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Foundations of Electrical Networks (ELEN20005)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeELEN20005
Summer Term
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The aim of this subject is to develop an understanding of fundamental modelling techniques for the analysis of systems that involve electrical phenomena. This includes networks models of “flow-drop” one-port elements in steady state (DC and AC), electrical power systems, simple RC and RL transient analysis, and basic functional models for digital systems consisting of combinational logic. This subject is a core pre-requisite for the four subjects that define the Electrical Systems Major in the Bachelor of Science. The subject is also a core requirement for the Master of Engineering (Electrical, Mechanical and Mechatronics).


Topics include:

Electrical phenomena – charge, current, electrical potential, conservation of energy and charge, the generation, storage, transport and dissipation of electrical power.

Network models – networks of “flow-drop” one-port elements, Kirchoff’s laws, standard current-voltage models for one-ports (independent sources, resistors, capacitors, inductors, transducers, diodes), analysis of static networks, properties of linear time-invariant (LTI) one-ports and impedance functions, diodes, transformers, steady-state (DC and AC) analysis of LTI networks via mesh and node techniques, equivalent circuits, and transient analysis of simple circuits;

Electrical power systems – overview of power generation and transmission, analysis of single-phase and balanced three-phase AC power systems.

Digital systems – electrical encoding of information and the digital abstraction, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, quantization and resolution, switching algebra, combinational logic networks, and transient timing issues.

This material will be complemented by exposure to software tools for the simulation of electrical and electronic systems and the opportunity to develop basic electrical engineering laboratory skills using a prototyping breadboard, digital multimeter, function generator, DC power supply, and oscilloscope.

Intended learning outcomes


On completing this subject it is expected that the student be able to:

  1. Apply physical principles, fundamental abstractions and modelling techniques in the analysis of electrical and electronic systems
  2. Develop and demonstrate basic electrical engineering laboratory skills through implementing, testing and debugging simple electrical circuits on prototyping breadboards
  3. Simulate and synthesise simple electrical circuits using software tools
  4. Predict and compare the performance of physical circuits in the laboratory with theoretical analysis and software simulations

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large;
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • Expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, capacity to do so.

Last updated: 20 June 2017