Continuing a legacy of lasting relationships with the University of Leeds

Feb. 15, 2015

When I think about the places I’ve worked, my strongest memories center on the people. They fill, or have filled, important roles in my world: collaborator, ally, coach, mentor, kindred spirit, or friend.

For many engineers in what is now the Keysight facility in Santa Rosa, CA, Dr. Roger Pollard was an annual visitor who embraced one or more of those same roles. Gone too soon, Roger passed away at the age of 65 in December 2011.

As professor, dean, or consultant, Roger loved the development of engineering and people. His legacy includes the 56 successful Ph.D. candidates he supervised during his career at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Four of those are current or retired members of technical staff for Keysight Technologies, Agilent Technologies, or Hewlett-Packard.

At Leeds, his research spanned a wide range of interests: microwave network measurements, calibration and error correction, microwave and millimeter-wave circuits, large-signal and nonlinear device characterization, and terahertz technology. From 1981 to 2011, Roger spent part of every summer in the Agilent (now Keysight) R&D lab in Santa Rosa. Every spring, Agilent/Keysight employees would ask, “When will Roger be here? I need to run something by him.”

Across the years, he was a contributor to several innovations: calibration techniques, noise-figure measurements, millimeter-wave measurements, on-wafer measurements, nonlinear vector network analysis, materials measurements, and time-domain techniques.

Today, faculty and students at Leeds pursue electronics research up to 20 THz in the Roger Pollard High-Frequency Measurements Laboratory. Recent topics include high-frequency wireless communications and sensing for healthcare applications. In particular, the university has made advances in the understanding of fundamental interactions between terahertz radiation and a wide range of materials, even extending into detection of explosives and illegal drugs.

Keysight instruments have a presence in several labs at Leeds. Of special note is the PNA-X microwave network analyzer, which Roger influenced. On its own, the PNA-X can measure up to 67 GHz, and it can reach up to 750 GHz or 1.1 THz with test heads from Virginia Diodes Inc.

PNA-X vector network analyzer, manufactured when Keysight Technologies was Agilent Technologies’ electronic measurement business

Leeds also participates in Keysight’s RF and Microwave Student Certification program. This affirms a student’s technical knowledge, design expertise and hands-on proficiency with Keysight instruments and software.

And so the connection continues between Leeds and Keysight. More important, though, are the brilliant, curious and unique individuals collaborating in their respective labs—and building memories they’ll recall with a smile 30 years from now.

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*Keysight Technologies Inc., formerly Agilent Technologies electronic measurement business.

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