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ELEC40009 Topics in Electrical Engineering

Lecturer(s): Prof Tim Green; Prof Eric Yeatman; Prof Kristel Fobelets; Prof Kin Leung


The aim of this module is to introduce you to the interdisciplinary nature of electrical engineering.
The module starts with semiconductor devices the pn diode that is the basic structure for all other devices and will support understanding of concepts in Analysis and Design of Circuits. It will then look into the use of pn diodes as solar cells, an important part of the renewable energy system.
The PV cell directly links to the second topic in power that will look at energy distribution in the grid and the role of renewables in that system. It will also give a glimpse into power management approaches such as maximum power point tracking.
In the spring term, the module changes track and takes you from waves propagating in space and transmission lines through to waves as information carriers in the frequency domain and the need for modulation techniques to transport this information efficiently.
The objective is to give you a flavour of different aspects in engineering to help you choose between EEE and EIE stream in the 2nd year. It also helps you understand the interconnectivity of a wide variety of concepts that classically taught separately.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module you are expected to be able to:
1. Describe waves as information carriers.
2. Describe how waves propagate in free space and transmission lines.
3. Apply mathematical tools to investigate signals in the frequency domain.
4. Explain the need for modulation techniques to transmit a signal and identify the basic hardware components to achieve modulation and demodulation.
5. Describe the transport processes in a pn diode and extrapolate this knowledge to its use as a solar cell.
6. Employ laboratory skills to characterise solar cells.
7. Illustrate how solar polar is transported from the source to the household.
8. Relate the different engineering topics to demonstrate how they are interconnected.


Waves as oscillators, signals in time domain
Propagation of waves in free space and in transmission lines such as coaxial cables
Radiating waves and their connection to radar
Fourier series and Fourier transform
Signals in the frequency domain using Fourier transforms
Amplitude modulation and demodulation
Transport processes in the pn diode and its IV characteristic
Using diodes in simple (de)modulation circuits
Using the diode as a solar cell and circuit representation
Introduction to the electrical grid
The influence of renewable energy on the grid
Smart grid and its requirements
Exam Duration: N/A
Exam contribution: 100%
Coursework contribution: 0%

Term: Autumn & Spring

Closed or Open Book (end of year exam): N/A

Coursework Requirement:

Oral Exam Required (as final assessment): N/A

Prerequisite module(s): None required

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