Engineer becomes first Canadian honored with Microwave Career Award

John Bandler, Professor Emeritus, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and President, Bandler Corporation, has been honored by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society with its 2013 Microwave Career Award.

The award was conferred in Seattle during the IEEE International Microwave Symposium, at the Society’s annual Awards Banquet. The citation reads “For a career of leadership, meritorious achievement, creativity and outstanding technical contributions in the field of microwave theory and techniques.”

Founded in 1952, MTT-S is a technical society comprised of more than 11,000 members worldwide. This award is the 44th of its kind in the Society’s history, the first to a Canadian. In 2004, Bandler received the Society’s Microwave Application Award “For application of optimization technology, design with tolerances and yield-driven design to microwave devices, circuits and systems.”

Based on Bandler’s work, yield-driven design, design with tolerances, electromagnetic optimization, and electromagnetic optimization with tolerances—academic fantasies prior to the 1980’s—are now taken for granted by the high-frequency and microwave engineering community.

Bandler has also furthered space mapping, a concept he pioneered 20 years ago, that explains through everyday common sense the mysterious “feel” that engineers have traditionally claimed as special. Space mapping has been adopted across the entire spectrum of engineering by researchers and industry designers into their design portfolios. It makes possible the optimal, high-fidelity design of engineering devices and systems at a cost of only a few high-fidelity simulations. Effective modeling, design and optimization via this technology are now taken for granted.

Bandler has published more than 480 technical papers from 1965 to 2013. He founded the company Optimization Systems Associates Inc. in 1983, and sold it to Hewlett-Packard Company in 1997.

In 2012, John was honored with the IEEE Canada A.G.L. McNaughton Gold Medal and with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. At the 2012 IEEE International Microwave Symposium, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, a special session paid tribute to his pioneering contributions. He also delivered a rump session on “Human aspects of communication and persuasion,” available on the internet through

In recent years, he has addressed international audiences in talks that draw on his literary, artistic and theatrical endeavors as well as his engineering research on space mapping, his topics covering routes to success in research; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and confirmation bias, first impressions and subtext. He has written short stories, a novel, a screenplay, and nine stage plays. Three of his plays have been performed; the one that he directed himself—That The Multitude May Live—can be seen in full on YouTube.