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Peter Excell

Professor Emeritus

Staff Profile

Peter Excell

Room: B114b


+44 (0)1978 293216



Peter Excell is Professor of Communications and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glynd┼Ár University, whose predecessor he joined in September 2007.He was previously at the University of Bradford, where he had worked since 1971 and where he obtained his PhD. He obtained his first degree (BSc Engineering Science) at the University of Reading and then spent six months at the University of Ife in Nigeria.He has industrial experience as a consultant to the oil and gas industry, working on assessment of hazards due to electromagnetic fields, and to the computing and mobile phone industries, working on electromagnetic interference and safety assessments.

His managerial brief at Glyndwr University is to deputise for the Vice Chancellor at both internal and external events as appropriate.More generally, he aims to apply his broad university experience to strengthen the academic culture, motivation and morale of staff and to project the enthusiastic, innovative and dynamic culture of the University to external audiences.

In addition, he maintains his own research work in electromagnetic fields, antenna design and mobile applications, and he also delivers some teaching through specialist lectures and through supervision of projects at levels from bachelor to PhD. The research work is verified in a continuing steady output of publications, of which he has produced about 450 over his career.

He chose to come to this part of North Wales because his mother was from this area and he drew immense strength and richness from the Welsh half of his family:he had a great aunt in Corwen who was a very early example of a woman who got a university degree and she was a powerful force for education in the family.

He speaks German and Italian reasonably fluently and also has a more limited knowledge of Russian and Welsh.

What do you like to do in your spare time? You don't get much spare time as an academic, but such as I get is mostly spent writing up my research and career experience. However, see below.

What are your hobbies/interests? I would say "real engineering". The preserved steam railways of North Wales are major attraction for me: they have built themselves up to be world leaders in their field and they constitute a great educational resource that I would like to see developed more. The traditional engineering skills that are maintained by them at, in particular, Llangollen and Porthmadog are a wonderful resource and the bedrock of the advanced stuff that we pursue in our research. At a personal level, my corresponding activities are looking after my antique Land Rover and my late father’s model railway.

I also have a deep interest in traditional Welsh music, especially the traditions of the Cymanfa Ganu (four-part harmony hymn singing in chapels) and Plygain (a folk carol tradition going back many centuries).

What’s your favourite animal? / Do you have any pets? No pets now: it wouldn't be fair to them, given modern work pressures. We used to have Scottie dogs when I was young: they were fun - small but incredibly tough. I used to enjoy riding horses, but haven't had time for it for a long time.

What’s your favourite book? The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. Long out of print, it was linked to his television series of the same name. He was a wonderful man who showed how science and technology could be combined with interest in the arts and humanities, thus bridging "the two cultures".

Fill in the blank: If I won the lottery I would… Probably use it to try to build confidence in Welsh culture and what it can contribute to the world.

Inspirational quotes? "Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth, Ry'n ni yma o hyd!" (Dafydd Iwan)

"Return unto thy rest o my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee; I will lay me down in peace and sleep until I awake in the morning of the Resurrection" (Inscription on the tombstone of Joseph Priestley, known as the discoverer of oxygen, among many things, and frequent visitor to Wrexham)

What’s your favourite film? The Gospel According to St Matthew by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Which career would you choose to go into if you weren’t in this job? Traditional engineering, e.g. on the Ffestiniog Railway.



BSc Engineering Science (Electrical option), Reading University, 1970.

PhD Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Bradford University, 1980.

CEng - Chartered Engineer, registered with the UK Engineering Council.

CITP - Chartered Information Technology Professional.

FIET - Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology.

FBCS - Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA).

FHEA - Fellow, Higher Education Academy.

Peter delivers some teaching through specialist lectures and through supervision of projects at levels from bachelor to PhD.

* Joint pioneer of the "matrix converter" approach for power electronics frequency conversion:

P.S. Excell, ‘Three-phase Power Frequency Conversion with High Efficiency and High Spectral Purity’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 20, No. 24, 1984, p.1021.

* Leading innovator in production of safety standards to eliminate risk of ignition of flammable mixtures by electromagnetic fields:

P.S. Excell, ‘Ignition of Flammable Gas Mixtures by X-band Microwave Discharges’, Proc. IEE, Part A, Vol. 131, No. 2, 1984, pp. 103-110.

P.S. Excell, A.J. Maddocks and D.P. Howson, ‘Assessment of Worst-case Receiving Antenna Characteristics of Metallic Industrial Structures. Jnl. IERE, Vol. 56, No. 1, 1986, pp. 27-36. (This won the Heinrich Hertz Premium of the Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers).

P.S. Excell, ‘Choosing Threshold Levels For Electromagnetic Hazards: Experience From Ignition Hazards Assessment’, special issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine on the Precautionary Principle, Vol. 21, No. 4, Dec. 2002, pp. 32-39.

R.A. Abd-Alhameed, P.S. Excell and J.A. Vaul, ‘Currents Induced on Wired I.T. Networks by Randomly Distributed Mobile Phones – A Computational Study’, IEEE Trans. Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 48, No. 2, May 2006, pp. 282-286. (Pioneering work developing the probabilistic approach).

* Pioneer in high-resolution modelling of the interaction of electromagnetic waves with the human body:

P.S. Excell, P. Olley and N.N. Jackson, ‘Modelling of an Arbitrarily-Oriented Mobile Telephone Handset in the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Field Computation Method’, Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, July 1996, pp 55-65.

P.S. Excell, ‘Computer Modelling of High Frequency Electromagnetic Field Penetration into the Human Head’, invited paper, Measurement and Control (Journal of the Institute of Measurement and Control), Vol. 31, No. 6, Aug. 1998, pp170-175.

C.H. See, R.A. Abd-Alhameed and P. S. Excell, ‘Computation of Electromagnetic Fields in Assemblages of Biological Cells Using a Modified Finite-Difference Time-Domain Scheme’, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 55, No. 9, (Sept. 2007), pp. 1986-1994. DOI: 10.1109/TMTT.2007.904064

C. Kowalczuk, G. Yarwood, R. Blackwell, M. Priestner, Z. Sienkiewicz, S. Bouffler, I. Ahmed, R. Abd-Alhameed, P. Excell, V. Hodzic, C. Davis, R. Gammon and Q. Balzano, ‘Absence of Nonlinear Responses in Cells and Tissues Exposed to RF Energy at Mobile Phone Frequencies Using a Doubly Resonant Cavity’, Bioelectromagnetics, Vol. 31, (2010), pp. 556-565. (Key experiments proving the absence of non-thermal effects of electromagnetic waves on the human body).

* Leader of the first group that successfully hybridised differential-equation and integral-equation methods for electromagnetic field interaction simulation:

R.A. Abd-Alhameed, P.S. Excell, J.A. Vaul and M.A. Mangoud, ‘Hybrid Treatment for Electromagnetic Field Computation in Multiple Regions’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 34, No. 20, Oct. 1998, pp 1925-1926.

M.A. Mangoud, R.A. Abd-Alhameed, N.J. McEwan, P.S. Excell, and S. Abdulmula, ‘SAR Reduction for Handset with Two-Element Phased Array Antenna Using Hybrid MoM/FDTD Technique’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 35, No. 20, Sept. 1999, pp. 1693-1694.

M.A. Mangoud, R.A. Abd-Alhameed, P.S. Excell, and J.A. Vaul, ‘Conduction Current Crossing Domain Boundaries in a Heterogeneous Hybrid Computational Electromagnetics Formulation’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 35, No. 21, Oct. 1999, pp. 1786-1787.

M.A. Mangoud, R.A. Abd-Alhameed and P.S. Excell, ‘Simulation of Human Interaction with Mobile Telephones using Hybrid Techniques over Coupled Domains’, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 48, No. 11, Nov. 2000, pp. 2014-2021.

M.A. Mangoud, R.A. Abd-Alhameed and P.S. Excell, ‘A Heterogeneous Hybrid Computational Electromagnetics Formulation Including Conduction Current Crossing the Domain Boundary’, Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, July 2001, pp. 155-161.

R.A. Abd-Alhameed, P.S. Excell and M.A. Mangoud, ‘A Hybrid Computational Electromagnetics Formulation for Simulation of Antennas Coupled to Lossy and Dielectric Volumes’, IEEE Trans. Broadcasting, Vol. 50, No. 3, Sept. 2004, pp. 253-259.

R.A. Abd-Alhameed, P.S. Excell and M.A. Mangoud, ‘Computation of Specific Absorption Rate in the Human Body due to Base-Station Antennas Using a Hybrid Formulation’, IEEE Trans. Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 47, No. 2, May 2005, pp. 374-381.

* Originator of the independently-fed log-periodic antenna design for impulsive radiation:

P.S. Excell, A.D. Tinniswood and R.W. Clarke, ‘Log-periodic Antenna for Pulsed Radiation’, Electronics Letters, Vol. 34, No. 21, Oct. 1998, pp. 1990-1991.

P.S. Excell, A.D. Tinniswood and R.W. Clarke, ‘An Independently-fed Log-periodic Antenna for Directional Pulsed Radiation’, IEEE Trans. Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 41, No. 4, Nov. 1999, pp. 344-349.

* Pioneer in mobile content research:

A. Warren, P.S. Excell and W. Wyatt-Millington, ‘A Multi-User Interactive System Implemented under the Wireless Applications Protocol’, Int. J. Mobile Communications, Vol. 3, No. 1, Jan. 2005, pp. 38-48.

F. Fotouhi-Ghazvini, P.S. Excell, A. Moeini and D. Robison, ‘A Psycho-Pedagogical Approach to M-Learning in a Developing-World Context’, International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, Vol. 2, No. 1, (2008), pp62-80.

F. Fotouhi-Ghazvini, R.A. Earnshaw, A. Moeini, D. Robison and P.S. Excell,  ‘From E-Learning to M-Learning - the use of Mixed Reality Games as a new Educational Paradigm’, International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, Vol 5, No 2, pp17-25, 2011.

Professor Excell’s long-standing research interests have been in the applications and computation of high-frequency electromagnetic fields. These have led to numerous research grants, contracts and patents in the areas of antennas, electromagnetic hazards, electromagnetic compatibility and field computation.

His current research work includes studies of electromagnetic compatibility, including the effect of electromagnetic fields on biological cells, advanced antenna designs for mobile communications, and consideration of usage scenarios for future mobile communications devices.