The Student Design Competition (SDC) is one of the liveliest parts of the 2018 International Microwave Symposium’s (IMS2018's) Technical Program. The SDC goal is to encourage student innovation and hands-on activities. Student teams compete for the honor of the "Best Design" in one of the multiple design contests devised and sponsored by the IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society’s (MTT-S’) 27Technical Committees(TCs). Since its inception thirteen years ago, the SDC has grown in popularity, support, and size from a single contest to more than ten parallel contests. Past competitions have covered challenging and emerging topics in the RF and microwave field. Several outstanding designs that originated from the SDC have been documented in the Microwave Magazine. IMS2018, in Philadelphia, will continue this tradition with a very strong SDC program.

Click here to view individual competitions descriptions and instructions

CALL To All (Full-Time University) Student Design Teams:

All eligible students (refer to the SDC General Rules and Requirements below) are invited to form teams and compete in the IMS2018 SDC. The SDC offers students the opportunity to get involved in practical design and to be rewarded for their originality. It is considered one of the most exciting parts of the IMS, and is the only event where students get to put theory into practice by producing working hardware and software.

SDC contests are sponsored by the 27 MTT-S TCs. Each TC will be given funds for prize money, if they choose to sponsor a competition in their technical area. Not all technical committees participate in the competition every year. Each TC creates their own design requirements and rules for the contest that they sponsor. The list of IMS2018 SDC contests along with links for additional information and contacts for entering specific contests can be found at IMS2018 SDC Contests.For all other questions or suggestions, please contact the IMS2018 Student Design Competition Committee via email at

All SDC contests will take place on Tuesday (12 June 2018), with the individual contest winners recognized at the Student Awards Luncheon on Thursday (14 June 2018).

General Rules and Requirements:

  1. Each design team may have 1 – 4 full-time (under-graduate and/or graduate) university student members.
  2. All design team members must be full-time university students during the time work on the project is carried out.
  3. At least one design team member must register to and attend the IMS2018. One or more of the design team members must be present to answer questions when the design is tested/judged (Tuesday of Microwave Week).
  4. If a team needs to withdraw from the competition or will not be able to participate in person, it must notify the SDC organizers at least a week before the date of the judging. Failure to notify or participate in person may prevent the team members from being accepted for future participation.>
  5. The team’s advisor/professor must certify that the work is entirely that of the design team, and that others including the advisor/professor were not involved in the actual design work.
  6. Each design may be entered for only one SDC contest.
  7. Teams must submit information on their design approach and complete the Student Design Competition Submission Process no later than the date specified by their design contest committee (typically before April 2018).  For more information on specific contests, contact the organizers of the contest of interest click here.
  8. Travel visas and shipping of project equipment are the team’s responsibility. IMS will not assist participants in getting necessary equipment or designed circuits/systems shipped within or, in or out of the United States.


Al Katz, Ajay Poddar, Ulrich Rohde, Guoan Wang, Haobo Lai, and Haiying Cao

Contact Information:

Please submit inquiries to