Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Electromagnetics and Communications


Jacobs Hall, Room 2512, Jacobs School of Engineering, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, California 92093

Sponsored By:
Truong Nguyen

John R. Sanford
Ubiquiti Networks


This presentation outlines the techniques used to produce some of the most successful and widely sold products in broad band wireless industry. Many of the designs are non-intuitive and would be impossible to develop using conventional methods. The products spectrum includes directional, sector and omni antennas as well as filters, circuits and cell phones. The approach has also be applied to MIMO algorithms, propagation analysis and self-organizing networks. Some novel ongoing and future applications are discussed.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. John R. Sanford is currently CTO of Ubiquiti Networks where he works on the development of next generation
wireless communications systems that employ advanced MIMO techniques. During his time with Ubiquiti,
he has been instrumental in growing the market cap to 4.5 billion dollars. He was previously Chief Technical
Officer of Cushcraft Corporation, which was acquired by Laird Technologies in 2006. In July of 2004, Cushcraft
acquired Optimal RF, a startup company founded by Dr. Sanford that was active in the area of next generation
communications systems design utilizing AI techniques. Prior to this, he was Chief Technical Officer of REMEC,
Inc. where he oversaw the company’s technology roadmap, IP development and strategic partnerships. At
REMEC, Dr. Sanford also held a number of positions including head of engineering of Northern California operations
and GM of the Fixed Wireless (WiMax) Division. He was founder and President of Smartwaves International,
which was acquired by REMEC in February, 1999. At both locations, Dr. Sanford developed microwave
transceivers and related products including antennas, filters, algorithms and linear amplifiers. He has been particularly
active in the development and use of artificial intelligence for the design of microwave products. Prior
to that he was an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology where he taught courses and conducted
research related to Electromagnetics, Antennas and Array Signal Processing (MIMO). From 1988
through 1993 Dr. Sanford headed the Mobile Tower Top Group at Huber & Suhner AG. There he introduced the
first base station patch antenna, switched beam antenna along with a variety of unique filters, EMP and optical
products, many of which have become industry norms. From 1985 to 1988 he was a research engineer and
group manager with the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he designed military phased arrays and communication
Dr. Sanford uses advanced artificial intelligence methods to develop products with performance that would be
impossible to realize using conventional techniques. These products include wind turbines, microwave antennas,
transceivers and related products including, filters, amplifiers, self-organizing networks (SON), and MIMO
signal processing algorithms. He has been fortunate enough to be a principle at five successful companies. Two
of those companies had successful IPOs during his tenure while the other three were bought as strategic acquisitions.
In contrast, he has managed companies through global economic downturns. These experiences have
been instrumental to his personal and professional growth

Travis Spackman
Faculty Assistant