Introduction to Electrical Engineering

I hope you all are fine; in my previous articles I have discussed the tutorials about different circuits and softwares and simulations. I have also discussed the electronic components and other concepts used in electronic circuits. While writing the technical articles on different topics in electrical engineering I have felt that there is not much information about the electrical engineering as field of study. Most of the students asked me the question that what do we study in electrical engineering, whether the electrical engineering is all about motors or we study other things as well. There is not much content available online in order to answer such basic questions. So I am writing a blog in which I will try to explain the things that the electrical engineering accompany, I will also include various areas of expertise on electrical engineering, scope of electrical engineering and most importantly what do the electrical engineers do and how much an electrical engineer earn on an average. So sit back, keep reading and enjoy the trip!

Introduction to Electrical Engineering:

Electrical Engineering is the branch of study in which we study the flow of electrons, effects of the flow of electrons, devise the techniques in order to control the flow of electrons. The electrical engineering also studies the electrical properties of the different elements and thus manipulates the electrical properties of these elements in order to accomplish different purposes. In order to understand this let us consider an example, the electromagnetism is the phenomenon in which the flow of current in a conductor induces the magnetic properties. This effect can be manipulated in a variety of ways in order to devise different techniques to accomplish any task. As an instance the electromagnetism can be manipulated to form the electromagnet which is used to lift heavy objects or it can be manipulated to form the motor which is used in large number of applications.

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The above example illustrates how the electromagnetism can be manipulated in order to perform different tasks and this is electrical engineering. In a similar way there a lot of applications but the main reason for mentioning the example here is to explain what electrical engineering encompasses. So the electrical engineering is the study of techniques for controlling and manipulating the flow of electrons. Stick to this definition I will refer to this definition as I proceed in this article.

 

History of Electrical Engineering:

The history of electrical engineering dates back to the time when early scientists observed the electrostatic effect that is when the mysterious force was observed between two objects. The early scientists explained the mysterious force due to the electrical charges. In the earlier time the electrical charge was considered to be some type of invisible fluid. Then later the concept of charge carriers was developed according to which the electrical charge actually resides with in some kind of particles. Important inventions and developments that were made earlier are listed as follows:

  • William Gilbert was the first scientist to explain the distinction between the magnetism and electricity.
  • Alessendro Volta created the voltaic pile which is considered to be the first battery created by man.
  • In 1820 Hans Christian Orsted discovered that the flow of electrons through the conductor creates the magnetic field in its surroundings.
  • In 1837 a mathematician named George Ohm established the relationship between the voltage and current.

Other important personalities whose work left the significant mark in the history are:

Thomas Edison, William Stanley Jr., Nikola Tesla, Oliver Heaviside and others not mentioned here.

Revolution in Electrical Engineering:

The revolution in the field of electrical engineering occurred with the remarkable invention of the device called transistor in the year 1947. The transistor was invented in 1947 at Bell Laboratories by three engineers named William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain.

It is important to note that the first transistor developed by William, Bardeen and Walter was a point-contact transistor and then later the more commonly known bipolar junction transistor (BJT) was developed by the same inventors.

 

Electrical Engineering Information:

After the invention of the transistor the first Integrated circuit was invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instrument in 1958. Later the invention of microelectronics and digital electronics revolutionized the field of electrical engineering further.

 

Now recall the definition of the electrical engineering and note that the flow of electrons in the electrical engineering is considered not only through the metallic conductors but the semiconductors are also considered. An important point worth mentioning here is that the all Integrated circuits and almost all electronic components are made up of silicon or other semiconductor element or compound.

Branches of Electrical Engineering:

Electrical Engineering has become one of the most important engineering disciplines worldwide. Almost every renowned university offers the degree in Electrical Engineering. Here I do not want to miss the opportunity to mention that before getting admission in any university for electrical engineering it is important to make sure that the university is recognized at the national level. For this it is important that the university be affiliated to the education commission. Coming back to the point, as the research in the field of electrical engineering expanded and the knowledge expanded various branches of electrical engineering were developed and many institutes are offering degrees in these branches of electrical engineering. Some of the branches of the electrical engineering are listed as follows:

 

  • Power Engineering.
  • Computer Engineering.
  • Electronics Engineering.
  • Radio-frequency (RF) engineering.
  • Embedded System Engineering.
  • Control System Engineering.
  • Signal Processing.
  • High Speed Digital Electronics and others.

I will be writing article on each of the branch of electrical engineering mentioned above next so you can more clearly know about each branch.

Electrical Engineers Skillset:

Before discussing the essential skillset required by the engineer let us first consider the misconception in the society. It is a common concept among the students that the engineering requires a lot of effort and the output in the form of the earning is not that much. It is important to note that this thought is not more than a misconception. To be a good engineer requires the essential skillset and the student should spend his / her efforts to earn the efforts. As pointed out earlier that electrical engineering is quite a vast field so a student should know his / her strength and interests. Here I will discuss some of the skillset that will help the fresher to earn a job. The skillset is as shown in the following:

  • Circuit Design:

    An electrical engineer should have the thorough understanding of the circuit design. An engineer should be able to design the basic circuit, should be able to bias the electronic components that is either discrete or integrated circuits.

 

  • Electrical Artifacts:

    The electrical engineer should know if not all some of the common electrical artifacts for designing the circuit or interfacing the integrated circuits together. For example the electrical engineer should know how to process the signals, the electrical engineer should be able assess what the signal conditioning circuits should applied to the signals.

 

  • Testing Equipment:

    The electrical engineer should be able to operate all the electrical equipment. For example the electrical engineer should know how to operate the oscilloscope, function generator, power supplies, digital multi-meters, logic probes, logic analyzers, spectrum analyzers etcetera.

 

  • Programming languages:

    Among other skills the knowledge of the programming languages is necessary to boost up the career of the electrical engineer. Programming language is used in programming the micro-controllers.

 

  • Hardware Description Languages (HDL):

    The knowledge of the Hardware Description Languages such as VHDL (very high speed integrated circuit hardware description languages) and Verilog is also essential to boost up the career in electronics industry.

 

  • Drafting Software:

    The electrical engineers should know how to run the drafting software. That is electrical engineer should be able to run the schematics drawing software, the electrical engineer should be able to design the PCBs although this is the secondary skillset.

 

  • Applied Mathematics:

    The electrical engineer should have the mathematical formulas on their fingertips.

 

Electrical Engineer Jobs Description:

The electrical engineers according to their expertise can secure a variety of jobs. For example:

  • The electrical engineer with expertise in electronics hardware design can secure a job in embedded hardware designing company.

 

  • The electrical engineer with expertise in computer programming language and hardware description language can find a job in embedded firmware designing company.

 

  • The electrical engineer with expertise in power generation and distribution can secure a job in electric supply and distribution companies.

 

  • The electrical engineer with expertise in telecommunication can secure a job in telecommunication companies.

 

  • A few people know that the electrical engineers can also be hired by insurance companies. These companies hire electrical engineers for lost adjusting and claim management.

Electrical Engineers Job Interviews Questions:

For the most of the fresher in electrical engineering appearing for the job interview is nothing less than a nightmare. According to my opinion the main reason for this situation is that the electrical engineers always feel that they are not fully prepared and this is due to the field as vast as the electrical engineering. So here is the suggestion for the fresher that while appearing for the job interview one must go through the company profile thoroughly and then prepare for the interview keeping the company profile in mind.

It is of significant importance that the applicant should keep in mind that although the technical background is important but another skill that is key to secure the job is how effectively the interviewee communicates to the interviewer. According to a research the eighty percent of the success of an engineer depends on his / her communication skills and remaining twenty percent depends upon the technical background. Here it will be off topic to include the interview questions but in the next article I will include all possible questions that could be asked in an interview and what questions that I have encountered in my course of job hunting.

Electrical Engineering Semester and Final Year Projects:

It is a tedious task for the student to select the semester project relevant to their subjects as they does not know much about field. You can ask me for suggestion for the semester projects relevant to your subjects however I am including some of the common semester projects that most of the engineering students are interested to develop:

  • IoT (Internet of Things) based home automation system.
  • IR (Infrared) remote based home automation system.
  • Frequency counter based on Arduino microcontroller development board.
  • Power factor calculation based on Arduino UNO board.
  • Load management system based on Arduino UNO board.
  • Line following robot.
  • Hurdle avoiding robot.
  • Blind stich based on Ultrasonic sensor.
  • Flex sensor actuated robotic arm.
  • LED indicator system for water level.
  • Remote controlled car.
  • Joystick controlled vehicle.
  • Mobile lifter prototype based on the microcontrollers.
  • Temperature and Pressure monitoring and controlling system.
  • Greenhouse monitoring system.
  • Face Detection based on the image processing.
  • Number identification based on the image processing.
  • Database management system based on the Arduino Microcontroller board.
  • Class A amplifier circuit.
  • Power amplifier design.
  • Digital Logic design.

I hope this article would be helpful for you, I have tried to answer all the questions and cater all the misconceptions but still if I have missed some points, feel free to ask any question you want in the comment section and I will try to explain in detail. That is all for now, in the next article I will discuss about other specialization fields of the electrical engineering. Till then stay connected, keep reading and enjoy learning.