ENEL290-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Waves and Materials in Electrical Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


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.

The curriculum for this course includes:

1. Electrostatics and Magnetostatics: Electric and Magnetic Fields; Gauss’ Law, Coulomb’s Law, Ampere’s Law; Capacitance and inductance; Coaxial cables.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Physical & Electronic Structure of Materials: Isolated atoms; Atomic bonding; Crystallography; Crystalline defects; Thermal expansion

5. Conductors: Conduction mechanisms; Temperature dependence; Skin effect; Thin metal films; Interconnects; Thermal conductivity; Thermal noise

6. Dielectrics/Insulators: Polarisation; Relative permittivity; Dielectric strength; Insulator breakdown; Capacitor dielectric materials

7. 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 end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Analyze static electric and magnetic field distributions for important electrical engineering situations (coaxial cables, transmission lines etc.)
  • Relate these to equivalent circuit parameters (resistance, capacitance, inductance).
  • Develop understanding of wave propagation and reflections on coaxial cables and other transmission lines.
  • Design simple matching networks.  
  • Understand the propagation of electromagnetic plane waves.  
  • Understand the electrical properties of materials, including: conduction mechanisms, dielectric properties and breakdown phenomena, basic crystallography, bonding and band structure in conductors, insulators and semiconductors; doping, impurities, electrons and holes in semiconductors; basic diode operation principles.


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

Course Coordinator

Richard Clare


Claude Meffan


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test 15%
Lab Assignments 6%
Formal Report 9%
Homework 10%
Final Exam 60%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $975.00

International fee $5,500.00

* 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

  • ENEL290-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020