BEEAs Winners: Mohammed Tahir

​An outstanding electronic design engineer with a short, but stellar track record is the Young Design Engineer of the Year.

Category Sponsor: MA Business

Headliine Sponsor: Distrupol

Judges' Comment: "The judges were impressed with the speed at which this young engineer was able to engage with highly complex mmWave design concepts."

Mohammed Tahir received his Master’s degree in electronics from the Polytech Nice Sophia postgraduate engineering school, France, where he majored in Circuit Design. His MEng thesis was on the design of a Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) oscillator for microelectromechanical systems in collaboration with the French Aerospace Lab (ONERA) in Paris.

After graduating in November 2016, he spent two years working for OMMIC in France where he designed custom GaAs and GaN on Si Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) at frequencies up to 40GHz.

He joined PRFI at the start of 2017 where his focus has been on the design and development of mm-wave front end components for 5G. Mohammed joined PRFI after only 18 months of post-graduate industrial experience but from the outset he has undertaken complex designs, working under his own initiative, with competence, efficiency and an impressive level of practical innovation.

He grasps any task he is given with enthusiasm and works hard to fill any gaps in his knowledge through personal research and study. He has been a valuable team member from the outset, able to work effectively as an integral part of the team on a large multi-person project but equally able to operate under his own initiative progressing designs assigned to him and developing successful engineering solutions to complex problems.He is also proactive in undertaking research to help us better understand the requirements and potential solutions to new development enquiries.

As a company developing custom ICs, PRFI relies on its ability to produce successful designs in a first pass. This requires great care, diligence, attention to detail and solid engineering ability, Mohammed has been able to provide this and produce right-first-time design work. The first job that Mohammed did after joining PRFI was the development of a 4 channel 28GHz PA (Power Amplifier) IC (Integrated Circuit) for 5G applications on a single die (chip).

The design of a single PA operating at these high frequencies (mmWave) is a challenging task but coping with the requirement to put 4 parallel PAs in close proximity on the same die requires great care, attention to detail and an innovative approach to biasing and matching.

Moving on from the success of the 4-channel PA development, Mohammed is now working on a high-power PA for a radar application. This is a multi-chip PA and Mohammed has had to work closely with other team members to produce an effective solution - concurrent engineering in practice.

By working diligently, paying attention to detail and providing right-first-time solutions to complex design challenges such as the 4-channel mmWave PA IC described above. Mohammed works very competently on his own but is also happy and effective working as part of a team.

This is a vital skill that many more experienced engineers don’t achieve as proficiently. In addition to his demonstrable design skills, Mohammed has also undertaken invaluable work evaluating mmWave ICs by direct wafer probing (RF On Wafer probing). He quickly developed a high degree of proficiency and is now able to take on larger programmes of work under his own initiative with only top-level direction.