Electrical and Electronic BEng/MEng Modules
First year | Second year | Third year | MEng
Block 1: General Engineering Tools and Principles 1 provides students with sound knowledge and command of fundamental engineering tools, principles and mathematical techniques with emphasis on engineering applications. Student will gain an appropriate background in the fundamental principles of Mathematics, Mechanical Principles (Solid Mechanics), Electronic Principles and their uses by carrying out analytical calculations and laboratory experiments. The module contains the well-recognized elements of classical engineering mathematics which universally underpin the formation of the professional engineer. Therefore, the module will concentrate on: (a) understanding mathematical concepts associated with engineering applications, and (b) applying mathematical skills and techniques to solve engineering problems.
Block 2: General Engineering Tools and Principles 2 builds on the common basis established in Engineering Tools and Principles 1. The aim of this module is to provide students with a clear understanding of Mathematical and Engineering concepts. Student will gain an appropriate background in the fundamental principles of Mathematics, Mechanical Principles (Dynamics), Electronic Principles and their uses by carrying out analytical calculations and laboratory experiments. The focus in this module is on practical applications – introducing multivariable functions and their derivatives, matrices, vectors and complex numbers. These building blocks are combined with material from Engineering Tools and Principles 1 to study differential equations. The module also covers uses of statistics and probability in the engineering domain.
Block 3: Electronic Circuits and Devices covers the fundamental elements of the design and manufacturing of electronic devices. Further insight towards the underpinning principles, design processes and performance aspects of materials from which electronic devices are manufactured is explained with hands-on activities to fabricate simple electronic devices. Additionally, students gain an understanding of aspects of digital electronics and circuit design, including the use of simulation techniques to understand anticipated output and performance. This module introduces principal generic and distinctive features of computing, programming and interfacing microcontrollers for practical applications to provide a foundation for embedded systems.
Block 4: Electronic Circuits and Systems studies the processes of the analysis and design of electronic circuits and systems. Students will learn about circuit design and the necessary practical skills required for designing future electronic circuits and systems, driven by scientific curiosity and by industrial and societal needs. Students will work through the various stages of a product design process while considering the broader economic, social, and environmental implications of their decisions. The module introduces research from printed and on-line sources, including interpretation and referencing of this research and datasheets. Professional ethics and ethical design principles are presented and it is expected that students will factor these requirements into their product design.
Block 1: Electromagnetics and Communications develops an understanding of the theory, numerical modelling, and experimental practices relevant to electromagnetics and communications systems. The module also contains the well-recognized elements of advanced engineering mathematics which universally underpin the formation of the professional engineer. The principal aim of the module is to enhance and develop students’ understanding and ability to analyse and use the language of mathematics in the description of engineering. Content includes: Functions of several variables; Vector calculus; Integral transforms; Fourier series and Partial differential equations. Students will engage in practical investigation and design to develop the measurement and experimental skills associated with electromagnetic and communication systems via coursework and laboratory exercises.
Block 2: Dynamics, Instrumentation and Control covers three parts. The first part of the module introduces students to modelling and analysis of dynamic systems through the investigation of the system response, with an emphasis on the free and forced oscillations. Student will learn about the idea of modelling physical systems, characteristic equations, natural frequencies, and vibration modes. In addition, different system’s engineering applications will be discussed to develop further understanding of the solution of the resulting differential equations (e.g., vibration systems, DC motor, quadrotor, battery, etc.).
The second part of the module concerns instrumentation aspects of computer control systems. Students will learn about principles of interfacing industrial processes with control computers and the instrumentation required for this purpose. The third part of the module introduces students to the theory of control systems and computer control. The aim is to teach analysis and design of single-input single-output continuous and digital feedback systems. The background theory is supported by computer aided design studies (using the MATLAB/Simulink package) and practical laboratory experiments.
Blocks 3 and 4: Embedded Application Design and Interfacing and Design and Project Management
Through an industrial-style design and prototyping project, the Embedded Application Design and Interfacing module provides core skills in the application, design and development of a complete embedded system. This includes both the firmware and the component-level design of the necessary analog and digital interfacing subsystems allowing the embedded system to interface with common signals and networks. This will require the design of analog and digital interfacing, microprocessor system design, firmware development and communication with IoT-style networks. Relevant theory will be delivered alongside the practical project-led sessions to ensure that at all times the theory remains relevant to practice. Students will produce a prototype on a printed circuit board which will include some surface-mount components – and will thus develop skills in SMD assembly. On the firmware side, low-level programming techniques will be covered to develop the students’ skills in interacting directly with hardware: a common requirement of an electronics engineer.
Design and Project Management presents some of the background, theory and practice of project management to enable students to embed professional project management expertise in their professional and academic development, and to understand the interplay among science, engineering, design and project management. The module concentrates on the wider role and expectations of the project manager and students can expect to contribute to discussions ranging from the time value of money to anticipating how future sustainability pressures can influence a project now. Throughout the process, students will also learn the standard of good engineering design solutions and practical skills to develop and demonstrate the discipline specific designs.
Block 1: Advanced Digital Design builds on the knowledge from previous modules concerned with electronic principles and digital electronics. The module reviews the design philosophy in the light of using modern Electronic Computer Aided Design (ECAD) tools for design, simulation and implementation. Programmable Logic Devices (PLD) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are discussed. Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), microcontroller and DSP architectures / design routes are also presented. Algorithmic State Machines (ASMs) analysis, design and implementation techniques are also covered. The module presents major aspects of the modern top-down approach to VLSI circuit design, aiming to shorten the design cycle and to manage the increased hardware complexity. To this end, VHDL (Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language), an industry-standard hardware description language largely used for PLD design, is introduced and discussed in detail using practical design examples.
Block 2: Electrical Transmission and Distribution develops awareness and advanced knowledge of both the theory and practice of the transmission and distribution of electrical power. The basic theory and rationale behind 3-phase power systems is given with an introduction to the power system network, which is then extended to modelling and analysis of power systems. Detailed mathematical models for three-phase transformers, transmission lines, loads and synchronous machines will be developed. The module covers necessary tools of power system analysis such as per unit representation, node equations, power flow analysis, and solution techniques such as Gauss-Seidel and Newton-Raphson for analysing the flows in simple networks. Aspects related to distribution system planning and design are covered, along with topics related to load modelling, application of capacitors, voltage regulation and harmonic analysis in these systems. The module also covers advanced topics such as short-circuit analysis (symmetrical components, sequence networks and fault current calculation) and topics related to power system stability such as transient stability (swing curve & equal area criterion) and voltage stability (PV & QV curves).
JIT students: Communication Networks covers the discipline of computer networks from components to fundamental functions and applications. The syllabus will be taught using the Internet as a model when appropriate to illustrate applications and techniques.
Block 3 Choose one of:
Advanced Embedded Systems and IoT with Individual Project* provides students with an extended insight into, and understanding of, modern embedded systems. The module will demonstrate the essential features of an embedded system and the use of microcontroller/microprocessor in realising innovative modern engineering design. The essential development methods and tools unique to the goals of the system developer will also be introduced. The role of system developer and its relevance to modern engineering will feature in terms of product design, machine design, and process design.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Model-Based System Integration with Individual Project in Block 4 being the second.
Mobile Communication 1 with Individual Project* focuses on the rapidly-changing technology of mobile communication, particularly on how the technology is evolving to satisfy new needs and the shortcomings of prior art. This is a technical course that unpicks these technological developments by analysing past, current and future mobile technologies, including channel allocation, digital modulation, and channel coding. This module has a strong student-led focus. Coursework is undertaken as a research report, where students have to research, define and carry out their own experimental investigations.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Mobile Communication 2 with Individual Project in Block 4 being the second.
Fundamentals of Power Electronics with Individual Project* introduces and gives students an understanding of the fundamentals of the field of Power Electronics starting with basic linear and switching power conversion. The module reflects the very wide knowledge base associated with the field of power electronics drawing on knowledge of power semiconductors, control, signal processing, DSP and embedded systems.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Advanced Power Electronics and Applications with Individual Project in Block 4 being the second.
Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 1 with Individual Project focuses on various aspects of semiconductor materials and devices for their applications in renewable energy electronics devices. Semiconductor devices are used for switching action in various appliances; power electronics-based power converters are widely used in renewable energy systems. Wide bandgap semiconductor materials are becoming important in terms of power electronics, and this will be introduced in detail. Semiconductor materials are an integral part of solar PV cells; solar PV electricity production is expected to increase in years to come. Therefore, learning the basic aspects of semiconductor materials and devices from the perspective of their application in energy-related devices is a philosophy of this module. This module provides a background on the science and technology of materials deposition/ processing and how semiconductor materials and devices are used to enable clean energy. The module covers the fundamentals of semiconductor materials and devices required for their applications in renewable energy, conventional fabrication processes used in making such devices, and their testing and analysis.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 2 with Individual Project in Block 4 being the second.
* The 'Individual Project' component will allow students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and or product development work focused on a topic relevant to their specific discipline. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including their placement experience, research groups, the company in which they are employed or a subject of personal interest (provide suitable supervision is available). The chosen topic will require the student to formulate problems, conduct literature reviews, determine solutions, evaluate information, develop hardware & software as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present their finding using a variety of media. Where appropriate to their discipline, the student will be required to present new design work to include the development of hardware and software as appropriate.
Block 4 Choose one of:
Model-Based System Integration with Individual Project aims to create understanding and awareness of model-based system integration, and its approaches and tools. Students will gain insight into, and understanding of, the Model Based System Integration (MBSI) methodology. This includes application of the Model Based System Engineering (MBSE) and Model Based Design (MBD) methods and tools to the unique goals of the system integrator. Furthermore, the module will demonstrate the essential features of system integration and its application in realising innovative modern engineering design via a design study. The role of system integration and its relevance to modern engineering will feature in terms of product design, machine design, and process design.
Advanced Power Electronics and Applications with Individual Projectbuilds on the fundamental power conversion covered in Fundamentals of Power Electronics. This module covers the use of power electronics to control motor drives, electric automotive power systems and power generation systems. Modern motor drives and renewable energy power conversion are also covered, together with the applications of each. Content includes: Motors, motor control circuits and motor control; Embedded power generation applications (e.g. photovoltaic power systems); Switching power supply circuits and control; Electric vehicle applications (e.g. AC motor controller, DC-DC. converters and battery chargers) and Semiconductor device selection and thermal management modelling.
Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 2 with Individual Project provides an advanced knowledge of emerging semiconductor materials and devices (e.g. bandgap engineering for tandem solar cells and wide-bandgap materials for power electronics devices) that are used to enable clean energy. The module includes the fundamentals of emerging semiconductor materials and devices (including nanomaterials) requirements for their applications in renewable energy, energy conversion and storage, emerging fabrication processes (including printing) used in making such devices, and exposure to advanced testing facilities and analysis.
Fourth Year (MEng)
Block 1: Engineering Business Environment and Research Methods
In this module students will understand and reflect upon sustainability and 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. This module benefits future practitioners in industry, and future academics exploring the sustainability of engineering businesses.
The module teaches students to demonstrate self-direction, group working and originality in problem solving. Teaching of research methods and associated study skills will be integrated through coursework and assignments to prepare students to plan and successfully complete their project. Material includes: understanding the research of others, literature reviewing, research methodologies, data interpretation and analysis, research ethics, intellectual property and report writing.
Block 2: Semiconductor Fundamentals and Power Electronics provides 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. 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. Students 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 knowledge base associated with the field of power electronics drawing on knowledge of power semiconductors and embedded systems.
Blocks 3 and 4: Digital Signal Processing and Embedded Systems and Group Project covers two parts: Digital Signal Processing and Embedded Systems. Digital Signal Processing 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. Students are provided with problem sheets whose solutions are compounded in the design, implementation and testing of various DSIP algorithms.
Embedded Systems 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 develops students’ ability to critically analyse engineering problems involving microcontroller issues and their experimental and theoretical skills in embedded systems.
The Group Project is an opportunity for students to work on an engineering project as a multidisciplinary team, similar to that found in industry. The module has been specifically designed to expose students to the multidisciplinary and team nature of many engineering projects, helping to highlight individual strengths and weaknesses, which may help the individual in selecting a pathway to an engineering career. It will also help to prepare students for being responsible for the quality of their output, in particular conforming to required protocols, and managing technical uncertainty.
The project will include using appropriate technical information and engineering knowledge, problem solving, application and development of mathematical and computer models, the understanding and selection of components and materials, and the necessary workshop and laboratories techniques. Students will develop key skills in understanding and practising project manage, leadership and risk management applied to a technical project.