Electronic Engineering MSc module details

Engineering Business Environment and Research Methods  

The Engineering Business aspect of this module enables students to understand and reflect upon the role of business in a rapidly changing, globalised world. It identifies opportunities and threats for industry arising from environmental policy, legislation and societal change, and explores how businesses respond to future environmental challenges: for example, through supply chain management, logistics, life-cycle analysis, green accounting and carbon trading. Challenging questions are asked, such as: can industry be a positive force for good? How do businesses learn and adapt to new challenges and economic models? This module benefits practitioners in industry, and future academics exploring the sustainability of engineering businesses.   

The module also teaches students self-direction, and originality in problem solving. The research methods and associated study skills parts of the module provide students with the skills to successfully complete a research project.   

Semiconductor Fundamentals and Power Electronics  

This module is designed to cover the properties of semiconductors and power electronics.    

Part I (Semiconductor fundamentals):  The module will provide in depth knowledge on properties of semiconducting materials and how these are modified to produce functional devices. This will be followed by device physics of PN junction, MOS and Bipolar (to some extent). Issues related to scaling of MOS will be discussed to bring the course up-to-date with current technologies. Current and emerging power electronics materials and devices will also be covered.  

Part II (Power Electronics): This module will develop design and analysis skills within the field of Power Electronics, from basic switching power supply principles through modern vector-controlled motor drives to advanced power conversion systems. Renewable energy power conversion is also covered. The module reflects the very wide knowledgebase associated with the field of power electronics drawing on knowledge of power semiconductors and embedded systems.  

Digital Signal Processing, Control, and Instrumentation  

Part I (Digital Signal Processing): This part considers the applications of signal analysis and computational methods for processing digital signals, including images. The emphasis is on the generation of appropriate 'software solutions' for digital signal and image processing (DSIP) in the time and frequency domains.   

Part II (Control & Instrumentation): This part provides an advanced knowledge in both theory and practical implementation of control systems including state-space representation and advanced topics for SISO systems. The background theory is supported by computer aided design studies (e.g., using the MATLAB package) and practical laboratory experiments. The students also learn about principles of interfacing industrial processes with control computers and the instrumentation required for this purpose. This part intends to develop the student's ability to critically analyse engineering problems involving control and instrumentation issues and to further develop his/her experimental and theoretical skills.  

Electromagnetic Compatibility and Embedded System  

Part I (Electromagnetic Compatibility).  Knowledge of the key aspects of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are valuable in enhancing the skills base for all electronic, electrical, mechatronic engineers, as well as technical design leads.  It deals with how electrical and related systems operate in their electromagnetic environment and do not introduce undue electromagnetic ‘pollution’ into that environment.  This part of the course builds on a fundamental knowledge of electronics and electrical engineering to provide a solid foundation in EMC in a way that does not rely heavily on electromagnetic theory.  It focusses on building an increased engineering ‘common sense’ when considering design.  It introduces circuit related issues, grounding and shielding, transmission lines and managing risk.  It also addresses managing electromagnetic interference risks, one aspect of this involves software and embedded solutions to mitigate the effects of interference, which provides an additional lens through which to view the second half of the module: embedded systems.  

Part II (Embedded Systems) This part covers topics such as the aspects of C programming for embedded systems, interrupts, shared-data problem, the use of sub-routines/co-routines/semaphores and real-time operating systems (RTOS). The principles of assembly language programming are also introduced and compared with the C programming of microcontrollers. This part intends to develop in student the ability to critically analyse engineering problems involving microcontroller issues and to further develop their experimental and theoretical skills in embedded systems.  

Individual Project 

The module aims to introduce the student to the discipline of independent research carried out in a restricted timeframe. It will involve self-organisation, application, analysis and presentation of work. The topic will be chosen from a list provided by staff, grouped by discipline, or chosen by the student and agreed with the dissertation supervisor. It must be relevant to the course being taken. The project may involve practical work, or be entirely desktop based.