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What is this course about?

Fifth-generation (5G) communication, which has many more features than fourth-generation communication is been in rump-up phase. A new paradigm of wireless communication, the sixth-generation (6G) system, with the full support of artificial intelligence is expected to be deployed between 2027 and 2030. To go “beyond 5G” there are some fundamental issues which need to be addressed concerning with higher system capacity, higher data rate, lower latency, and improvement of quality of service (QoS). This course presents the vision of future wireless communication. The intelligent metasurface technology is one of the most interesting candidate technologies. 
In typical communication systems, the environment (e.g. walls, objects, windows, etc.) are typically considered as obstacles that deteriorate the level of the received signal. This is particularly true when the frequency of operation increases, as it is the case for the 5G and future communication systems, where the mm-wave frequency range will be ever more used, 
A possible solution would be to exploit the unavoidable interaction between the electromagnetic field and the environment in order to enhance the performances of the communication system. The environment itself, if properly structured through the integration of intelligent metasurfaces, whose properties can be controlled in real-time, may represent a degree of freedom available to make the future communication systems ever more performing. We call it Reflective Intelligent Surfaces (RIS)Metasurfaces embedded in the structural elements or in the objects constituting the environment, can be used to 


  • extend the coverage of a communication system (e.g. by connecting two points that are not in line-of-sight connection),

  • increase the awareness of the electromagnetic environment (e.g. by sensing the interfering signals, their frequency channels, the directions of arrival, etc.), 

  • adjust the properties of a radiating source (e.g. by changing in real-time the radiation pattern, its maxima and nulls, etc.)

  • improve the security level (e.g. by encrypting the information through a proper modulation along the propagation path due to the interaction with the structured intelligent environment). 

In this way, the most part of the extra signaling required in future communication systems will be performed at the physical layer and at the speed of light, allowing, thus, ultra-high capacity and reduced latency compared to conventional paradigm. The course includes the following subject 

  • Fundamental properties of RIS 

  • Fundamental Limits of RIS 

  • Perfect reflection problem analysis

  • Perfect coupling with Surface wave 

  • Analysis of RIS 

  • Sensing by SIS (Surface-wave intelligent surfaces)

  • Design of RIS 

  • Intrinsic capability of RIS to make calculation 

  • capacity/data rate analyses, 

  • power/spectral optimizations, 

  • channel estimation, 

  • deep learning-based design, 

  • and reliability analysis. 

  • IRSs in secure communications

  • Terminal- positioning 


ESoA Coordinators

Stefano Maci

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He received the Laurea degree from the University of Florence, Florence, Italy, in 1987. He has been a Professor with the University of Siena, Siena, Italy, since 1997. He was a WP Leader of the Antenna Center of Excellence (FP6-EU) from 2004 to 2007, and an International Coordinator of a 24-institution consortium of a Marie Curie Action (FP6) from 2007 to 2010. He has been a Principal Investigator of six projects financed by the European Space Agency since 2004.

In 2004, he was the Founder of the European School of Antennas, Athens, Greece, a post graduate school that currently comprises 30 courses on antennas, propagation, electromagnetic theory, and computational electromagnetics and 150 teachers coming from 15 countries.

He was the co-founder of two spinoff companies. He is the Director of the Consortium FORESEEN, presently involving 40 European Institutions. His research activity is documented in 140 papers in international journals, (among which 90 on IEEE journals), ten book chapters, and about 300 papers in proceedings of international conferences on high-frequency and beam representation methods, computational electromagnetics, large phased arrays, planar antennas, reflector antennas and feeds, metamaterials and metasurfaces. These papers have received around 4200 citations.
Prof. Maci was an AdCom Member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), an Associate Editor of AP-Transaction, the Chair of the Award Committee of IEEE AP-S, and a member of the Board of Directors of the European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP). He has also been a member of the National Italian Committee for Qualification to Professor and the Antennas and Propagation Executive Board of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, U.K. He was a recipient of the EurAAP Award in 2014, the Shelkunoff Transaction Prize in 2016, and the Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award in 2016. Since 2000, he has been a member of Technical Advisory Board of the 11 international conferences and a member of the Review Board of six International Journals. He organized 25 special sessions in international conferences, and he held ten short courses in the IEEE AP-S Symposia about metamaterials, antennas and computational electromagnetics. He was a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE AP-S from 2010 to 2014.


Filiberto Bilotti

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He received the Laurea and Ph.D. degrees in electronic engineering from ROMA TRE University, Rome, Italy, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Since 2002, he has been with the Faculty
of Engineering from 2002 to 2012, the Department of Engineering from 2013 to 2021, and the Department of Industrial, Electronic, and Mechanical Engineering since 2021 with ROMA TRE University, where he serves as a Full Professor of Electromagnetic Field Theory since 2014 and the Director of the Antennas and Metamaterials Research Laboratory since 2012. In the last ten years, his main research interests have been focused on the analysis and design of cloaking metasurfaces for antenna systems, on the modeling and applications of (space and) time-varying metasurfaces, on the topological-based design of antennas supporting structured field, on the modeling, design, implementation, and application of reconfigurable metasurfaces, on the concept of metagratings and related applications in optics and at microwaves, on the modeling and applications of optical metasurfaces. The research activities developed in the last 20 years has resulted in more than 500 papers in international journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, and three patents. His main research contributions are in the analysis and design of microwave antennas and arrays, analytical modeling of artificial electromagnetic materials, metamaterials, and metasurfaces, including their applications at both microwave and optical frequencies.
Prof. Bilotti was a recipient of a number of awards and recognitions, including the elevation to the IEEE Fellow grade for contributions to metamaterials for electromagnetic and antenna applications in 2017, the Outstanding Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION in 2016, the NATO SET Panel Excellence Award in 2016, the Finmeccanica Group Innovation Prize in 2014, the Finmeccanica Corporate Innovation Prize in 2014, the IET Best Poster Paper Award (Metamaterials 2013 and Metamaterials 2011), and the Raj Mittra Travel Grant Senior Researcher Award in 2007. He served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION from 2013 to 2017 and the Metamaterials from 2007 to 2013 and as a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal on RF and Microwave Computer-Aided Engineering from 2009 to 2015, Scientific Reports (Nature) from 2013 to 2016, and EPJ Applied Metamaterials since 2013. He was a guest editor of five special issues in international journals. He hosted in 2007 the inaugural edition of the International Congress on Advanced Electromagnetic Materials in Microwaves and Optics—
Metamaterials Congress, served as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the same conference for eight editions in 2008–2014 and 2019, and was elected as the General Chair of the Metamaterials Congress from 2015 to 2018. He was also the General Chair of the Second International Workshop on Metamaterials-by-Design Theory, Methods, and Applications to Communications and Sensing in 2016 and has been serving as the chair or a member of the technical program, steering, and organizing committee of the main national and international conferences in the field of applied electromagnetics. He has been serving the scientific community, by playing leading roles in the management of scientific societies, in the editorial board of international journals, and in the organization of conferences and courses.
He has been serving the METAMORPHOSE VI as the Vice President and the Executive Director since 2019. In particular, he was a Founding Member of the Virtual Institute for Artificial Electromagnetic Materials and Metamaterials—METAMORPHOSE VI in 2007. He was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the same society for two terms from 2007 to 2013 and the President for two terms from 2013 to 2019.


Andrea Massa

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Andrea Massa (IEEE Fellow, IET Fellow, Electromagnetic Academy Fellow) he has been a Full Professor of Electromagnetic Fields @ University of Trento since 2005.

At present, Prof. Massa is the director of the network of federated laboratories "ELEDIA Research Center" located in Brunei, China, Czech, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Perù, Tunisia with more than 150 researchers. Moreover, he is holder of a Chang-Jiang Chair Professorship @ UESTC (Chengdu – China), Professor @ CentraleSupélec (Paris - France), and Visiting Professor @ Tsinghua (Beijing - China). He has been holder of a Senior DIGITEO Chair at L2S-CentraleSupélec and CEA LIST in Saclay (France), UC3M-Santander Chair of Excellence @ Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Adjunct Professor at Penn State University (USA), Guest Professor @ UESTC (China), and Visiting Professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (USA), the Nagasaki University (Japan), the University of Paris Sud (France), the Kumamoto University (Japan), and the National University of Singapore (Singapore). He has been appointed IEEE AP-S Distinguished Lecturer (2016-2018) and served as Associate Editor of the "IEEE Transaction on Antennas and Propagation" (2011-2014).

His research activities are mainly concerned with inverse problems, antenna analysis/synthesis, radar systems and signal processing, cross-layer optimization and planning of wireless/RF systems, system-by-design and material-by-design (metamaterials and reconfigurable-materials), and theory/applications of optimization techniques to engineering problems (coms, medicine, and biology).

Prof. Massa published more than 700 scientific publications among which more than 350 on international journals (> 12.000 citations – h-index = 55 [Scopus]; > 9.500 citations – h-index = 48 [ISI-WoS]; > 20.000 citations – h-index = 80 [Google Scholar]) and more than 500 in international conferences where he presented more than 200 invited contributions (> 35 invited keynote speaker) ( He has organized more than 100 scientific sessions in international conferences and has participated to several technological projects in the European framework (>20 EU Projects) as well as at the national and local level with national agencies (>300 Projects/Grants).

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