Annual Report 2019

Doctoral Studies at Fraunhofer FHR

Fraunhofer FHR offers optimal conditions for scientists to write their dissertation at the institute. In doing so, the Institute provides the staff members with support tailored to their individual interests and their road to their doctorate. Two colleagues who received their doctorates in 2019 report on their experiences.

Dr. Benedikt Welp

System concepts and circuits for broadband MIMO FMCW radar systems up to 60 GHz in modern SiGe bipolar technologies

© Fraunhofer FHR / Benedikt Welp

Dr. Benedikt Welp came to Fraunhofer FHR from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in March 2013. After writing his master thesis in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology with Professor Nils Pohl, he received the offer from Wachtberg to set up a new team for chip design in Prof. Pohl's former department (now ISS Department). »When I began working here, the complete infrastructure of the new team had to be set up, as I was the first member of this team. We also had to develop chips for our partners in industry – from obtaining the right software to setting up the labs with chip measuring technology all the way to the development of the first SiGe chips designed at Fraunhofer FHR,« says Dr. Benedikt Welp.

The 31-year old has had the idea of doing his doctorate for quite some time. After having worked on several projects with industry customers and on public research projects, his thesis' focus on the area of broadband signal generation with high output power for FMCW radar systems started to become apparent. This is how he found his dissertation subject titled »System concept and circuit for broadband MIMO FMCW radar systems up to 60 GHs in modern SiGe bipolar technologies«.

His thesis focused on research for projects in the field of high frequency and radar techniques and within the scope of the Federal Aviation Research Program (LuFo) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. »In addition to project work for customers, it was especially my boss and doctoral supervisor who made it possible for me to work on my dissertation independently. Strong intrinsic motivation and the ability to work independently surely don't do any harm to set out to earn one's doctorate. All the while, the chip design team, Dr. Dirk Nüßler and Prof. Pohl as my bosses, always had an open ear for questions and new ideas I wanted to try. The institute opened up many opportunities for me, I was able to publish articles and had the chance to participate in international conventions, for example in Hawaii, and to exchange knowledge with experts from around the world. This was extremely attractive for me as a scientist. I'm also particularly happy that my research work has led to new projects, customers, and applications,« says Dr. Benedikt Welp to sum up the doctorate he completed in January 2019.

Dr. Philipp Wojaczek

Passive Radar on Moving Platforms Exploiting DVB-T Transmitters of Opportunity

Dr. Philipp Wojaczek joined Fraunhofer FHR right after university. After studying Electrical Engineering, Electronics, and Information Technology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, he set out for his career at the institute on March 1., 2015, where he now conducts research in the PSR Department. »My Team Leader Dr. Diego Cristallini suggested doing my doctorate with Prof. Pierfrancesco Lombardo at the Sapienza University of Rome. I knew Prof. Lombardo through his lecture at the International Summer School on Radar/SAR and so I applied for the three-year doctoral program in Rome,«, says Dr. Philipp Wojaczek. After his application was successful and he presented himself to a consortium of professors in Rome, he was accepted as a PhD student.

He found the subject for his doctor thesis, titled »Passive Radar on Moving Platforms Exploiting DVB-T Transmitters of Opportunity« through his research work at Fraunhofer FHR. »The field of passive radar on moving platforms is one I find particularly exciting because there hasn't been and there is not much research on it yet. So I had the freedom and the challenge of starting a lot from the ground up,« says the 32-year old.

The cooperation with the university in Italy went smoothly. »I sent my results to Italy and we held regular conference calls. I also had the chance of meeting up and talking with Prof. Lombardo on a personal level at the Summer School and at conferences. The opportunity of working at the faculty in Rome together with other PhD students and Prof. Lombardo in the second year was also very valuable,« says Dr. Philipp Wojaczek. After submitting his dissertation, he defended it in Rome in February 2019. »All in all, the conditions for my doctoral studies were excellent. The institute fully supported me in each phase of my doctoral thesis and my team was always there for me when I had questions. My research work in the PSR Department provided me with the necessary key data for my thesis which formed the bases for me to develop my simulations,«, summarizes Dr. Philipp Wojaczek.