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Richard R. Spencer

Richard R. Spencer

Professor Emeritus

(530) 752-6885


  • PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, 1987
  • MSEE from Stanford University, 1982
  • BSEE from San Jose State University, 1978

Professional Experience

  • Professor, University of California, Davis, 1986 present
  • Research Assistant, Stanford University, 1982-1986
  • Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, 1981-1982
  • Engineer, Memorex Corporation, 1978-1981
  • Engineer, Aydin Energy Division, 1976-1977
  • Technician, Electro-Magnetic Filter Company, 1969-1976


Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program

Research Interests

Analog and mixed-signal circuit design for both RF and baseband communication and signal processing.

Research Activities

Professor Spencer works on low-noise, low-distortion analog circuits for digital communication systems. Specifically, he currently has projects looking into the design of low phase-noise oscillators, high-speed phase-locked loops, and impulse-mode ultra-wideband transceivers.


Professor Spencer is a Fellow of the IEEE. He held the Child Family Endowed Chair in Engineering from 1999 to 2005. He has won the ECE Department undergraduate teaching award five times and the Associated Students of UCD Excellence in Education Award for the College of Engineering. He is a co-recipient of the 2nd-place Student Paper Award from the 2007 RFIC Symposium and the Beatrice-Winner Award for Editorial Excellence from the 2008 International Solid-State Circuits Conference.

Selected Publications

  1. Murat Demirkan, Stephen Bruss and Richard R. Spencer, 11.8GHz CMOS VCO With 62% Tuning Range Using Switched Coupled Inductors, 2007 IEEE RF IC Symposium Digest, pp 401-404 (this paper won the 2nd-place student paper award)
  2. Wei Zhang and Richard R. Spencer, Timing Recovery for Backplane Ethernet, IEEE T. on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, Aug., 2007, pp 1711-1723
  3. Murat Demirkan and Richard R. Spencer, Antenna Characterization Method for Front-End Design of Pulse-Based Ultra-Wideband Transceivers, IEEE T. on Antennas and Propagation, Oct., 2007, pp 2888-2899
  4. Murat Demirkan and Richard R. Spencer, A 1.8Gpulses/s UWB Transmitter in 90nm CMOS, IEEE Intl Solid-State Circuits Conf. Digest of Technical Papers, pp 116-117 & 600, 2008 (this paper won the Beatrice Winner Award for Editorial Excellence)
  5. Murat Demirkan, Stephen Bruss and Richard R. Spencer, Design of Wide Tuning Range CMOS VCOs Using Switched Coupled-Inductors, IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, pp 1156-1163, May, 2008