Dr Craig Donaldson

Research Fellow


Personal statement

I received the B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in physics from the University of Strathclyde in 2004, then the MSc degree in high power radio frquency science and engineering from the same institute. Following this I received the Ph.D. degree in 2009 in physics from the University of Strathclyde.

In the proceeding years I have been working as a researcher within the Atoms, Beams and Plasmas group within the physics of the University of Strathclyde. My research interests lie in realizing high power mm-wave and THz gyrotron amplifier and oscillators. These have many applications, such as a source for EPR/DNP, telecommunication and space object identification. Through this research world leading microwave output has been demonstrated initially with a gyrotron backward wave oscillator showing 88-102 GHz tunable microwave output with power of 13 kW. Later a gyrotron traveling wave amplifier was developed that showed 90-96 GHz amplification bandwidth with 3.4 kW output power.

Currently, work is ongoing to explote the applications of these devices to real-world situations.


Beam dynamic study of a Ka-band microwave undulator and its potential drive sources
Zhang Liang, Donaldson Craig R, Clarke Jim, Easton Jack, Robertson Craig W, Whyte Colin G, Cross Adrian W
Scientific Reports Vol 12 (2022)
Dispersion curve of the helically corrugated waveguide based on helicoidal coordinate transform
Zhang Liang, Easton Jack, Donaldson Craig R, Whyte Colin G, Cross Adrian W
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (2022)
Numerical analysis of high-power X-band sources, at low magnetic confinement, for use in a multi-source array
MacInnes Philip, Donaldson Craig R, Whyte Colin G, MacLachlan Amy J, Ronald Kevin, Phelps Alan D R, Cross Adrian W
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices Vol 69, pp. 340-346 (2022)
Fivefold helically corrugated waveguide for high-power w-band gyro-devices and pulse compression
Donaldson Craig R, Zhang Liang, Hiscock Peter, Harris Michael, Beardsley Matthew J, Huggard Peter G, Whyte Colin G, Cross Adrian W, He Wenlong
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, pp. 1-6 (2021)
Phase locked high power X-band microwave sources
MacInnes Philip, Donaldson Craig R, MacLachlan Amy J, Whyte Colin G, Ronald K, Phelps Alan D R, Cross Adrian W
2021 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS), 2021 The 48th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS) (2021)
Wideband amplification of transient signals for application in pulse compression
Young Alan, Whyte Colin, Robertson Craig, MacInnes Philip, Phelps Alan, Cross Adrian, Zhang Liang, Donaldson Craig, Matheson Kathleen, Ronald Kevin
2021 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS) 2021 The 48th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS) (2021)

More publications

Research interests

Broadband, high power, mm-wave/terahertz gyrotron travelling wave amplifiers for telecommunications and space object identification; Gyrotron backward wave oscillator; Electron beam generation; Beam-wave interaction; novel manufacturing techniques; electrodeposition and electroforming; and pulsed power technologies.

Professional activities

IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation (Journal)
Peer reviewer
IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation (Journal)
Peer reviewer
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques (Journal)
Peer reviewer
IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Optics Communications (Journal)
Peer reviewer
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


Demonstrating Key technology for cm resolution ISAR imaging of LEO...
Whyte, Colin (Principal Investigator) Cross, Adrian (Co-investigator) Donaldson, Craig (Research Co-investigator)
18-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2023
Phase Locked High Powered Microwave Sources
Cross, Adrian (Principal Investigator) Robertson, Craig (Research Co-investigator) Whyte, Colin (Research Co-investigator) Donaldson, Craig (Researcher)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2022
DC power supply to drive W-band gyrotron travelling wave amplifier for satellite uplink and wireless telecommunication applications
Donaldson, Craig (Researcher) Cross, Adrian (Principal Investigator) Ronald, Kevin (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2020
CW operation of 94GHz Gyro-TWA for telecommunications applications
Donaldson, Craig (Researcher) Cross, Adrian (Principal Investigator) Whyte, Colin (CoI) Zhang, Liang (Research Co-investigator) He, Wenlong (CoI)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020
Development of a W-band gyro-amplifier for high power, wideband, pulsed coherent applications
Donaldson, Craig (Researcher) He, Wenlong (Principal Investigator)
"The project will consolidate our technology in developing a new class of high power, wideband millimetre wave amplifier which offers a ten-fold increase in available bandwidth and a five-fold increase in available peak power over the amplifiers used in current pulsed coherent applications such as radar, magnetic resonance, security imaging and remote sensing. It will bring step changes to these applications and the success of this research will have a huge worldwide technological impact and offer tremendous economic benefit to the UK. The proposal is a collaboration between two major millimetre wave groups at the University of Strathclyde and the University of St Andrews who collectively have decades of experience and vibrant international reputations in the development of high power millimetre wave sources, radars, instrumentation and components, plus a strong track record in commercialisation, industrial collaboration, and delivering on project objectives. The gyro-amplifier represents a core technology that is likely to lead to UK leadership in the field of high power millimetre wave radar.

Pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP) enhanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) instruments based on this gyro-amplifier technology will result in radically improved sensitivities. The EPR and DNP enhanced NMR (including the possibility of pulsed DNP-NMR and the use of phase and amplitude modulation) experiments will give rise to absolutely world-leading research. It will strongly enhance the UK's position as a world leader in a wide range of academic research areas, including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and medicine.

Atmospheric sensing and space debris tracking based on such an amplifier will allow long range monitoring of clouds, aerosols, precipitation (therefore enabling better global climate and pollution models for better prediction of weather and pollution, better management of natural resources and mitigation of natural hazards) and tracking of space debris (increasing safety for space travel and satellite launching). This will lead to greater radar sensitivity, enabling measurement of smaller or more tenuous particulates, with finer resolution, at longer ranges or in a shorter timescale. The technology also has the potential to be applied to the ground based mapping of space debris, a major consideration for all orbiting systems including environmental monitoring satellites.

The high power capability of hundreds watts of the gyro-amplifier in the hundred GHz to 1THz frequency range will allow standoff, real time video rate security imaging and sensing enabling high resolution 3D imaging and highly sensitive sensing of most hidden contrabands such as explosives, illegal drugs and chemical and biological materials. The project has the potential to disrupt a large fraction of the existing X-ray based security market. The research team at Strathclyde is a world leader in this terahertz amplification area and can realise the application pull through collaborating with wide UK terahertz imaging and sensing community and industries."
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
Cryogen free superconducting magnet to enable a terahertz amplifier to be employed in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation Spectroscopy
Donaldson, Craig (Researcher) He, Wenlong (Principal Investigator)
06-Jan-2015 - 06-Jan-2016

More projects


Technology Innovation Centre

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