Workshop: Energy Harvesting and Transfer – Present and Future

Organizer: Dr. Daniel Arnitz
University of Washington
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 1pm – 4:30pm

Energy is at the very center of everything we do at this great conference. Every operation requires energy, be it sensing, communication, storing information, or merely operating a simple state machine. The RFID community has become skilled at operating circuits at incredibly low power levels. We have also become very good at transferring as much energy as possible to our tags and other passive devices.

In this workshop, we will show how energy harvesting works, addressing basic techniques as well as the latest research. We will cover everything from system and circuit design to signal processing, discussing strengths and weaknesses of current systems. We will also answer important questions for the future: What are upcoming research opportunities? Where do we need to improve? Where can you contribute with your research?

This will be an interactive workshop. Join us, ask questions, and tell us about your experiences. We look forward to seeing you there!

List of Speakers

  • Alanson Sample, Disney Research
  • Matthew Trotter, Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Daniel Arnitz, University of Washington
  • Joshua Ensworth and Alexander Hoang, University of Washington
  • Aaron Parks, University of Washington
  • Leonid Mats, Tego Inc.
  • Greg Durgin, Georgia Tech

About the Organizer

DADaniel Arnitz is a PostDoc at the University of Washington (WA, USA), working on backscatter channel modeling and prediction, imaging systems, MIMO wireless power transfer, and RFID localization. He received his Master degree Dipl.-Ing.(FH) in electrical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum Kapfenberg, Austria, in 2005, and a Ph.D. (Dr. techn.) degree from Graz University of Technology, Austria, in 2011 (both degrees with honors). In 2012 he joined Prof. Matt Reynolds’ group, first at Duke University (NC, USA) and later at the University of Washington (WA, USA). Daniel has been active in the RFID community since 2004. He was TPC Chair of IEEE RFID 2012 and 2013, TPC Co-Chair in 2014 and 2015, and has so far organized workshops on localization and power harvesting. Daniel is author and maintainer of the PARIS simulation framework, an open-source simulation engine intended for research on (ultra-)wideband backscatter systems.

About the Speakers

DAAlanson Sample is a Research Scientist at Disney Research in Pittsburgh and leads the Wireless Systems group. His research focuses on enabling new user experiences and sensing and computing devices by applying novel approaches to electromagnetics, RF and analog circuits, and embedded systems. Prior to joining Disney, he worked at Intel Labs in Hillsboro on energy harvesting for wearable and Internet of Things applications. He also held a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the
University of Washington. There he developed methods of wirelessly powering implanted heart pumps, known as LVADs. Alanson received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from the University of Washington. Throughout his graduate studies, he worked full time at Intel Research Seattle exploring a wide range of wireless power transfer methods and energy harvesting applications. Alanson has served as the IEEE RFID conference TCP Chair in 2015 and 2014, as well as a TCP Co-chair in 2013 and 2012.

DAMatthew Trotter is a Research Engineer in the Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL) with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He received his BS in electrical engineering (2007) from the University of Texas and his MS (2009) and PhD (2011) in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, where he specialized in energy harvesting and range estimation for RFID systems. He holds a US Patent on Power Optimized Waveforms (POWs), an energy harvesting technique, and is an active member of the RFID research community, IEEE CRFID, and IEEE RFID conferences. From 2011-2013, he was a Research Imagineer for Disney Research where he helped develop a football-tracking system for use during live games. Currently at ICL, he researches in the areas of mathematical modeling and simulation of nonlinear microwave devices, radio wave propagation, and software-defined radios. He has worked with start-up companies as a prototype developer and intellectual property consultant. He has numerous conference and magazine publications on RFID and is a frequent reviewer of scientific papers in the area.

DAAlexander Tung Hoang was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1993. He will receive his B.S in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington-Seattle on June 2015. Since 2014, he has been involved with research in the sensing computing and communication group at the University of Washington. His research consists of low power-low voltage self start up boost converters. His research interests include wireless power transfer, modeling, analyzing and measurement of analog circuits.

DAJoshua F. Ensworth received the B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Tufts University, Medford, MA in 2009, and the M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Duke University, Durham, NC in 2013. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Washington. His research interests include energy harvesting, wireless power transfer, and backscatter communications.


DAAaron Parks is a graduate researcher in the University of Washington’s Sensor Systems Laboratory. His latest work focuses on exploring enabling technologies for a battery-free Internet of Things. He co-authored ACM SIGCOMM’s 2013 best paper, which introduced Ambient Backscatter, an ultra-low-power passive method for wireless communication. He also published best-paper winning work on a novel multiband RF energy harvesting topology in the IEEE RFID 2014 conference. He leads the development team for the WISP, an open-source and hackable battery-free platform which helps researchers rapidly prototype battery-free sensing, computation and communication systems.

DADr. Leonid Mats has extensive experience in the field of RF design including over ten years of research and development at the academic and industrial levels. Previously, he worked designing active and passive RFID systems with specialties in wireless power, RF and antenna design.


DAGregory D. Durgin joined the faculty of Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Fall 2003 where he serves as an associate professor. He received the BSEE (96), MSEE (98), and PhD (00) degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In 2001 he was awarded the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Post-doctoral Fellowship and spent one year as a visiting researcher with Morinaga Laboratory at Osaka University. In 1998 he received the Stephen O. Rice prize (with coauthors Theodore S. Rappaport and Hao Xu) for best original journal article in the IEEE Transactions on Communications. Prof. Durgin also authored Space-Time Wireless Channels, the first textbook in the field of space-time channel modeling. Prof. Durgin founded the Propagation Group at Georgia Tech, a research group that studies radiolocation, channel sounding, backscatter radio, RFID, and applied electromagnetics. He is a winner of the NSF CAREER award as well as numerous teaching awards, including the Class of 1940 Howard Ector Outstanding Classroom Teacher Award at Georgia Tech (2007). He is a frequent consultant to industry, having advised many multinational corporations on wireless technology.