Professor Francesco Fornetti

Videos and eBook:

Author:
Dr. Francesco Fornetti
MEng, PhD

Teaching Fellow - Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom

Biography:

Dr. Fornetti is currently a teaching fellow at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of the University of Bristol, where he concentrates his efforts on enhancing the students’ learning experience by improving and modernizing courses contents and teaching methods.

His vision on academic teaching is that it should not be seen as a simple transfer of knowledge and notions between the instructor and the student. He sees it as the process of stimulating curiosity and creating enthusiasm about a subject in a way that encourages, inspires and enables students to explore the subject beyond the classroom walls. He also believes that the wide availability of powerful simulation tools, new technology, and broadband internet access enables academic teaching to be set free from the static setting of a classroom and the black and white pages of a textbook. In particular, in the field of RF engineering, where laboratory work would be impractical, he feels that simulations and animations should be an integral part of teaching. They not only give students the knowledge to play with circuits on the simulator but also allow abstract concepts to be explained in a more conceptual and visual way.

One of Dr. Fornetti's main interests in the last few years has been the creation of instructional material in electronics-related subjects that is easy to understand, has practical relevance, and takes advantage of modern teaching methods. He started in 2010 by opening a YouTube channel featuring videos on RF & microwave engineering based on simulation. Although this material only covered the basics of this vast subject, it became extremely popular and was featured on several well-known websites. The success of his first endeavor encouraged him to create a comprehensive set of videos and a reference book covering all the basics of active and passive RF & microwave circuits. This material, which is available both on Amazon and as web-based training, has been very popular and has stimulated the interested of many academic institutions. He also carried out a second, smaller project, supported by the most prominent instrumentation manufacturers, which led to the production of a full manual and video tutorials on instrumentation control, data acquisition, and processing with MATLAB. This material has been accepted on The MathWorks Book Program.

His research interests include wide bandgap semiconductor devices and materials, particularly gallium nitride (GaN) high-rlectron mobility transistors (HEMTs). During his time as a researcher he succeeded in enhancing their application, mainly in the field of pulsed power amplifiers for Radar systems. He also had the opportunity to develop novel test methodologies and practical measurement rigs for GaN amplifiers at microwave frequencies. His PhD thesis, which includes introductory chapters on advanced semiconductor materials and devices in terms of their physics, technology, research status and commercial availability, has had thousands of downloads and very positive feedback. It also formed the basis of a popular webinar on GaN, which he presented.

Dr. Francesco Fornetti also spent some time working in industry. He worked as a control systems engineer at Rolls-Royce civil aviation division, as an RF Engineer at Motorola Networks and as a consultant at The Technology Partnership.