Steve Cerwin


Radio has held a fascination for me since 1963 when at age 12 I became licensed as WA5FRF and entered the wonderful world of Amateur Radio. Just the word “radio” holds wonder for me even now though I have been an active practitioner of radio art for over a half-century. Antennas and the way radio works have been at the forefront of this fascination. I will never forget the wondrous sounds emanating from an army surplus receiver when I hooked it up to the first antenna I ever made: a 40-meter dipole in the backyard of my parent’s house. Nor will I ever forget the 1-inch long arc that jumped from the open end of the coax to my finger one day. Could radio signals really be that strong or was it static electricity from the thunderstorm that was brewing nearby? I would not know until sometime later, but it certainly sparked an increased interest in radio and antennas. It was that early interest in ham radio that kindled my career in science. I spent most of my career at Southwest Research Institute, achieving the level of Institute Scientist and obtaining eleven patents. My formal education is as a physicist, though I have been designing and building antennas and RF systems throughout my professional career. Additional interests include flying full scale and radio controlled aircraft, and scuba diving.