Research Group

Current Group Members · Visiting Researchers · Alumni · Alumni Entrepreneurs · Awards

The microwave & RF research group at the University of Colorado is advised by Dr. Zoya Popović. Since its inception in 1990 more than 60 Ph.D. theses have been completed, as well as several M.S. degrees. The group is typically comprised of between 10-15 graduate students, 1-2 post-doctoral researchers and a few visting researchers.

Zoya Popovic Professor Zoya Popović received the Dipl.Ing. degree from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia, in 1985, and the Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 1990. Since 1990, she has been with the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she is currently a Distinguished Professor and holds the Hudson Moore Jr. Chair in the department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. In 2001, she was a Visiting Professor with the Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. Since 1991, she has graduated 40 Ph.D. students. Her research interests include high-efficiency, low-noise, and broadband microwave and millimeter-wave circuits, quasi-optical millimeter-wave techniques for imaging, smart and multibeam antenna arrays, intelligent RF front ends, and wireless powering for batteryless sensors. Prof. Popovic was the recipient of the 1993 and 2006 Microwave Prizes presented by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (IEEE MTT-S) for the best journal papers, and received the 1996 URSI IssacKoga Gold Medal. In 1997, Eta Kappa Nu students chose her as a Professor of the Year. She was the recipient of a 2000 Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists from the German Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. She was elected a Foreign Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2006. She was also the recipient of the 2001 Hewlett-Packard(HP)/American Society for Engineering Education(ASEE) Terman Medal for combined teaching and research excellence. [full CV] [Publications]

Gregor Lasser Assistant Professor Gregor Lasser received his Dipl.-Ing. degree from Vienna University of Technology in 2008, and his Dr. techn. degree in 2014 from the same university, both with distinction. The RFID testbed developed during his diploma thesis received the second position of the EEEfCOM innovation award in 2008. For the presentation of his doctoral dissertation entitled Passive RFID for Automotive Sensor Applications he earned the faculty award of the electrical engineering and information technology department of the Vienna University of Technology. Dr. Lasser joined the University of Colorado, Boulder as a research associate in 2015 and received appointment as an Assistant Research Professor in August of 2017. His current research interests are in broadband supply and bias modulated power amplifiers, compact broadband direction finding antenna systems, electrically small antennas, and heterogeneous integration of microwave front ends. [Publications]

Current Group Members

JoseEstradaJosé Estrada received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Carabobo, Venezuela, in 2012 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. From 2012 to 2014 he taught and conducted research in the applied electromagnetics laboratory (LabEMa) at the University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela. From 2014 to 2015 he worked as laboratory coordinator for the applied electromagnetics laboratory (LEA) at Fundación Instituto de Ingeniería (FII), Caracas, Venezuela. He is currently working on Energy Harvesting and Wireless Power Transfer for Aeronautic and Electric Vehicles applications.

Philip Zurek Philip Zurek received his Bachelors of Science degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, in 2016. He is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Colorado, Boulder, researching active microwave circuits. Beginning his Ph.D. degree studies in 2016, his initial research focused on harmonic comb generation using nonlinear transmission lines. Currently, his research interests expanded to include high-efficiency power amplifier design based on harmonic terminations and supply modulation, among other techniques. In particular, he is interested in how current monolithic microwave integrated circuit fabrication processes can be leveraged to further improve power amplifier efficiency. As a part of this effort, he is investigating a new GaN-on-Si process being developed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory to integrate RF front-ends with CMOS digital processing on a single chip.

Shane Verploegh Shane Verploegh received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. After graduating, he worked as a Nuclear Power Instrumentation and Controls Associate at Sargent & Lundy in Chicago. He joined the group in Fall 2016 pursuing a PhD. Presently, he is working on additive manufacturing for millimeter-wave applications with intents toward MMIC packaging and component characterization. Going forward, the subject of his research will involve efficient, high power amplifier design in regards to varied radar waveforms in conjunction with John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Laila Marzall joined the group in the Fall of 2017.

Megan Robinson Megan Robinson Megan Robinson received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA, in 2018 and 2020 respectively. She joined the group in 2018. Her current research interests include high-power amplifiers for biochemical applications specifically focused on waste to fuel conversion.

Akim Babenko Akim Babenko received his BS degree in Electronics and Nanoelectronics and MS degree in Radiophysics -- both with honors from Kuban State University in 2017 and 2019, respectively. His BS and MS research was on the vector network analysis of microwave mixers. Upon graduation in 2017, he spent a summer as an intern at Fermilab,, developing DSP firmware for superconducting accelerating RF cavities. He joined the group in Fall 2018, and is now working towards his PhD at NIST on the Quantum Voltage Project. His work involves designing multi-decade bandwidth passive and active MMICs in III-V and superconductor technologies, as well as developing new measurement and signal processing techniques for the new generation of quantum-based RF arbitrary waveform generators.

Amy Robinson Amy Robinson graduated with her B.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2018 with a research focus in efficient switching algorithms for electric machines. As of 2019, she is research assistant at the National Institute of Standards and Technologies with Christopher Holloway and Zoya Popović, working on microwave calibration standards traceable to defined S.I. units using Rydberg atom technology. She is an active member of the Optical Society (OSA), the Women in Electrical Engineering (WiECEE), a peer mentor in the Science Discovery Center and the Access and Inclusion initiative, and that loud yoga instructor at Core Power.

Paige Danielson Paige Danielson received her Bachelors of Science in electrical engineering in 2019 from Washington State University. After graduating, she came to the University of Colorado to pursue her PhD. She is currently funded through a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship which she received during her first year at CU. Her research focuses on efficient broadband phased transceiver arrays that can handle multiple signals.

Connor Nogales Connor Nogales received a B.S. in engineering from Northwest Nazarene University in 2019 and started as a graduate student at CU in the fall of 2019. In undergrad, he helped build two CubeSats which are now in space. His research interests are in high efficiency PA design as well as supply modulation and phased arrays.

Tim Sonnenberg

Rob Streeter Rob Streeter received B.S. degrees in Electrical as well as Computer Engineering from the University of Wyoming in 2011, and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the same school in 2013. He has worked on UAS decision-making algorithms and test protocols for the U.S. Air Force Academy as a Research Engineer; LMR and IP system design, deployment, and maintenance for public and private entities with Ryan Electronics, Inc.; and in 2017/18 was a winter-over Research Associate at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (under employment by Leidos for the Antarctic Support Contract, which is operated by the NSF). Rob joined the group in 2019 and is focusing on the development of a passive, non-invasive internal temperature sensor leveraging a near-field surface probe and attached radiometer to determine tissue temperature based on measured thermal noise.


Gabriel Santamaria Gabriel Santamaria received his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Carabobo, Venezuela in 2014 after completing his final project on the development of a full-wave electromagnetic solver based on the multi-level fast multipole method (MLFMM). In 2015 he joined the Group of Radiofrequency, Electromagnetism, Microwaves, and Antennas at Charles III University of Madrid (UC3M) and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Jan 2021. His Ph.D. thesis mainly focused on the theoretical analysis of THz-to-optical upconversion via resonant electro-optics techniques for high sensitivity THz radiometry. He joined the Microwave & RF Research Group at CU in 2021 and is currently working on RF field sensing techniques using Rydberg atoms and the development of non-invasive radiometers for internal body temperature measurements. [Publications]

Visiting Researchers


Ph.D. graduates and post-docs:

M.S. graduates:

  • Dan Fishler (M.S. 2020)
  • Will Haines (M.S. 2017)
  • Caitlyn Cooke (M.S. 2017)
  • Xavier Palomer (M.S. 2012)
  • Jennifer Imperial (M.S. 2012) is with Raytheon
  • Naoyuki Shino (M.S. 2000) is with Kyocera in Japan
  • Vesna Radisć (M.S.)
  • Linda Develin (M.S.)
  • Pete Kirkpatrick (M.S. 1999) is Founder and Chief Architect of Aprius
  • Thomas Bozic
  • Tore Berg
  • Robert Brown (M.S.)
  • Henrik Barth (M.S.)

Alumni Entrepreneurs

Past Visiting Researchers

  • Stefan Edstaller, Technical University of Munich
  • Tibault Reveyrand
  • Tommaso Cappello, University of Bologna
  • Jérôme Tissier, Associate Professor at ESEO Angers, France
  • Gregor Lasser, Vienna University of Technology
  • Gonzalo Expósito
  • César Sánchez Pérez
  • Christoph Ullrich, Technische Universiät München
  • Marcelo Perotoni, Sao Paulo University (USP) 2003-2004.
  • Florian Helmbrecht, Technische Universitat Munchen, (Diplomarbeit, 2002)
  • Johannes Russer, Univ. of Karlsruhe
  • Pal Matyas, Technische Universitat Munchen
  • Holger Mater, Technische Universitat Munchen
  • Ileana Carrasquillo, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
  • Martin Kaleja, Technische Universitat Munchen


Professor Popović

  • IEEE MTT Distinguished Educator, 2013
  • Holland Teaching Award, University of Colorado, 2011
  • Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado, 2010
  • Coleman Research Fellow, Coleman Institute, 2008
  • Faculty Research Award, College of Engineering and Applied Science, 2007
  • Elected Foreign Member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2006
  • Microwave Prize, IEEE MTT Society, 2005, best journal paper award
  • Microwave Prize, IEEE MTT Society, 1993, best journal paper award
  • Fellow, IEEE, 2002
  • ASEE HP/Terman Award 2001, for combined teaching and research excellence
  • Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists, German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2000/2001
  • Margaret Willard Award, University of Colorado, 1997, as female role model
  • Eta Kappa Nu professor of the year award, 1997, by student vote
  • URSI Issac Koga Gold Medal, Lille, France, 1996, awarded once every three years
  • White House NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, 1993
  • URSI Young Scientist, Kyoto, Japan, 1993
  • Best Student Award for the division of Electronics, University of Belgrade, 1985
  • City of Belgrade October Award for the Diploma Thesis in 1985

Student Papers

  • Mike Litchfield won the student paper competition at the Compound Semiconductor IC Symposium (CSICS) October 2015 with his paper titled "Multi-Level Chireix Oupthasing GaN MMIC PA".
  • Sean Regalia-Korhummel won best paper at Wireless Power Transfer Conference (WPTC) 2013. Paper
  • "A Transmit/Receive Active Antenna with Fast Low-Power Optical Switching," J. Vian and Z. Popović, 2000 IEEE IMS Symposium Digest, pp 847-850, Boston, June 2000 [Received 2nd place, Student Paper Competition]
  • "A Frequency Tunable Half-Wave Resonator using a MEMS Variable Capacitor," Bell, P., Hoivik, N., Bright, V., Popovic, Z., 35th International Symposium on Microelectronics (IMAPS) 2002, Denver, CO, Sept 2002 [Received 2nd place, Best Student Paper]
  • "Recycling Ambient Microwave Energy with Broadband Antenna Arrays," J.A. Hagerty, F. Helmbrecht, W. McCalpin, R. Zane, Z. Popovic, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techn., pp. 1014-1024, March 2004 [Winner of IEEE Microwave Prize]


  • Parisa Momenroodaki placed second in the International Microwave Symposium 2015 Wireless Energy Harvesting Competition (Phoenix, Arizona).
  • Parisa Momenroodaki received an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Communication Society Student Competition "Communications Technology Changing the World."
  • Graduate students Mike Litchfield and Scott Schafer placed 2nd in the IMS Power Amplifier contest IMS 2014 (Tampa Bay, Florida).
  • Graduate students Ignacio Ramos placed 2nd in the IMS Wireless Powering contest IMS 2014 (Tampa Bay, Florida).
  • Graduate students Rob Scheeler and Sean Regalia-Korhummel won the IMS Wireless Powering contest achieving highest efficiency in IMS 2013 (Seattle). (IEEExplore, PDF)
  • Graduate student Bradley Lindseth won the NXP PA competition with a 449MHz 2.6kW 63% efficient circuit in IMS 2011, Baltimore. (Denver Post, NXP)
  • Graduate student Michael Roberg participated in IMS Power Amplifier contest and achieved highest efficiency (83% PAE at 2.11GHz) prize and overall second prize in IMS 2010 (Anaheim). (TriQuint)
  • Jacques Hung Loui received the Sandia Truman Fellowship in 2006 (Sandia National Laboratories established the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering to attract the best nationally recognized new Ph.D. scientists and engineers).
  • A number of students received Lincoln Laboratory, Sandia, Navy, NSF and Dept of Education GAANN fellowships.