Update on Current Knowledge of RF Safety

Brought to you by The Radio Technology Group

A National Register of RF Workers event supported by the Cambridge Wireless Radio Technology SIG which will review the current knowledge of RF Safety.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

This year’s National Register of RF Workers Annual Meeting is being held in collaboration with Cambridge Wireless Radio Technology SIG and will be hosted at the University of Birmingham on the 20th June.

The meeting will be focussing on the implications of RF Safety both for the workforce and the general public. We have a range of guest speakers from the RF industry who will describe the recognition and the management of RF hazards in the workplace and the training and contingency methods they use. We will address the perceptions of risk amongst employees and the general public and have industry experts speaking on the implementation of the CEMFAW regulations, the measurement of RF fields and the challenges presented by 5G.  

Who is it for? The meeting will be of interest to senior management, designers and users of RF equipment, health, safety and environment professionals in companies where staff exposure to RF can exceed public guidelines. It will be particularly useful for all those who seek further clarity and guidance on the impact of working with RF.

What will I get out of this? Those attending will gain a better understanding of the potential and perceived risk of RF, the practical issues of measuring RF in the workplace - how it might be managed and mitigated, and the implications of 5G. There will be the chance to network with colleagues from across the industry and the opportunity for those attending to discuss specific points with our presenters.  

Please note this event will operate under the Chatham House Rule (See https://www.chathamhouse.org/chatham-house-rule)

There is a small registration fee of £20 plus VAT to attend. Please note there is limited capacity at this event so early registration is advised.

    Organised by National Register of RF Workers

    The National Register of RF Workers who work in the telecommunication, broadcast and allied industries.

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    Supported by Cambridge Wireless

    The leading community for companies in wireless, internet, semiconductor and software technologies.

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    The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


    Registration and networking with refreshments


    Welcome from Maria Kelly, Leonardo and Chair of the RF Register


    An introduction to CW from Simon Mead, CEO of CW


    An introduction to the session from Brian Collins, BSC Associates & CW Radio Technology Group


    Julian Kelsall-Joel, Electromagnetic Fields and Laser safety adviser, QinetiQ

    'Raising the profile of Electromagnetic Fields Safety and providing suitable training'

    Sources of Electromagnetic Fields are ubiquitous both in our personal lives and at work. The Control of EMF at Work Regulations 2016 has provided a legislative requirement to protect workers and to train them. How do we decide on an appropriate level of training if we don’t want to train every employee? How do we protect the health and safety of ‘People at particular risk’ from the effects of EMF? This talk will answer these questions by detailing the approach taken within QinetiQ.


    Richard Hargrave, BT

    ‘New challenges of managing ICNIRP compliance with 5G and possible solutions’

    5G not only means that mobile operators will be adding additional carriers (more RF power) to sites, but also will introduce beamforming technology, which will dynamically direct power towards users, rather than providing a static distribution of power. The combination of these factors means that maintaining ICNIRP compliance using traditional calculation methods is becoming increasingly challenging. We will look at how this is being tackled and what new methods are being developed to continue to ensure safety while maintaining a cost efficient deployment model.


    Colin Swift, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

    ‘RF in the Medical Sector’

    In his talk he will cover the uses of the higher power sources of RF electromagnetic radiation within the medical sector , what can go wrong and what controls are in place to prevent problems.


    Networking lunch


    Peter Wingate-Saul, retired, formerly Arqiva

    ‘Public perception in the RF safety debate’

    Peter Wingate-Saul, retired, formerly Arqiva
    Peter examines why the public worry more about the safety of mobile phone masts than they do about mobile phones, or large public broadcasting transmitters, or the myriad of other sources of natural and man-made EMFs in their environment.
    ● What can our industry do to reassure the public and mitigate their anxiety?
    ● Why is this important?


    Hugo Bibby, Link MicroTek

    ‘Implementation of CEMFAW Regulations’.

    The CEMFAW Regulations came into force in July 2016. Now three years on most employers are aware of their obligations and perform appropriate EMF assessments. Unfortunately manufacturers whose equipment generate EMF often don’t provide sufficient information, making assessments more difficult, particularly with regard to workers at particular risk. The biggest impact of the CEMFAW Regulations on most employers is how to cater for these workers considered to be at particular risk.


    Moray Rumney, Rumney Telecom

    ‘Is 5G safe? Modelling exposure in a spatially dynamic world’

    The advent of 5G has renewed public interest in the safety of cellular communications. So how should we evaluate 5G in terms of safety? Is it a threat or could 5G technology actually lead to reduced exposure were it used to replace what we use today? This talk will investigate what is changing with 5G towards an understanding of how widescale 5G deployment will change RF exposure to the general public, as well as an assessment of the corresponding need to develop more sophisticated exposure verification procedures than are in place today. In addition, there will be a review of the ongoing debate and scientific evidence surrounding the veracity of existing safety limits which are based on purely thermal effects.


    Panel Session with all speakers, Chaired by Maria Kelly, Leonardo and Chair of the RF Register


    Concluding remarks


    Further networking over refreshments. Event closes at 16.30


    Hugo Bibby - Technical Director, Link Microtek

    Hugo has been measuring EMF for nearly 40 years. For the last 25+ years he’s been a Director at Link Microtek working with test & measurement equipment for ELF, RF & microwave applications. His early career centred on high power amplifiers for defence radar systems but in his time at Link has been involved with various aerospace, broadcast, telecoms, industrial, scientific and medical projects. When not stuck behind a laptop he spends his working day on rooftops or in factories peering at displays of electric and magnetic field strengths. He is a chartered member of the Society for Radiological Protection.

    Richard Hargrave - RAN Design Compliance and Security Manager, BT

    Julian Kelsall-Joel - Electromagnetic Fields and Laser safety adviser, QinetiQ

    Julian Kelsall-Joel is the Electromagnetic Fields and Laser safety adviser at QinetiQ. In this role he is responsible for setting the company policy for EMF and has provided advice and support for various test and evaluation trials that have taken place across the test ranges and facilities owned (or managed) by QinetiQ. Before becoming the EMF and Laser safety adviser Julian assessed and tested military aircraft for Electromagnetic Susceptibility. He is a chartered engineer and an industrial representative for the IET.

    Moray Rumney - Director, Rumney Telecom, Industrial Fellow, University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

    Moray Rumney received a BSc in EE from Heriot-Watt University in 1984. He joined Hewlett-Packard that year and remained with the company through the transition to Agilent Technologies in 1999 and Keysight Technologies in 2015. Moray joined ETSI in 1991 and 3GPP in 1999 where he participated in the development of cellular communications standards and conformance test methods. His recent work has focused on radiated test methods for mobile phones. He was editor and major contributor to Agilent’s book “LTE and the Evolution to 4G Wireless”. From 2018 to 2021 Moray represented Keysight at 3GPP RAN plenary who oversee the development of the 5G radio standards. His recent interests include expert witness work, engineering consulting services, and the safety debate around cellular technology including the evolution of test methods to validate that base stations and mobile phones comply with safety regulations.

    Colin Swift

    Colin received his PhD in laser physics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1996. Following that he embarked on a career in telecommunications and optoelectronic sensing before undertaking a position at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry where he worked as a Radiotherapy Physicist whilst maintaining an interest in non-ionising radiation safety. Since 2013 he has worked in the field of radiation protection at Christie Hospitals NHS trust covering the safety issues surrounding the use of non-ionising radiation. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming IPEM guide on ‘Practical Management of Artificial Optical Radiation in the Medical Sector’, additionally having contributed a number of worked examples to the guide, and to the text itself, and is currently a member of the British Standards committee EPL/76 developing standards in the field of optical radiation and laser safety. His current research interests include safety aspects of non-ionising radiation in the medical and consumer sectors and the use of optical sensors and sensing in the medical sector.

    Peter Wingate-Saul - Chartered Surveyor, Independent

    Peter is a chartered surveyor with twenty eight years’ experience in deploying wireless infrastructure in the UK. He joined Orange (then called Microtel) in 1991 and was its National Town and Country Planning Manager during a period when Orange went from a startup to best UK mobile network in four years. Whilst at Orange he engaged with hundreds of local authorities across the UK, explaining the advantages and technical constraints of mobile network development. He moved on to become Business Development Manager at Terracom, a telecoms site acquisition agency that worked simultaneously for all five of the UK’s mobile network operator. Terracom grew from two to over seventy people in five years and was then acquired by Crown Castle which eventually amalgamated into Arqiva. Peter spent the last nineteen years at Arqiva, where he was responsible for developing and delivering Arqiva’s processes for public engagement in the deployment of mobile and public broadcast infrastructure. He was involved in the development and implementation of the codes of best practice for mobile network development and has engaged extensively with the public and their elected representatives at all levels across the whole of the UK. Arqiva has upward of 8,000 operational transmitter sites and it implements thousands of radio infrastructure projects on new and existing sites every year. Peter retired from Arqiva in January.

    SIG Champions

    Mark Beach - Professor of Radio Systems Engineering, University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

    Mark Beach received his PhD for research addressing the application of Smart Antenna techniques to GPS from the University of Bristol in 1989, where he subsequently joined as a member of academic staff. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996, Reader in 1998 and Professor in 2003. He was Head of the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering from 2006 to 2010, then spearheaded Bristol’s hosting of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications. He is the Co-Director of this centre. He leads research in the field of enabling technologies for the delivery of 5G and beyond wireless connectivity; which includes the recent award of an EPSRC Prosperity Partnership in the field of Secure Wireless Agile Networks (SWAN). Mark’s current research activities are delivered through the Communication Systems and Networks Group, forming a key component within Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab. He has over 30 years of physical layer wireless research embracing the application of Spread Spectrum technology for cellular systems, adaptive or smart antenna for capacity and range extension in wireless networks, MIMO aided connectivity for through-put enhancement, experimental evaluation and optimization of Massive MIMO, Millimetre Wave technologies as well as flexible RF technologies for SDR modems. With a strong industrially focused research portfolio, he is also the School Research Impact Director.

    Brian Collins - Managing Consultant, BSC Associates

    Brian has designed antennas for applications including radio and TV broadcasting, base stations, handsets and consumer products, and has operated his own consultancy firm for the last 12 years. He has published more than 70 papers on antenna topics and contributed chapters to several recent textbooks. He operates a small consultancy company, chairs the Antenna Interface Standards Group and is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London.

    Paul Harris - Principal Wireless Architect, VIAVI Solutions

    Paul is a wireless technology expert with experience across a range of areas including research, design, implementation and standardisation. He received his PhD from the University of Bristol for evaluating the performance of massive MIMO technology in the lead-up to 5G and is currently a Principal Wireless Architect within the CTO Office at VIAVI Solutions providing thought leadership on new and emerging technologies for 5G, 6G and beyond. In line with this he represents VIAVI within a range of bodies and fora including 3GPP, the O-RAN Alliance, ETSI, the Next G Alliance, the 6G-IA and the UKTIN. His experience prior to joining VIAVI includes representing Vodafone within 3GPP for radio performance aspects, contributing to the development of massive MIMO channel estimation solutions at Cohere Technologies, and working with customers as a domain expert at National Instruments to establish effective research solutions using software-defined radio. He is also a Chartered Engineer, Senior Member of the IEEE, Fellow of the ITP, and an Honorary Industrial Fellow at the University of Bristol.

    Peter Kibutu - 5G NTN Market lead, TTP plc

    Peter has been working in the cellular industry for over 15 years, specialising in modem system architecture and physical layer development. Before joining TTP, Peter worked in the development of 2G/3G/4G wireless modem products and small-cell base station projects for a number of leading cellular equipment vendors. At TTP Peter has worked with a wide range of clients in the satellite and cellular communication domains, specialising in end-to-end system engineering, modem system development and advising on commercial aspects. Currently Peter is the TTP technical lead for 5G/6G activities and represents the company in range of industry bodies including 3GPP and UKTIN.

    Peter Topham - Principal Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies International

    Peter has more than 30 years experience of RF and high-speed circuit design, taking chips into production ranging from FM Band II through cellular, Bluetooth and on to UWB at 10GHz. He has been with Qualcomm for 7 years, specialising in low-power RF design for portable and wearable products.

    Event Location

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    Location info

    Centre for Professional Development, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

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