Book Review: Electromagnetics Engineering Handbook

Authored by: Marko Markov


“Analysis and Design of Electrical Devices and Systems”


P.R.P. Hoole, University of Malaya, Malaysia
K. Pirapaharan, Taylor's University, Malaysia
S.R.H. Hoole, Michigan State University, USA

Publisher: WITpress (  NOTE: The publisher is currently offering BEMS members a 30% discount from the list price for this text.

ISBN:  978-1-84564-798-8

eISBN:  978-1-84564-799-5

This text, recently published by WIT Press may be of interest to BEMS members.  Although the book is presumed to be a textbook for undergraduate students in engineering, in my estimation it may contain more mathematics than most undergraduate students would typically expect. However, the first eight chapters flow quite well and provide a good description of the key principles of physics and mathematics.

The first sentence of the book “Electromagnetic fields, both static and dynamic, form the foundation basis of all electrical and electronic devices and systems.” represents the contents of the book well.  While the first chapter on vector analysis may not fit the classical handbook scheme, it can be viewed as an important foundational chapter for those needing a review of these concepts before proceeding to the rest of the material. This first chapter is exactly in the right place since the vector analysis is constantly used throughout the book.

From this foundation, the book follows classical principles in physics, electrodynamics, and electrical engineering. Beginning with electrostatics and magnetostatics, the authors move to dynamic fields and Maxwell’s equations. Serious attention is given to the electric and magnetic properties of materials and their representation from the perspective of occurrence and distribution of electromagnetic waves. Using a classical approach to device design, the authors proceed to a detailed description of computer-aided design.

The handbook discusses the classic problems of transmission lines, electromagnetic radiation and antenna design. Since most electromagnetic devices can be usefully modeled as antennas, the authors dedicate a large volume of the handbook of the problems of antenna propagation, noise and interference. There is, unfortunately, only about a half page description of the distinction between about ionizing and nonionizing radiation.

The first eight chapters are written by the authors listed as the editors of the book. For the sections on biology, the editors invited Dr. C.D. Abeyranathne, M.A.Halgamuge and Dr. P. M. Farrell from University of Melbourne to write about biological rhythms, magnetoreception, and radical pair mechanisms.  In addition, Dr. Malka Halgamuge wrote also on radiofrequency fields from mobile phones. Although these two chapters provide useful biological information, in my opinion, they did not have the structure and depth of the basic engineering chapters. The work that is described is adequately covered, but the chapters do not flow as logical continuations of the engineering design and logistics. For example, the reader might benefit more from reading about radiofrequency fields associated with wireless communications (not only cell phones) before approaching the more complicated topics of possible mechanisms of action of RF EMF on living systems.  And some BEMS members may question the wisdom of limiting the discussion of interaction mechanisms to only the radical pair mechanism when other mechanisms have been proposed, tested, and reported in BEMS meetings for several years.

Who should get this book? Clearly this text is a useful supplement for practicing electrical engineers and device designers.  Given that much of the material requires a systematic knowledge of mathematics, physics and electrodynamics, the book may be a very useful textbook for graduate students in electrical engineering and bioengineering as the publisher indicates.

WITpress ( specializes in books and journals in various electrical engineering disciplines. I strongly recommend that BEMS members, especially those in the engineering disciplines, look at that site.    

Book Description from the publisher

In much of electrical and electronics engineering (including: analog and digital telecommunications engineering; biomedical monitoring and diagnostic equipment; power systems engineering and sensor technology) getting back to the fundamental principles that govern the technologies, namely electromagnetic fields and waves, has become crucial for future customer friendly technology and systems. 

Electromagnetics Engineering Handbook has been written to enable undergraduate students studying electromagnetics engineering for the first time to gain an understanding of the essentials of the largely invisible, but powerful, electromagnetic fields governed by the four elegant Maxwell’s equations. Moreover, the book helps to apply that knowledge through analytical and computational solutions of these frequency and material dependent electric and magnetic fields.

As electrical and electronic engineering grows and subdivides into many specialities this book aims to inform the reader of the basic principles that govern all of these specialised systems and on how to apply that knowledge to understand and design devices and systems that may operate at vastly different frequencies and in various media (e.g. semiconductor materials, magnetic materials, biological tissues, outer space and sea water).

It also deals with a range of different functions dependant on the area of application. For example at very low power frequencies electromagnetic fields perform vastly different functions from device to device, such as in power transformers; current transformers; infrared sensors; synchronous generators; superconducting devices; electric motors and electric powered transport systems. This handbook will be of great help to students, engineers, innovators and researchers working in a wide variety of disciplines.