- Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Duke University, 1994
- Director, Illinois Applied Research Institute, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, May 2019 - Present
- Donald Biggar Willett Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, August 2016 - Present.
Prof. Bernhard's research addresses applications-oriented electromagnetic problems with an emphasis on theoretical analysis and experimental investigation. Her research group focuses on two areas: Electromagnetics for Wireless Communication and Reconfigurable Active and Passive Antennas.
Electromagnetics for Wireless Communication: This work centers on cutting-edge technology development and design techniques that will enable high data-rate wireless communication and wireless parallel computation. Prof. Bernhard's research group investigates the effects of packaging on antenna performance and uses these results to develop design-oriented models for internal antennas, embedded antennas, and diversity schemes. The research also creates synthesis approaches for internal portable antenna systems, including IoT, that produce desired performance while reducing user exposure and battery usage.
Reconfigurable Active and Passive Antennas: Prof. Bernhard's research implements reconfigurability in antenna structures to provide flexibility in operating frequency, bandwidth, and radiation pattern performance. Reconfigurability is accomplished using MEMS (microelectromechanical system) or traditional microwave switches, ferroelectric materials, or mechanical actuation of antenna components. The new multi-function antennas developed in this research will reduce dramatically the number and size of large array-based antenna systems, improve system efficiency, and decrease system cost and weight.
The research group is supported by a specialized fabrication facility, a new anechoic chamber (the Illinois Wireless Wind Tunnel), Agilent vector network analyzers, and opportunities for collaborations with the UIUC Center for Computational Electromagnetics.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Students with an interest in applied electromagnetics, including antennas and high frequency circuits, are encouraged to contact me via e-mail. The background required for an undergraduate research position in my lab includes good performance in ECE 329 and ECE 450, with other advanced EM courses always a plus. For first- and second-year students who haven't taken these courses yet, opportunities may exist from semester to semester to help with the research projects of advanced undergraduates or graduate students, but at a more basic level.
- Multifunction Antennas and Antenna Systems
- Wireless Sensor Systems, including the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Antennas and Electromagnetics for Wireless Communication
- Reconfigurable Active and Passive Antennas
- National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2000)
- H. A. Wheeler Applications Prize Paper Award, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (2004)
- President, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (2008)
- U. S. Defense Science Study Group (2008-2009)
- IEEE Fellow (2010)
- ECE Ronald W. Pratt Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award (2011)
- Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, Illinois College of Engineering (2012)
- Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award, Engineering Council, Illinois College of Engineering (2012)
- Honorary Knight of St. Patrick (2014)
- Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering (2016)
- College Award for Leadership or Institutional Impact in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2022)
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, ECE 454: Antennas, UIUC, Spring 2022.
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, ECE 577: Advanced Antenna Theory, UIUC, Spring 2017.
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, ECE 454: Antennas, UIUC, Spring 2016.
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, ECE 457: Microwave Circuit Design, UIUC, Spring 2014.
- Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, Illinois College of Engineering, 2013
- Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award, Engineering Council, Illinois College of Engineering, 2012
- ECE Ronald W. Pratt Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award, 2011
- IEEE Fellow, 2010
- U. S. Defense Science Study Group Member, Sponsored by DARPA, 2008-2009
- H. A. Wheeler Prize Paper Award, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, 2004
- NASA-ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2000
- NSF CAREER Award, 2000
Public Service Honors
- Defense Science Board, Member, 2022-2026.
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Engineering Directorate Review Committee, Chair, 2018 - 2021.
- Defense Science Study Group (DSSG) Alumni Advisory Group, 2019-2021.
- Engineering Faculty Leadership Forum Director, College of Engineering, 2015-Present
- Director, ASEE Engineering Research Council (ERC) Executive Board of Directors, 2016-2019
- IEEE Board of Directors, Division IV Director, 2017-2018
- Chair, USNC-URSI Commission D, 2012-2014
- President, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, 2008
Recent Courses Taught
- ECE 454 - Antennas
- ECE 577 - Advanced Antenna Theory