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ELE4605 Fields and Waves

Semester 1, 2020 Online
Short Description: Fields and Waves
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 031307 - Communications Technologies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: 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

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, 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.


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

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 2018, Elements of electromagnetics, 7th 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.
MATLAB (Student Edition).

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 2003, 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 expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Directed Study 39.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 49.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 250 25 01 Apr 2020 1,2,3
ASSIGNMENT 2 250 25 20 May 2020 4,5
Online Exam 500 50 End S1 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    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. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. IEEE is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use IEEE style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For further information on this referencing style, refer to the below website:

Date printed 19 June 2020