Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Past Winner
2007 NSERC Doctoral Prize

Dominic Deslandes

Electrical Engineering

École Polytechnique de Montréal

Dominic Deslandes
Dominic Deslandes

In an industry characterized by rapid change, manufacturers of communications devices are always on the lookout for ways to lower their production costs.

Dominic Deslandes has made a significant contribution to this quest by helping develop "substrate integrated waveguide" (SIW) circuits – technology that could lead to an entirely new generation of electronic devices that use radio frequencies. His work has earned him a 2007 NSERC Doctoral Prize.

Research in this area has traditionally focused on the production process of individual "passive" components – things such as antennae, filters, "diplexers" and "couplers." These components tend to be relatively bulky, so shrinking each one can lead to overall reductions in size.

Dr. Deslandes took a different approach, however, looking for a way to streamline the assembly process. "The basic idea is to integrate every single component inside a single platform," he says. This tactic also leads to a smaller device overall and eliminates the time-consuming process of connecting all the components afterwards. The result was an innovation similar in nature to the invention of the integrated circuit during the 1950s.

The most promising SIW applications are for devices that don't exist yet, such as a radar unit that's small enough to use in individual automobiles, or short-range communication devices that could be used between buildings located within a few kilometres of each other.

In his doctoral research, Dr. Deslandes analysed various aspects of SIWs, laying the theoretical foundation for calculating properties such as how they process radio waves. From there, he developed design parameters and constructed a number of passive circuits.

SIWs show the most promise for devices that use higher frequencies, ranging from 10 GHz to over 100 GHz (devices such as cell phones, in contrast, operate at much lower frequencies of around 800 MHz). These frequencies are best suited to short-range communication. "At these frequencies, it is very difficult to integrate passive components," explains Dr. Deslandes, "and the substrate integrated waveguide is a very interesting solution for this kind of problem."

The new technology is in its infancy, but is generating increasing attention from industry and other organizations. Dr. Deslandes says that Sony and NASA, for example, are both working on SIWs. Other scientists have launched their own research projects, and one of the papers written by Dr. Deslandes and his colleagues made the list of the most highly cited engineering articles.