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Career Summary

Dirk Baker

I was born in Grahamstown, South Africa, in 1945. Over the period 1964 to 1969 I was awarded the BSc, BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees, all with distinction in Physics, from Rhodes University in Grahamstown. My MSc thesis is entitled: The construction of a swept-frequency polarimeter for observing decametric radiation from Jupiter. During this time I gained extensive experience in the design of log-periodic dipole array antennas and helical antennas in the 15 to 45 MHz frequency band. This led to PhD studies in the USA.

From 1970 to 1974 I studied under Prof John D. Kraus at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio where I was awarded a PhD in Electrical Engineering, majoring in Antennas, Electromagnetic Field Theory and Radio Astronomy. My PhD dissertation is entitled: The focal-region fields of parabolic reflectors of arbitrary f/D ratio.

After returning to South Africa in 1974 I worked briefly as a lecturer in Physics at Rhodes University before joining the then National Institute for Defence Research (NIDR) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria in 1975. Initially I was a project manager for various antenna related projects and from 1983 to 1987 I was head of the Electronics Laboratory of NIDR. This laboratory specialised in the development of antennas, radars, electronic warfare equipment, electro-optics and signal processing.

In September 1987 I joined the newly established company Electromagnetics Laboratory (Pty) Ltd (EMLab) as a director with specific responsibility to develop, market and manufacture a product line of antennas and antenna assemblies for defence applications. In 1992 EMLab became a division of Grintek Avitronics (now SAAB Electronic Defence Systems) and I was appointed as a director of Grintek Avitronics and Grintek Electronics managing the Grintek Antennas business unit. From 1994 Grintek Antennas expanded into commercial RF products and antennas and entered the export market for defence antennas.

In March 2005 at age 60 I retired from Grintek (as per Grintek policy) and now work as a specialist consultant for SAAB EDS and other organisations both locally and internationally. These activities are carried out in my own name or in the closed corporation Dirk Baker Consulting CC which is a registered entity in terms of the South African Companies Act (Registration Number 2008/031778/23).

I am a registered Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa and a Senior Member of the IEEE (USA).