Dr. Christopher Holloway

The QUEST for Fundamentally New SI-Traceable Electric Field and Power Measurement Techniques

One of the keys to developing new science and technologies is to have sound metrology tools and techniques. Fundamental to all electromagnetic measurements is having accurately calibrated probes, antennas, and power meters in order to measure either electric (E) fields or power.  A stated goal of international metrology organizations, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is to make all measurements directly traceable to the International System of Units (SI).  The world of measurement science is changing rapidly with the SI redefinition planned for late 2018. As a result of the shift towards fundamental physical constants, the role of primary standards must change.  NIST is investigating two fundamentally new direct SI traceable approaches: atom-based and mass-based (i.e., Planck’s constant and the kilogram), both of which will be traceable to Planck’s constant in the redefined SI. The new atom-based new approach will lead to a self-calibrated, SI traceable, E-field measurement, and has the capability to perform measurements on a fine spatial resolution in both the far- and near-fields.  The mass-based approach will allow power to be traceable to the kilogram and will allow for in situ measurements (e.g., direct in situ calibrations of RF sources).  Significant progress has recently been made in the development of these novel approaches over the past few year and in this talk I will summarize the work to date.

Dr. Christopher L. Holloway, IEEE Fellow


Christopher L. Holloway (S’86-M’92-SM’04-F’10) is a Fellow of the IEEE and received the B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, both in electrical engineering. During 1992 he was a Research Scientist with Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc., in Lakewood, Co.  His responsibilities included theoretical analysis and finite-difference time-domain modeling of various electromagnetic problems. From the fall of 1992 to 1994 he was with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Co.  While at NCAR his duties included wave propagation modeling, signal processing studies, and radar systems design. From 1994 to 2000 he was with the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Boulder, Co., where he was involved in wave propagation studies.  Since 2000 he has been with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, CO, where he works on electromagnetic theory and metrology.  He is also on the Graduate Faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

His research interests include electromagnetic field theory, wave propagation, guided wave structures, remote sensing, numerical methods, metamaterials, measurement techniques, EMC/EMI issues, and atom based metrology.

Dr. Holloway received the 2013 IEEE APS Society Edward E. Altshuler Award, 2008 IEEE EMC Society Richard R. Stoddart Award, the 2006 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his work on radio wave propagation, the 1999 Department of Commerce Silver Medal for his work in electromagnetic theory, and the 1998 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his work on printed circuit boards. He also has various best paper awards for both journal and conference publications: including, second place in the URSI student paper competition at the 1992 Boulder National Radio Science Meeting. He holds U.S. Patents on electromagnetic absorbing materials, radar systems and antennas for atmospheric radars, and on volume measurements devices.


Dr. Holloway served as chair for US Commission A of the International Union of Radio Science from 2012-2014, and vice-chair from 2010-2012. He is also a member of URSI Commissions A, B, and E. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. Dr. Holloway was the chairman for the Technical Committee on Computational Electromagnetics (TC-9) of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society from 2000-2005, served as co-chair for the Technical Committee on Nano-Technology and Advanced Materials (TC-11) of the IEEE EMC Society from 2006-2011, and served as an IEEE Distinguished lecturer for the EMC Society from 2004-2006.  He served as chairman for the IEEE Electromagnetics Award committee from 2012-2014.  He served as the General Chairman for the 1998, 1999, and 2000 International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies. He also served as Technical Program Chairman for the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility.

He has published over 200 technical articles including: 122 refereed journal articles, 119 conference papers, 92 conference presentations without publications, 2 book chapters, and 31 technical reports.  These publications cover a large array of topics including, theoretical and applied electromagnetics, remote sensing, measurement techniques, materials, and atom based metrology.