EECS500 Spring 2016 Department Colloquium

Tayfun Ozdemir
Disruptive Technology Development in the areas of Computational Electromagnetics and Tunable Antennas
Virtual EM Inc
White 411
March 24, 2016

Virtual EM was founded in 2002 with the mission to develop disruptive technologies to serve the needs of the society. In the past thirteen years, the company settled on four thrust areas, namely, Computational Electromagnetics (CEM), Antennas and RF Circuits, Wireless Sensor Networks and Machine Learning. Today, CEM-related activities generate one-third of the business’ revenue and the company is now few years away from developing a special purpose processor to overcome the run-time bottleneck of the CEM codes. This processor will plug into a desktop motherboard just like a GPU is through a PCI card giving the user the computational power of a mega cluster but via a desktop system. Second topic to be covered during the talk involves tunable antennas, which are an integral part of the reconfigurable RF front-ends, which will enable software defined radios and will be common place in all future military and commercial radios. Monarch Antenna, a sister company to Virtual EM, has recently developed a tunable patch antenna for global roaming bands for LTE/4G handsets. Currently, a variant of this design is being developed for Samsung Galaxy handset in collaboration with Murata Manufacturing Corporation, Ltd. The two topics described above are disruptive technologies, which, when adopted in wide scale, will change the way we do scientific computing and design radios. The talk will conclude with a primer on how to start, grow and profit from a high-tech business in today’s exciting yet competitive technological landscape.


Dr. Tayfun Özdemir is the President of Virtual EM Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan), where he manages business operations and leads technology development. Most of Virtual EM’s activities are funded by U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and NSF contracts involving computational electromagnetics, antennas, wireless sensors, and machine learning. In May 2015, company released its first commercial product (VirAntenn™) and licensed its wireless sensor technology to AMF Nano Corporation (Ann Arbor, Michigan) in exchange for royalties and profit-sharing. Dr. Özdemir is also a co-founder of Monarch Antenna, Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan), where he serves as the Chief Technology Officer responsible for technology development involving embedded tunable antennas for LTE/4G handsets. Dr. Özdemir holds a patent on a planar integrated antenna and has over 25 years of experience in his field of expertise. He published 6 journal papers, two book chapters, made over 50 conference presentations and gave more than 16 invited talks at educational institutions in the US and Europe. Dr. Özdemir chairs the Technical Activities Committee of the Southeast Michigan Section of IEEE and was also the chair of the 2010 IEEE Great Lakes Technology Symposium held in Ann Arbor, Michigan