House of Lords recognition for research at the University of Kent

Research at the University of Kent received a special mention in the House of Lords on 8 December when Lord Rooker used the discoveries of Dr John Batchelor, Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering, as an example of how advances in science and technology are important for business and the economy, as well as providing an inspiration for young people to enter these sectors.
Lord Rooker used the example of Dr Batchelor’s development of an aerial the size and shape of a button on a pair of jeans that works at the frequencies used for wireless computer networking.

Benito Sanz-Izquierdo, a researcher in Dr Batchelor’s antennas laboratory, initially discovered that these metallic buttons can work as aerials at one of the wireless computer bands, and together they enhanced the button design to cover the other necessary channels. Their research has been very well received and has even resulted in enquiries from NASA.

Lord Rooker said: ‘John Batchelor at the University of Kent has developed a circular antenna that looks like a button on a pair of jeans but which is designed to communicate in two modes-around the body and away to other devices. With touch panels integrated into sleeves in fully washable garments, the potential is very significant.’

Dr Batchelor said: ‘I am pleased that our research has received recognition at such a level.’
After completing his BSc and PhD at the University of Kent, Dr John Batchelor joined its Department of Electronics as a Research Assistant in 1994, became a lecturer in 1997 and Senior Lecturer in 2006. In 2005 he became head of the Antennas Group at the University. Dr Batchelor has published work in a number of major international journals and his research has attracted significant government and industrial funding. He has collaborated with groups at other UK universities and with the University of Auckland (New Zealand). He has also collaborated with the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, the Police Information Technology Organisation (now the National Policing Improvement Agency) and numerous industrial companies.

His current research interests include wearable antennas, platform independent Radio Frequency ID tags, compact multiband antennas, Electromagnetic-Band Gap (EBG) structures, and frequency-selective surfaces to screen mobile phones in buildings.