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ELE4605 Fields and Waves

Semester 1, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

Contents on this page


Examiner: Andrew Maxwell
Moderator: Tony Ahfock


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

Other requisites

Recommended prior or concurrent study: MAT2500 or ENM2600


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. A pair of conductors used for this purpose constitute a transmission line, and for any appreciable distance a.c. voltages and currents on the line must be regarded as a travelling wave - whether from a power station, in a radio receiver, or across a digital circuit board. The electric and magnetic fields associated with voltage and currents may be similarly propagated as a travelling wave; such fields also constitute the basis of electrical machines and are the cause of much unwanted interference. Therefore, an understanding of both wave propagation and electro- magnetic fields is essential in all branches of electrical engineering.


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 Maxwells 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.


Imtrinsic 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

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Sadiku, MNO 2007, Elements of electromagnetics, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
    ((OR) Krauss, JD & Fleisch, DA 1999, Electromagnetics: with applications, 5th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston (International Student Edition).)
  • Both books are optional.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Edminister, JA 1993, Schaum's outline of theory and problems of electromagnetics, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Ramo, S, Whinnery, JR & Van Duzer, T 1994, Fields and waves in communication electronics, 3rd edn, Wiley, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 88.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 250 25 28 Apr 2015
ASSIGNMENT 2 250 25 09 Jun 2015
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 500 50 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //