Study Electrical Engineering
Leading Edge Technology
Author: The Institute of Engineers of Australia
Electrical Engineering encompasses electronic, computer systems, telecommunications, control and electrical power engineering, concerned with the way that electrical energy is produced and used in homes, the community and industry. Electrical engineers design and build the systems and machines that generate, transmit, measure, control and use electrical energy essential to modern life.
Electronics engineering deals with devices and systems that
use small amounts of electrical energy to analyse, transmit and store
information. Transmission of these electronic signals forms the basis of
communications and the information technology industry, and includes the fields
of microelectronics and the use of silicon chip technology. Various systems for
communication between people both nearby and on the other side of the world have
been developed, and are constantly being improved and refined. This
communication takes place using satellite, telephone, optical fibres and
computer systems, all of vital importance in everyday communication, defence,
transport, civil aviation and medical equipment such as the bionic ear,
pacemakers and life-support systems. People who specialise as electronics
engineers may work in such industries as communications, broadcasting, aviation,
defence, robotics, computers, medical engineering or meteorology.
Many electronics engineers are now finding more opportunities in entertainment, transport and telecommunications industries.Data communications, mobile radio and the broader entertainment industry (such as Pay TV) all require the input of electronics engineers.
The transport sector is employing more electronics engineers as the vehicles and
the systems controlling them become more automated. Electronics engineers in the
field of communications may be responsible for the operation of
dish satellite television transmission, or the smooth running of telephone
switching exchanges. Often these systems or operations are monitored using complicated panels of instruments, and it is the responsibility of the electronics engineer to find and correct faults quickly, ensuring the smooth working of operations. Electronics engineering is a very diverse field, currently undergoing expansion as new applications are found for electronic equipment. This has led to the development of two relatively new fields of engineering - software engineering and mechatronics.
Software engineers design and modify complex software systems and computer hardware. Mechatronics combines the disciplinies of mechanical and electrical engineering, and is associated with the use of digital computers to control machines and processes. It is also used to create diverse products such as substitutes for human sensors and organs, and computer-controlled , machine tools.
Mechatronics is a rapidly developing field, and as the world becomes steadily more technologically advanced, it will be of increasing importance. Electronics engineers work for companies and government departments that design, construct and test electronic devices (including computers), or that are involved with their installation.
This provides electricity to our homes and to industry, and is concerned with planning, developing, testing, installing, using and maintaining power plants or stations that provide electric power. It also deals with the transmission of that power to where it is needed - cities, towns, railway lines, large businesses and industry.
Power engineers also conduct research on developing alternative power sources such as solar and wind energy. Electrical power engineers work for companies and
government departments that are involved with providing and using electrical power.
Computer systems engineering is based on electrical engineering and computer science. These days, computers are used to operate many of the things we use in
everyday, for example our cars, telephone systems, trains, TV and radio stations. Computer engineers are involved
in the analysis, design, development and operation of computer hardware and software. Most electronic design is based on the use of computer-aided simulation.
Computer systems engineers may work in the private sector with computer manufacturing and service companies, business consulting firms, the information systems divisions of companies and a wide range of government activities.
Control engineering is involved with the use of electrical signals to move and operate equipment and machinery. Control engineers design, test and improve automatic control systems for large industries such as oil refineries, mining operations and production plants, as well as the safe
flow of road and air traffic.
The Institute of Engineers of Australia