Electrical and electronic engineering

6

ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING

Electricaland electronic engineering

Electricaland electronic engineering

Electricaland electronic engineering is a field of study that deals with thedesign, development, testing and maintenance of electrical andelectronic systems. Electrical and electronic engineers oversee themanufacture and maintenance of equipment and devices. Electricity andelectronics exists in all aspects of life that includescommunication, transport, manufacturing, buildings, power generationand distribution, lighting and all utilities. In the age of computerand increased use of electronics, electrical and electronic engineersare becoming more and more useful in the daily life. This is becausethe electronics require continuous maintenance as well as design anddevelopment of new electronics technologies (Sloan Career CornerstoneCenter).

Toget into electrical and electronic engineering career, an individualis required to go through accredited programs in universities andcolleges. Engineering is a highly regulated career and therefore,there are both national and international bodies that accreditinstitutions in training of engineers. An example of an accreditingbody is the ABET Inc which evaluates training institutions and givesaccreditation based on the content of the curriculum, trainingfacilities and the commitment of the institution to trainingengineers. There are numerous accredited universities and collegesthat offer electrical and electronic engineering courses. However, itis very necessary for a prospective student to verify that theinstitution is accredited. students are taken through core courses as well as other commonengineering courses. The core courses include circuits, digitaldesigns, electronics and microprocessors. On the other hand, thereare build ups to the core courses which include basic calculus,physical sciences (physics and chemistry), material science, computerscience and other engineering discipline concepts. Although the corecourses are basically similar in all institutions, the structure ofthe curriculum may vary from one institution to another. For example,in all institutions, basic sciences and calculus provides thefoundation for electrical and electronic curriculum and are thereforestudied in the first year of study (Sloan Career Cornerstone Center).

Inadvanced courses in electrical and electronic engineering, a studentcan specialize in one of the main areas, which includes automaticcontrols, digital systems, electronics, electromagnetism, electricpower and communication and signal processing among others. Automaticcontrols deals with technologies that are aimed at automaticallyregulating systems in steady states and transient states usingfeedbacks. This is more applicable in the aircraft and spacecraftindustry, medical technologies and automobiles. Digital systemsengineering is more concerned with computer systems and thedevelopment of digital products that support the modern digitalworld. Electromagnetic engineering is concerned with radiation energyand has applications in broadcasting, wireless communication, opticalfiber communication and coaxial cable systems. Electronicsengineering is one of the most important engineering disciplinesbecause it is the cornerstone of technology. Electrical powerengineering is also a major discipline that deals with generation andtransmission of electrical energy. They design and install systemsthat ensure that electric power is generated and transmitted to homesand offices. Communication and signal processing is concerned withtransmission of electromagnetic signals which can be converted intoimages, voices or data. Communication and signal processingengineering is applicable in communication engineering, such asbroadcasting, mobile telephone, internet communications and satellitecommunications (Sloan Career Cornerstone Center).

Althoughthe specialization plays an important role in individual careers, theextracurricular activities among engineers are very essential. Engineering goes beyond what was taught in class. This explains whysome engineers are very successful in life, while others have tostruggle despite having sharp engineering skills. Employers preferall rounded engineers who are able to exhibit interest in the worldthat surround them. Excellent interpersonal skills, leadershipqualities and communication skills are essential for a successfulengineering career. After completing engineering training, it isnecessary for electrical and electronic engineers to joinprofessional groups and societies. However, being a member of aprofessional society should begin at the school level. Professionalsocieties are essential in promoting interactions between engineers,promoting technical knowledge and professional ethics.

Probably,the most important question is where electrical and electronicengineers are likely to get employed. There are a wide range ofsectors that employ a huge number of electrical and electronicengineers. Majority of them are employed in the energy and electricpower sector, manufacturing and telecommunication. Telecommunicationsector includes radio and television broadcasting, satellitecommunication, fiber optic and mobile communication networks. Energyand electric power sector includes turbine, hydro, solar, geothermal,nuclear and wind generation plants and distribution utilities. Themanufacturing industry employs electrical and electronic engineersfrom any specialization. Other major sectors where electrical andelectronic engineers are employed include computer engineering,semiconductors, aerospace, bioengineering, services industry,automobile and research institutions (McDavid &amp Echaore-McDavid,2009).

Engineeringis a very important profession that requires excellent academicabilities as a prerequisite for admission in a major university orcollege. Nonetheless, there are over two million engineers in theUnited States alone. Over a quarter of these engineers are electricaland electronic engineers. Additionally, they hold over twenty percentof the engineering jobs in the United States. This is mainly becausealmost every sector of the economy requires electrical and electronicengineers.

References

McDavid,R. A. &amp Echaore-McDavid, S. (2009). CareerOpportunities in Engineering.ISBN 978-1-4381-1070-7, Infobase Publishing.

SloanCareer Cornerstone Center. ElectricalEngineering Overview,http://www.careercornerstone.org/pdf/ee/eleceng.pdf