Course Title: Wireless and Guided Waves

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Wireless and Guided Waves

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Wayne Rowe

Course Coordinator Phone: First contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To successfully complete this course, you should have the ability to solve fundamental problems in AC circuit analysis and transmission lines, as well as have a basic knowledge of vector calculus and differential equations in three spatial variables.  

It is advisable to have successfully completed the courses EEET2369 – Signals and Systems and MATH2161 – Mathematics for ECE, or to have completed equivalent courses, or to have equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course introduces electromagnetic wave propagation concepts imperative for the understanding of communication systems.  Electromagnetic concepts are essential for understanding the behaviour of devices and systems that we encounter everyday.  The internal workings of modern computing devices, mobile phones and tablets, wired and wireless internet, and even polarised sunglasses are all relient on electromagnetic design principles.

The course develops your understanding of signal transmission in a number of different communication media: in free space (air) and waveguides (e.g. coaxial cables or printed circuit tracks); and in optical fibres and dielectric waveguides. Radiation from antennas is also introduced, to descibe how electronic signals can escape from circuits into the air.

Topics studied in this course include:

Electromagnetic Wave Principles and Applications
- Review of electromagnetic fundamentals.
- Electromagnetic wave equations.
- Electrodynamics
- Uniform plane waves.
- Power flow in waves.
- Conductor loss and skin depth.
- Aspects of transmission, reflection refraction and diffraction.
- Modes and transmission in metallic waveguides.
- Radiation and fundamentals of antennas.
- Friis transmission formula.

Optical Waveguides and Fibres
- Dielectric optical waveguides.
- Optical fibres.
- Modes and transmission in dielectric waveguides and optical fibre.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information (;ID=eyj5c0mo77631).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Predict and quantify the behaviour of electromagnetic waves interacting with dielectric and metallic objects

• Predict and quantify the frequency dependant interaction between high frequency electromagnetic waves and conductors

• Explain the radiation principles associated with simple antenna systems

• Design metallic rectangular waveguides for single mode, low-loss transmission of high-frequency signals

• Calculate propagation parameters in optical fibre communications systems

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

• attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;

• completion of tutorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter, and to give you feedback on your progress and understanding;

• private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided. 

Various simulation and visualisation tools are available to consolidate the understanding of various topics. 

You will also use computer software within the School during laboratory/assignment work. 

Overview of Assessment

Final Examination – Individual assessment of theoretical knowledge and application. 

Mid Semester Test – Individual assessment of theoretical knowledge and application.

Practical experiments/Assignments – Learning will be enhanced with experiments that encourage exploration of electromagnetic plane waves, metallic and optical waveguides using specially developed software simulators and commercial numerical packages.