UniSQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

ELE4605 Fields and Waves

Semester 1, 2023 Springfield On-campus
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Engineering
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 24 September 2023


Course Coordinator: Andrew Maxwell


Pre-requisite: {(MAT1502 or ENM1600) and ELE2103 and ELE2601} or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MEPR or MENS or GCNS or GDNS


It is a common requirement of an electrical engineer to convey electrical energy from one place to another, whether for the purpose of power or information transport, such as for a power station, a radio transmitter, or even across a digital circuit board. For any appreciable distance a.c. voltages and currents on the line must be regarded as a travelling wave. Through a clear understanding of these wave concepts students will be able to design and diagnose transmission lines or waveguide structures used for power or information transfer and form a foundational understanding of electro-magnetic design. This course follows on from ELE2601, and leads into ELE4606 and ELE4607.

Students will comprehend the nature of electric and magnetic fields associated with voltage and currents and how these may be similarly propagated as a travelling wave where such fields constitute the basis of electrical machines and are the cause of much unwanted interference. Students will gain an understanding of both wave propagation and electro-magnetic fields and their application to a wide range of electrical engineering designs.

Course learning outcomes

The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. identify situations in which it is appropriate to use transmission line theory;
  2. solve problems in transmission line theory;
  3. design simple transmission line matching networks;
  4. model static and dynamic field problems numerically;
  5. deduce the properties of guided electromagnetic waves from Maxwell's equations;
  6. solve simple electromagnetic field problems analytically.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Transmission Lines
Distributed circuit theory.
Travelling waves.
Characteristic impedance.
High frequency solutions.
Practical transmission lines.
Attenuation, phase delay and phase velocity.
Reflections and standing waves.
Stub lines.
Transmission line measurements.
Impedance matching.
Pulse and step response of transmission lines.
Lattice diagrams.
Initial and final responses.
Surge impedance.
Practical applications.
Transmission line analysis of printed circuit board tracks and logic circuits.
2. Electromagnetic Theory
Overview of electromagnetism.
Fields and the visualisation of flux, div. and curl.
The Electrostatic Field.
Coulomb's Law.
Electric flux density and Gauss' Law.
Laplace's Equation and two dimensional solution, numerical methods.
Resistivity and resistance of materials.
The Magnetostatic Field; Ampere's Law.
Magnetic flux density.
Faraday's Law and electromagnetic induction.
Maxwell's Equations and displacement current.
3. Electromagnetic Waves
Derivation from Maxwell's Equations.
Intrinsic impedance.
Energy density, power flow and the Poynting Vector.
Electromagnetic waves in conducting media.
Good conductors and the skin effect.
Wave impedance.
Guided electromagnetic waves.
Boundary conditions.
Waveguide propagation.
Waveguide modes.
The Waveguide Equation.
Group and phase velocities.
Guide wavelength.
Evanescent modes.

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Sadiku, MNO 2018, Elements of electromagnetics, 7th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
(This book is optional.)
MATLAB (Student Edition) available for free using University License..

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz No 10 1,2
Assignments Written Problem Solving No 25 1,2,3
Assignments Design Model (theoretical) 1 No 10 4,5
Assignments Design Model (theoretical) 2 No 30 4,5
Assignments Written Portfolio No 25 1,2,3,4,5,6
Date printed 24 September 2023