It is with great sadness that we report that Professor Roberto Sorrentino died on Tuesday, 3 March 2020. Roberto Sorrentino was an electronics engineer who had a distinguished career in the field on microwave and mmWave circuits and antennas. He received in recent years the IEEE Microwave Career Award, the EuMA Distinguished Service Award and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
He received his doctoral degree in electronic engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy, in 1971 and he began his career as an Assistant Professor at “La Sapienza” University in 1974. From 1986 to 1990 he was a Professor at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and in November 1990 he became a Professor at the University of Perugia. Between 1983 and 1986 he was a Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked with Professor Tatsuo Itoh. In 2007 he founded RF Microtech srl, a successful spin-off company from the University of Perugia specializing in microwave and RF technologies. This Umbrian company became a leader in the field of antenna design and satellite communication systems, employing 25 people. He was the author of more than 150 technical papers in international journals and 200 refereed conference papers and he wrote and edited several books for John Wiley and McGraw-Hill.
Roberto Sorrentino was one of the six Founder Members of the European Microwave Association, which was created in 1998 to manage the annual European Microwave Conference and to create the European Microwave Week. He attended EuMC annually from 1973 and was deeply involved in the has been involved in the Technical Programme Committee and Management Committee. He served as the first President of the Association from 1998 to 2009. In 2010 the EuMA presented him its Distinguished Service Award. In 2014 he was the General Chair of the 17th European Microwave Week, which was held in Rome.
An active member of the IEEE and the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) throughout his career, he was elected an IEEE Fellow for his contribution to the modelling of planar and quasi-planar microwave and mmWave circuits. In 1993 he received the IEEE MTT-S Meritorious Service Award, in 2000 the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, in 2004 the IEEE MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award, and in 2015 the IEEE Microwave Career Award. In 2012, with S Bastioli and C Tomassoni, he received the MTT-S Microwave Prize for the paper “A New Class of Waveguide Dual-Mode Filters Using TM and Nonresonating Modes”, published in the MTT Transactions.
He was Vice Chair and then Chair of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) Commission D (Electronics and Photonics) and from 2007 he was the President of the Italian Commission of URSI. He was one of the founders and from 2002-08 the first President of the Italian Electromagnetic Society (SIEm). In January 2020 Roberto Sorrentino was awarded the prestigious honor of the Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for his commitment in the field of research. The award was conferred by the Head of State, Sergio Mattarella, on the proposal of the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Roberto Sorrentino was an outstanding member of our technical community because his achievements combined excellence in different fields. He was a gifted educator and many of his former PhD students are now well-respected members of the microwave community, in Italy and internationally.