Course syllabus

SSY200 Computational Electromagnetics

The course "SSY200 -- Computational electromagnetics" given during study period 3, 2023 (7,5hp).

The course is given by the Department of Electrical engineering.

(The course syllabus will be updated with clarifications and corrections as needed during the course.)


Contact information

  • Thomas Rylander is lecturer, seminar leader and examiner 
    email: rylander[at] 
    tel: 031 - 772 1735 
    (room 7407 in the EDIT-building)

  • August Ekman is teaching assistant 

Mail address:
Department of Electrical engineering 
Hörsalsvägen 11 
Chalmers University of Technology 
412 96 Göteborg



Numerical solution of Maxwell’s equations plays an increasingly important role in modern electrical engineering. Improvements, both in computer technology and numerical algorithms, make it possible to solve many electromagnetics design problems by computations, rather than the traditional way by building and testing proto- types. This holds in as diverse areas as eddy current calculations for generators, electrical machines and transformers, microwave circuits and antennas, optical components, radar scattering and electromagnetic compatibility.

The course introduces the main methods in Computational Electromagnetics: Finite Differences, Finite Elements and the Method of Moments and applies them to model problems. Applications from different areas of electromag- netics are used to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the methods. The course aims at enabling the student to choose appropriate methods for realistic electromagnetics problems.



The schedule is found here in TimeEdit.



T. Rylander, A. Bondeson and P. Ingelström, Computational Electromagnetics (2nd edition), New York: Springer, 2013. (ISBN 978-1-4614-5350-5)



The course offers lectures and Q&A-sessions in the form of seminars. The course is centered around four hand-in problems that cover large parts of the course contents, which makes the course work rather practical. The seminars are oriented towards hand-in problems (MATLAB) dealing with application problems. 

The seminars have the following main activities:

  • Lectures: The lectures present the theoretical foundation in computational electromagnetics. (The students are expected to read the book as well, which is necessary for the optional examination that is required for a higher grade 4 or 5.)
  • Q&A: Discuss the hand-in assignments and their relation to the relevant theory described in the text book. It should be noted that the students are expected to work on the hand-in assignments outside the scheduled teaching-activities in the course. Thus, it is useful for each student to compile a list of questions and bring it to the next Q&A-session.
  • Feedback: Feedback is offered mainly during the computer labs and through Canvas.

Communication channels:

  • Canvas: Course syllabus, complementary material, announcements, hand-in problem formulations, submission of hand-in problems, booking of oral examination, discussion forum, etc.
  • YouTube: Prerecorded lectures on the basic electromagnetic field theory.
  • Email: Administrative questions, official communication, etc.


Teaching outcomes

  • Formulate and implement a basic computational algorithm in electromagnetics based on (i) the finite-difference scheme, (ii) the finite-element method and (iii) the boundary-element method.

  • Perform basic assessment of the numerical error.

  • Distinguish between different sources that contribute to the numerical error.

  • Use basic extrapolation techniques.

  • Choose between time, frequency or eigenvalue analysis for a given electromagnetic problem.

  • Choose appropriate numerical techniques for a given application.

  • Choose appropriate post-processing tools for a given application.

  • Operate commercial software in an well-informed manner.

  • Evaluate the computational resources required to analyze a given industrial problem.



The examination is individual and it consists of (i) four hand-in assignments with an oral presentation for each assignment and (ii) one final oral examination.

The grades for undergraduate students are distributed according to:

  • Grade 3: Accepted compulsory hand-in assignments with oral presentations; and accepted final oral examination.

  • Grade 4: Fulfillment of requirements for Grade 3 and, in addition, a total of 51-80 credit points collected during the course, see information below.

  • Grade 5: Fulfillment of requirements for Grade 3 and, in addition, a total of 81-100 credit points collected during the course, see information below.

Graduate students need 51-100 credit points to pass the course, in addition to (i) accepted compulsory hand-in assignments with oral presentations and (ii) accepted oral examination.

Hand-in assignments: The individual hand-in assignments consist of (i) compulsory tasks and (ii) additional tasks that are rewarded by credit points if correctly solved. The individual hand-in assignments are submitted in terms of a written presentation, where a first submission allows for revision before the second and final submission. Correctly solved additional tasks in the hand-in assignments yield credit points according to the instructions in the hand-in assignments. The maximum number of credit points that can be collected from the hand-in assignments is 60.

Hand-in assignment First submission Feedback Second submission
Finite-differences in frequency domain 2024-01-29 2024-02-05 2024-02-12
Finite-differences  time-domain scheme 2024-02-07 2024-02-16 2024-02-23
Finite element method 2024-02-25 2024-03-03 2024-03-10
Method of Moments 2024-03-05 2024-03-12 2024-03-19

Final oral examination: Each student is assessed on an individual basis during the oral examination. No aids are allowed during the oral examination. The oral examination consists of (i) two compulsory questions and (ii) four additional questions that are rewarded by maximum 10 credit points each if correctly solved. The two compulsory questions relate to the theory needed to solve the compulsory tasks in the hand-in assignments. The four additional questions (that give credit points if correctly solved) relate to the material in the text book, which may not have been covered by the hand-in assignments. The student is given the six questions at the very beginning of the oral exam and maximum 30 minutes to prepare the answers, where the student may use pen and paper to document the answers complemented by derivations, figures, etc. The student is then given maximum 20 minutes to present the answers to the prepared questions, where the compulsory questions must be correctly answered before the optional questions are answered.

Course summary:

Date Details Due