Since Cadence acquired AWR last year, the Cadence Academic Network has been working to integrate the rich AWR University Program academic users into the Cadence University Program, provide existing AWR users new opportunities to connect them with other members of Cadence Academic Network and invite them to take advantage of the current infrastructure for education and research.
To help with this integration, we wanted to hear from existing AWR users about how they use AWR for education and research, which AWR offerings are beneficial to them and how can we improve. In the following article I will highlight and comment some results of this survey.
Most of the academic AWR users use the tools to support or complement physical laboratories, while some go as far as replacing physical laboratories completely with a virtual lab. One participant wrote, “The circuit elements and measurement tools are expensive. Therefore, AWR is a good tool for teaching RF.” University of Bristol is an example of a university successfully integrating AWR into their labs and curriculum: AWR Simulation Tools Greatly Help University of Bristol with the Delivery of their Courses.
AWR is also a beginner-friendly tool, because it doesn’t take much time to become familiar with, so it can be used for undergraduate research and coursework. The tool is also great to support the theory taught, as it can provide a more hands-on experience, “I want my students [to] see and understand the RF concept visually. The formulas and books are not enough to visualize this concept.”
Since AWR is a great way to help students better understand RF concepts in a real-world environment, we wanted to understand how educators are currently incorporating AWR into their curriculum. Nearly all users develop their own teaching materials, reuse materials available on Cadence/AWR support websites or use materials that have been shared by friendly colleagues from other institutions. The aim of the Cadence Academic Network to increase the collaboration between professors who are teaching similar subjects, so it is great that most of surveyed educators are willing to share their created resources.
Basically, all academic users are interested in joining a community designed to enable academics to share resources and collaborate in the creation of new ones. Our LinkedIn group, RF/Microwave Design – Cadence AWR Academic Network, should be used as a discussion forum where like-minded people can start collecting ideas on how and which educational materials can be created. They can then be distributed either through the Cadence Learning and Support Portal or other convenient channels. The Cadence Academic Network is also organizing meetings at events like the Academic Track at CadenceLIVE for professors to network and share ideas.
We also asked what kind of support the academic users wish to receive from Cadence, the top wishes were continuation of the university/academic program, more documentation, and help with tool admin or issues with new releases and bugs. Cadence will definitely continue the Academic Program with AWR in all available flavors, we are working on bringing over the available documentation from AWR to the Cadence Learning and Support Portal to make the access more streamlined, and whenever there is an issue with any of our tools, you are free to contact us and we will look for a solution! We would like to thank you for your passion for teaching the next generation of RF engineers using AWR tools!
If you are an AWR educator and interested in sharing how you use AWR tools in your classroom teaching or research, you can provide your insight at this link: Fostering Advanced Use of Simulation Tools to Enhance Classroom Teaching
In addition to the RF/Microwave Design LinkedIn group, the Cadence Academic Network manages a main group, which shares general information, and 12 technical-field-related groups. Join one today to start networking with other educators!