ENEL290-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Waves and Materials in Electrical Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Waves in electrical engineering. Static electric and magnetic fields. Transmission lines: equivalent circuit, wave propagation, reflections and matching. Plane waves: time varying fields and Maxwell’s Equations. Electrical engineering materials: conductors, insulators and semiconductors.

Topics covered include:

• Electrostatics and Magnetostatics: Electric and Magnetic Fields; Gauss’ Law, Coulomb’s Law, Ampere’s Law; Capacitance and inductance; Coaxial cables.
• Transmission Lines: Wave equations; Characteristic impedance; Reflections and impedance matching; Lossy and lossless transmission lines; Standing waves and Voltage Standing Wave Ratio; Smith Charts; Examples: coaxial cables, microstrip lines.
• Plane Waves and Time Varying Fields: Maxwell’s Equations in free space and source-free media; Conduction Current; Charge Dissipation; Wave equation and plane-wave solutions; Complex permittivity; Intrinsic impedance; Skin depth.
• Physical & Electronic Structure of Materials: Isolated atoms; Atomic bonding; Crystallography; Crystalline defects; Thermal expansion.
• Conductors: Conduction mechanisms; Temperature dependence; Skin effect; Thin metal films; Interconnects; Thermal conductivity; Thermal noise .
• Dielectrics/Insulators: Polarisation; Relative permittivity; Dielectric strength; Insulator breakdown; Capacitor dielectric materials.
• Semiconductors: Intrinsic semiconductors; Extrinsic semiconductors; Temperature dependence; Recombination; Majority & minority carriers; Optical absorption; Basic diode operation principles; Basic transistor operation principles.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:
  • LO1: Analyse static electric and magnetic fields for electrical engineering applications (WA1, WA2)

  • LO2: Apply mathematics to describe, analyse and interpret the propagation of electromagnetic plane waves in different media (WA1, WA2)

  • LO3: Identify how atomic structure relates to the electrical properties of materials, and how atomic structure can be tailored to suit different applications. (WA1, WA2)

  • LO4: Gather and evaluate experimental data, interpret outcomes, draw reasoned conclusions, and communicate outcomes using written reports. (WA1, WA2, WA4, WA9, WA10)

  • LO5: Design, build and test a sensor based on the material properties of electronic components in a team environment, and report results as a device datasheet (WA3, WA4, WA9, WA10)
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.


PHYS102, MATH103 or EMTH119; or Approval of the Dean of Engineering and Forestry.

Course Coordinator

Richard Clare


Ciaran Moore


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test 15%
Lab Assignments 6%
Formal Report 9%
Assignment 10%
Homeworks 10%
Final Exam 50%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Kasap, S. O; Principles of electronic materials and devices ; 3rd ed; McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Ulaby, Fawwaz T. , Ravaioli, Umberto; Fundamentals of applied electromagnetics ; Seventh edition, Global edition; Pearson, 2015.

Additional Course Outline Information

Mahi ā-Ākonga | Workload (expected distribution of student hours, note 15 points = 150 hours):

Contact Hours

Lectures: 36
Tutorials: 12
Workshops: 0
Laboratories: 9

Independent study

Review of lectures: 36
Test and exam preparation: 20
Assignments: 25
Tutorial (homework) preparation: 12

Total 150

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,030.00

International fee $5,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Electrical and Computer Engineering .

All ENEL290 Occurrences

  • ENEL290-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023