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FEI3338 Characterisation of Dielectric Materials and Insulation Systems 10.0 credits

Studies in the area of electrical insulation materials within high voltage engineering. Properties of interest for characterization include dielectric response, conduction, charge distribution, partial-discharge and breakdown strength. The focus is mainly on measurement methods such as instrument types, setups and test cells, along with associated error sources and their mitigation, and estimation and presentation of measurement uncertainty. Part of the course involves students' own work within a subtopic relevant to their research, culminating in a report at a suitable level for submission as an article for a conference or journal.
Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FEI3338 (Spring 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic properties of importance for electrical characterization: dielectric response, conduction, charge-distribution, partial discharge, and breakdown strength. Sustainable insulation materials and the higher demands on insulation from increased electrification and renewable energy. Solid materials are the main focus, but systems with gas or liquid are also relevant particularly when in combination with solid dielectrics. Common and state-of-art measurement principles for the material properties. External parameters, repeatability, variance. Error sources and error propagation. Uncertainty assessment and expression. Experimental methods to reduce uncertainty; trade-offs between different choices.

Intended learning outcomes

After taking this course the student must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Describe in detail the setup and principle of a common measurement method for each of two material or system properties, including indicative quantitative assessment of factors affecting uncertainty. 
  • For a specified type of material characterisation: identify and quantitatively assess error sources and their mitigation; make and justify an estimate of uncertainty.
  • Suggest and contrast ways to improve a specified measurement system . 
  • Define and discuss ways in which the path to sustainability of power systems affects the need for new and improved insulation systems.
  • Apply the analysis and estimation skills from the common part of the course in an individual project within the student's research, and present this accessibly in oral and written form. 

Course disposition

First a common set of subjects for all students, based on lessons and assignments, covering the area broadly. Then specialisation based on self-study by each student, with seminars for presenting and discussing as a group. The exact distribution of time can vary according to the Course-PM for each round: indicatively, lessons (16h), seminars (16h), study, assignments and written exam in common parts of the course (100h), and the remainder on project work in the specialization.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed master-level education in electrical engineering, physics or material science, or equivalent experience. Students are typically expected to be doctoral students in subjects within the general areas of high voltage engineering or material science.

Recommended prerequisites

Fundamentals of high voltage engineering, corresponding to EI3232.  Circuit analysis, basic field-theory, and programming e.g. for Matlab scripts; the usual background of a PhD student within high-voltage engineering should fulfil these general prerequisites. Other relevant courses about the physical phenomena that we are measuring are recommended as further background, e.g. EI3230 Physics of Dielectric Insulating Materials.


 Nothing beyond availability of a computer.


Course material will be specified further for each round of the course. It is based on several books and many further resources of published articles and manuals and the course's own notes and assignments.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • EXA1 - Examination, 10.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The common part of the course is examined based on several assignments and on a final written examination. The specialization is examined based on the final report and on the presentation and discussion at seminars. The subject of the specialization is defined by the student, and must be approved by the examiner before work is started on this part of the course.

Other requirements for final grade

All the four parts of examination must be approved in order to pass the course: assignments, written examination, presentations and final report.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FEI3338

Offered by

EECS/Electromagnetic Engineering

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at EECS/Electromagnetic Engineering