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.


8-fold helically corrugated interaction region for high power gyroresonant THz sources
Donaldson Craig R, Zhang Liang, Harris Michael, Beardsley Matthew J, Huggard Peter G, Whyte Colin G, Cross Adrian W, He Wenlong
IEEE Electron Device Letters (2021)
Low loss transmission line for a 3.4-kW, 93-GHz gyro-traveling-wave ampliļ¬er
Donaldson Craig R, Zhang Liang, He Wenlong, Cross Adrian W, Ronald Kevin, Whyte Colin G
IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices Vol 68, pp. 364-368 (2021)
The development of broadband millimeter-wave and terahertz gyro-TWA
He W, Zhang L, Donaldson C R, Yin H, Ronald K, Cross A W, Phelps A D R
Terahertz Science & Technology Vol 13, pp. 90-110 (2020)
Demonstration of efficient beam-wave interaction for a MW-level 48 GHz gyroklystron amplifier
Nix L J R, Zhang L, He W, Donaldson C R, Ronald K, Cross A W, Whyte C G
Physics of Plasmas Vol 27 (2020)
Input coupling systems for terahertz gyro-TWAs
Donaldson C R, Zhang L, Garner J, He W
11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 - Proceedings 11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 - Proceedings (2020)
Output broadband multilayer microwave windows for terahertz gyro-TWAs
Donaldson Craig R, Zhang Liang, He Wenlong
11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 - Proceedings 11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 11th UK-Europe-China Workshop on Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technologies, UCMMT 2018 - Proceedings (2020)

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.


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
Computational validation of a cusp electron beam for high power broadband Gyro-TWA for Terahertz Security Sensing and Imaging
Donaldson, Craig (Researcher) He, Wenlong (Principal Investigator)
15-Jan-2015 - 15-Jan-2015

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