ENEL290-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Waves and Materials in Electrical Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


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 end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Analyze static electric and magnetic field distributions for important electrical engineering situations (coaxial cables, transmission lines etc.)
2. Relate these to equivalent circuit parameters (resistance, capacitance, inductance)
3. Develop understanding of wave propagation and reflections on coaxial cables and other transmission lines
4. Understand the propagation of electromagnetic plane waves
5. 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

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.


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

Course Coordinator

Richard Clare


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

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.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $986.00

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

  • ENEL290-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021