This is a one and a half period long course and lasts only ten (10) weeks. The course starts at the beginning of Period 3 (in early January) and it ends in the middle of Period 4 (in mid-March). ELEC-E4430 Microwave engineering II course is a direct continuation of this course, and it starts directly after this course.
Position of the course
The course is primarily meant for the first-year Master's students in the Master's Programme of Electronics and Nanotechnology, especially in the major of microwave engineering, but also in space science and technology, and circuit design. This course would also probably suit well for the final-stage Bachelor's students of the electrical engineering (EST) programme. Other students, for instance, in wireless communication, engineering physics or anyone who is interested in the topic and master the pre-knowledge (see below) are warmly welcome, too!
This course is the first part of the microwave engineering course series, followed by Microwave engineering II (taught directly after MiWE I) and Microwave engineering workshop (in the autumn of 2021). The related courses that are running in parallel are Electromagnetic and circuit simulations (taught also in Period 3) and Antennas (in Periods 4-5), followed by the Antennas workshop course in the autumn of 2021. Other supplementary courses are ELEC-E4750 Radiowave propagation and scattering (next time 2022), ELEC-E4760 Terahertz Techniques (next time 2022), ELEC-E4720 Advanced Circuit Theory (next time 2022), ELEC-E4710 Computational Electromagnetics (next time 2021) and ELEC-E4920 Special Assignment in Radio Science and Engineering (any time).
Preliminary knowledge of the course
- bachelor's level engineering mathematics (e.g., algebra, trigonometry, linear algebra, complex numbers, complex vectors, differential and integral calculus, differential equations etc.)
- circuit theory (e.g., ELEC-C4110 Piirianalyysi I and ELEC-C4120 Piirianalyysi II or ELEC-E3120 Analysis and design of electronic circuits)
- electromagnetic field theory (e.g., ELEC-C4140 Kenttäteoria or ELEC-E4130 Electromagnetic fields)
- some mathematical software, for instance, Matlab or Wolfram Mathematica (e.g., ELEC-C4140 Matematiikkaohjelmistot or ELEC-E9111 Mathematical computing).
- circuit simulations, for example, with AWR Design Environment (e.g., we recommend taking parallel in Period III the course ELEC-E4410 Electromagnetic and circuit
Teaching sessions in the winter of 2022
On Mondays at 10 - 12 exercise sessions and Thursdays at 9 - 12 interactive lectures.
Teacher team in the winter of 2022
Jari Holopainen (responsible teacher), Katsuyuki Haneda (responsible teacher), Bing Xue and Mar Francis de Guzman.
The main learning outcome is to create readiness to work in microwave engineering related tasks and projects and enable further studies and continuous learning in microwave engineering.
The verbs that reflect those activities that the students are assumed to do during the course and master after successful completion of the course are written in bold font. The learning outcomes are ranked on the Comprehension (2/6) and Application (3/6) levels of Bloom's taxonomy.
- The student is able to identify the types of radio waves and discuss the usage of the radio-frequency spectrum and typical applications in microwave engineering.
- The student can discuss the biological effects and safety issues of radio waves.
- The student is able to explain the
behaviour of a radio signal in typical transmission lines (such as signal
propagation, attenuation, reflection), calculate and simulate related
circuit parameters, and design
- The student can design impedance
matching circuits using the Smith chart and simulator tool (AWR) and explain the design
principles and bandwidth issues.
- The student is able to model basic
microwave circuits and resonators with suitable circuit parameters
and analyze their
operation based on calculations and simulations.
- The student can explain the
operational principles of basic microwave systems (such as mixing
phenomenon and superheterodyne transceivers) and calculate relevant
system parameters (such as signal-to-noise ratio, noise figure, link
- The student is able to explain the
basic principles of radio wave propagation. He/she can calculate the
basic characteristics (such Fresnell ellipsoide) of radio links based on basic
- The main course literature is Pozar - Microwave Engineering (editions 2-4 are okay). Physical books (altogether 11 copies) are available in the learning centre. An e-book can be found through lib.aalto.fi.
- The course book can also be bought, for instance, through Amazon (edition 2 from $28, edition 3 from $99, edition 4 from $128) or Adlibris (edition 4 from 236 €).
- You may also use the book Räisänen/Lehto - Radio engineering for wireless communication (11 copies and e-book) or the very same book written in Finnish: Räisänen/Lehto - Radiotekniikan perusteet (15 copies). However, we follow more closely the Pozar book.
- Microwave engineering II course uses the very same Pozar book – i.e., buying this standard handbook of microwave engineering may be a good investment.
- Transmission line theory (standing wave and reflection, Pozar Chapter 2) and typical waveguides (Pozar Chapters 2 and 3)
- Smith chart and impedance matching (Pozar Chapters 2 and 5)
- Analysis of microwave circuits (Pozar Chapters 4 and 6)
- Radio systems and applications (Pozar Chapters 10 and 14)
- (Teaser of) Radiowave propagation (Pozar Chapter 14)
Nominal workload 135 hours in ten weeks, individual workload varies
- 5 ECTS ↔ 5 x 27 hours – i.e., nominally 135 hours of working
- 10 weeks x (2+3) hours/week ↔ 50 hours of sessions – i.e., 5 hours per week
- 85 hours of independent working – i.e., average 8.5 hours per week
- The number of hours for independent work is only indicative. The studying may take more or less than the nominal working hours. It is affected by the pre-knowledge, learning-to-learn skills, and the target grade of the student.
- In a case of heavy burden, contact the responsible teachers.
- The grading of the course is based on the continuous assessment which means that the course fullfilment accumulates throughout the course. This allows more support and guidance for the students, the observation of learning, and the opportunity for fine-tuning of the learning and teaching methods.
- Mastering the learning outcomes of the course are demonstrated by answering the polling questions and active participation during the interactive lectures, returning the weekly preliminary tasks in MyCourses and the exercise problems during the contact sessions or pre-booked appointments.
- The preliminary tasks affect about 22 % (9 x 2 p = 18 p).
- The Thursday interactive lectures affect about 12 % (10 x 1 p = 10 p). One point per lecture is granted for active participation, which means that the student successfully participates and completes the activities during the Thursday lecture. Such activities are, for example but not limited to, multiple-choice quizzes (answering through polling), questions and discussions through voice and chat, and in-class task cooperation in Breakout rooms (return of contribution in My Courses return box at the end of the session).
- The exercise problems affect about 66 % (18 x 3 p = 54 p, the number of the exercise problems is 18). There is a possibility for some extra exercise points during the course.
- It is not possible to retake the interactive lectures and the preliminary tasks, but the exercise problems can be revised under certain conditions (the details are given within the exercise problems).
- Grading: 50% of the total points → the course is passed with adequate (1) level, 60% → satisfactory (2), 70% → good (3), 80% → very good (4) and 90% → excellent (5). The teachers have a right to lower the limits.
- The course grading is individual. Teaching each other and discussing the exercise problems is recommended, but everyone returns only one’s individual answers. For instance, reporting someone else's answer or the result of group work as your individual answer is forbidden. The students are assumed to be aware of “Aalto University code of academic integrity”, the link can be found here.
Communication and news
- The main forums for
communication and information are the teaching sessions and the
"Announcements" in MyCourses. The registered students will get the
News also as an email. All the important information will be published in the
- The students are asked to use Zulip-forum for discussion and questions about the subject of the course.
- The questions may also be addressed during the teaching sessions.
- If you have a private question, you can also send an email simultaneously to both of the responsible teachers.
Principles of studying
- The preliminary tasks (to be returned before Thursdays' interactive sessions), interactive lectures (on Thursdays) and exercise problems and related course book chapters cover all the learning outcomes.
- The course consists of five successive topics (Topics 1-5). Due to the cumulative nature, study the topics one by one and start solving exercise problems from Problem 1 of each topic.
- Progress with your individual speed but notice that at least one exercise problem answer per week must be returned. The hard DL for the exercise problem return is the end of the course.
- The optimal speed would be to return two (2) exercise problems per week.