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Module ICE-3303:
Microwave Engineering

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of this module is to introduce the student to microwave engineering and applications. The lectures will provide an understanding of a range of microwave engineering design techniques and give a basic knowledge of a number components used in the development of microwave systems. This module covers the most commonly used microwave transmission lines and looks at transmission line design techniques.

Examples of microwave system line-ups that have been developed by members of the Medical Microwave Systems Research Group, in Bangor, will be given to allow the student to become familiar with typical system configurations, and also to give an appreciation of how microwave engineering techniques can be applied in the medical devices industry. The module will also provide the student with an appreciation of more general applications of microwave engineering, i.e. for microwave communication links.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • A general overview of microwave systems engineering, including a number of practical system configurations developed for medical applications will be given.

  • This will be followed by an introduction to microwave system design in terms of attenuation and gain of passive and active components respectively, and use of dB and dBm to design basic system line-ups.

  • Microwave transmission lines commonly used in microwave system design, i.e. co-axial lines and microstrip lines, will be introduced and it will be shown how to calculate their characteristic impedance.

  • A range of microwave system design techniques will then be introduced; including: derivation and use of the impedance transformation equation, graphical design techniques using Smith Charts.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Appraise the breadth of applications of microwave engineering (communications, industrial processing, medical).

  2. Interpret microwave measurements using a vector network analyser (VNA) and their outputs.

  3. Apply microwave engineering techniques to solve problems encountered in industry.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Unseen Examination 55
Transmission Lines 15
Impedance 15
Applications of Microwave Engineering 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Tutor-directed private study including revision


Traditional Lecture (2 hrs x 12 weeks) - but may be delivered in intensive blocks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.

Subject specific skills

  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the need to work safely and comply within relevant legislative and regulatory frameworks;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: