Fundamentals of Biosignals

Subject BMEN30006 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 X 2 hour lectures and tutorials per week; 6 X 2 hour workshops
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: The prerequisites for this subject are:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 2


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
COMP20005 Engineering Computation AND MAST20029 Engineering Mathematics may be taken concurrently
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Anti- requisites for this subject are:
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof David Grayden



Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the fundamental principles of signals measurement and analysis in a biosignals context. This subject takes the perspective of conservation of charge to examine basic principles of charge, current, Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrical energy. Analysis techniques are introduced with Krichhoff's current law, Kirchhoff's voltage law and frequency domain models for signals and frequency response for systems, covering topics such as Fourier representations of periodic signals, continuous-time and discrete-time Fourier transforms, frequency response, filtering, transfer functions, Z-transforms, Laplace transforms, poles and zeros, Bode plots, and the relationship to state-space representations.

In addition to the fundamental concepts, topics to be covered include an introduction to various types of sensors and the basic physical phenomena underpining their operation as well as the basic statistics required to analyse measurements, calibrate sensors and evaluate measurement system performance.

In the laboratories, students will learn about laboratory safety, team work and measurement safety in an integrated way. Students will learn how to measure a range of variables to monitor various biosignals, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electrocencephalogram (EEG) signals.


On completing this subject the student should have the ability to:

  • Analyse signals in a biosignals context;
  • Design a solution to a particular sensing problem;
  • Explain the fundamentals of the operation of sensors and transducers for the measurement of biosignals;
  • Use a range of laboratory equipment to measure these quantities;

Six workshop reports of 1,000 words each spread from week 2 to week 12 (40%).

One mid-semester test of one hour duration (10%).

One examination of two hours duration at the end of the semester (50%); must pass end of semester examination to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts: To be advised
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed their:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals.
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance.
  • Proficiency in engineering design.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation.
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bioengineering Systems
Master of Engineering (Biomedical)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.

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