School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Speaker: Prof Ross Murch
Seminar Date: Thu, 23/01/2020 - 10:00
Venue: 47A-470; Sir James Foots building
Host: Prof Amin Abbosh

Seminar Type: Guest Research Seminar


The wireless revolution has changed the way we communicate and created a mobile information society. One foundation for this revolution has been the use of RF waves for the transmission of information. RF waves can be used directly for transmission but it is also possible to harness RF waves that are already in use for other applications. These existing RF waves can be thought of as ambient RF signals or more descriptively as the “fog” of RF waves in our environment.

The purpose of this talk is to explore technologies and techniques that can harness the “fog” of RF waves, for our benefit, without adding further RF transmissions to the environment. Energy extraction from the “fog” of RF waves can be used to power sensors and activators and has become known as ambient RF energy harvesting. Backscattering existing RF waves can be utilized for wireless communication and has become known as ambient backscatter communication (AmBC). Passive RF Imaging systems, for enhancing navigation and security, leverage existing RF transmissions to image the environment without requiring additional transmissions. Large intelligent surfaces (LIS) making use of existing 4G and future 5G signals have also been proposed as techniques for enhancing communication capacity.

In this talk I explore the results of my research for “Harnessing the “Fog” of RF Waves” and try to plot a course for future research activity and impact in this area.


Ross Murch is a Chair Professor in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering and an IAS Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study both at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). His research contributions include more than 200 publications and 20 patents on wireless communication systems and antennas and these have attracted over 15,000 citations. His current research interests include the Internet-of-Things, energy harvesting, acoustic systems and MIMO systems with a focus on harnessing ambient RF and acoustic waves for our benefit. His unique expertise lies in his combination of knowledge from both wireless communication systems and electromagnetic areas. He was Department Head at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at HKUST for two 3 year terms between 2009 and 2015. Prof. Ross Murch has also been involved in IEEE activities including area editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and Chair of the IEEE technology committee on wireless communications. He has won several prizes including two teaching awards. He received his Bachelor's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is a Fellow of IEEE, IET and HKIE.