Skip to main content


EEE8155 : Designing sustainable electric propulsion and generation systems

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Baker
  • Lecturer: Professor Barrie Mecrow
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To give an appreciation of the importance of electric drives in the de-carbonisation of transport, generation and other sectors. The course gives a good grounding and experience in the physical design of electrical machines and a broad understanding of electrical drives selection criteria in a range of applications.

To gain the skills to produce outline designs of electrical machine drive systems to a given specification. Design decisions will be placed in an ethical, environmental and manufacturing context.

To be skilled in machine drive design for modern and emerging applications, including electric transport and renewable energy drives.

Outline Of Syllabus

The design of modern electrical drives, with consideration of the machine, power electronics and control requirements. Comparisons are made between drive types and typical applications considered.
Electrical machine drives in the context of net zero:
•       Impact of raw materials
•       New and emerging applications
•       Design trends and future challenges
•       Design for manufacture

Electrical Machine Design:

•       Magnetic circuits and materials, modelling; magnetic and electric loadings; thermal design; steady state and transient design and analysis;
•       winding design, pitching and distributing windings, single tooth windings, choice of pole number, phase number, voltages and turns
•       Choice of rotor and stator dimensions, leading to outline design concepts
•       Topologies studied: Permanent magnet machines; switched reluctance machines; wound rotor synchronous machines
•       Use of commercially available software to perform machine analysis and design.
•       At least one industrial design lecture


•       Sensors
•       Applications and characteristics of different ac drives
•       Comparative evaluation of different drives.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials360:3018:00Asynchronous recordings to support lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:006 lectures per week over 4 weeks
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Coursework preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading116:0016:00Reading specified articles
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00One 3 hour lab on electrical machine and drive characterisation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops82:0016:00Face to face tutorials-
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity125:0025:00Student-led discussions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study148:0048:00Review lecture notes, general reading around and beyond the syllabus
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and pre -recorded material provides the core material as well as guidance for further reading. Tutorial questions offer the opportunity for practice in analysis and synthesis and where necessary more direct tuition can be offered to smaller student groups. Some aspects of the course are further re-enforced through laboratory demonstrations.

The two design exercises test the students' core knowledge and understanding of machine design principles including making suitable assumptions, simplifications and mathematical analysis. The analytical coursework focuses on design from first principles. The software coursework involves the use of commercially available machine design software, which is introduced in the pre-requisite module and supplemented drop in sessions with a PG demonstrator. The coursework allows the students to demonstrate their ability to use the software, show some engineering creativity and further develop their communication skills. Laboratories are formative in nature, giving practical experience and understanding.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M40Analytical motor design exercise and associated report using calculation.
Design/Creative proj2M60Drive design exercise and associated report using drive design software.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Lab exercise2MFormative report on laboratory experiments in the area of electrical machines.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Design is a creative concept and so it is most appropriate to allow the students’ time to do this via projects which are then assessed by reports. Two projects are given: one focused upon the machine design using analytical methods presented in the course and the second upon electric drive design using software. The projects will allow the students to use state of the art design software to create designs against a specification of a named application. Their ability to understand, analyse, appraise and synthesis systems will be tested, covering almost all aspects of the knowledge and skills outcomes of the module.

Reading Lists