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BEng Mechatronic Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Electromagnetic Fields

Unit code EEEN10028
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No


  • Physical concept of electric current. Current density. Conductors, semiconductors, and superconductors. Voltage sources. Electric field inside a current-carrying conductor. Ohm’s law and resistance. Resistivity and conductivity. Ohm’s law in microscopic terms. Power loss and loss density. Fuses. Current flow in massive conductors. Kirchhoff’s nodal law. Lightning.
  • Electric charge. Coulomb’s Law. Principal of superposition. Electric field. Field lines as lines of force. Motion of a charged particle in an electric field. Gauss’ Law in free space. Symmetrical distributions (points, spheres, lines, planes). Work done in moving a charge. Electric potential. Equipotentials and field lines. Superposition of potentials.
  • Conductors in static electric fields. Dielectrics and polarisation. Breakdown of dielectric materials. Flux density. Generalisation of Gauss’ Law. Boundary conditions.
  • General concept of capacitance. Calculation of capacitance for simple geometries (planes, concentric cylinders, concentric spheres). Capacitors as energy stores.
  • Relativistic origins of magnetic field (as background only) Lorenz force. Magnetic force on a moving charge. Magnetic flux density. Motion of a charge in a magnetic field. Force on a current-carrying conductor. Force on a current-carrying circular loop.
  • Magnetic materials. Ferromagnetism. Hysteresis loops. Hard and soft magnetic materials. Permanent magnet materials.
  • Electric current as the source of the magnetic field. Biot-Savart Law. Field produced by a straight-line filament. Ampere’s Law in air. Force between two current-carrying conductors.
  • Simple magnetic circuits, such as C-cores. Load-line constructions to allow for saturation. Load-line calculations with permanent magnet devices.
  • Magnetic flux and flux linkages. Faraday’s law. Lenz’s Law. Flux linking rule and flux cutting rule. Rotating coil in stationary magnetic field. Fundamentals of transformer action. Eddy currents in massive conductors - the need for lamination.
  • Self- and mutual inductance. Energy stored in a magnetic field in terms of inductance. Calculation of inductance from stored energy. Force and torque in terms of changing inductance.



This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 2020/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The course unit aims to:

Introduce the fundamental properties of electromagnetic fields in an engineering context.

Learning outcomes

All of the following Intended Learning Outcomes are developed and assessedOn the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:



  • Describe the origins of electromagnetic fields in terms of their sources.


  • Explain the reasons for the different electric and magnetic properties of materials, and how they are exploited


  • Express the passive components (R, L, C) in terms of lumped representation of distributed field quantities.


  • Perform field calculations for simple geometries (points, lines, cylinders, planes, spheres)


  • Calculate R, L, and C for simple geometries.


  • Measure the flux versus current characteristic of an iron-cored inductor.


  • Plot equipotentials for two simple geometries using a two-dimensional conducting analogue and a two-dimensional finite element software package.


  • Write up technical reports on laboratory experiments.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, supported tutorial questions using problem based examples, laboratories with finite element analysis for e-learning


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%

Laboratory - formal written report

How and when feedback is provided: Marked report with individual comments

Weighting: 5%

Laboratory -  in lab assessment with slide deck

How and when feedback is provided: Marked report with verbal feedback

Weighting: 5%

Tutorial questions

How and when is feedback provided: In tutorial feedback

Weighting: 10%


Recommended reading

Electromagnetism for Electronic Engineers, by Richard Carter, Book Boon,

Electricity and Magnetism, WJ Duffin, WJ Duffin Publishing.

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, by Serway and Beichner, Saunders College Publishing.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 64

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anthony Peyton Unit coordinator

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