What Is Electrical Engineering?

What Is Electrical Engineering-featured

Electrical engineering is a relatively recent branch of engineering, having emerged in the late 19th century. In engineering, electrical engineering refers to the study of electrical systems and devices. Electrical engineers are responsible for everything from small microchips to massive power station turbines.

Primitive batteries and static electricity were used in the first tests with electricity. The application of Michael Faraday’s Law of Induction, which says that the voltage in a circuit is proportionate to the rate of change in the magnetic field through the circuit, marked the beginning of the practical design, building, and production of usable devices and systems. The fundamentals of an electrical generator, electric motor, and transformer all adhere to this rule. Electrical engineers are largely responsible for the widespread use of electricity in contemporary life, which has transformed every aspect of human activity from domestic life to commercial enterprise to heavy industry.

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Thomas Edison (inventing the electric light bulb), George Westinghouse (inventing alternating current), Nikola Tesla (inventing the induction motor), Guglielmo Marconi (inventing the radio), and Philo T. Farnsworth (inventing the electric generator) are among the most well-known pioneers in electrical engineering (television). These pioneers brought about the modern era by translating theoretical thoughts and conceptions about electricity into functional devices and systems.

Electrical engineering has come a long way from its humble origins, and now encompasses several subfields. Some of them include power generation and transmission systems, motors, batteries, and control systems. Electronics is also a part of electrical engineering, and this field contains many subfields including RF systems, telecommunications, remote sensing, signal processing, digital circuits, instrumentation, audio, video, and optoelectronics.

In 1904, John Ambrose Fleming invented the thermionic valve diode vacuum tube, which is often regarded as the beginning of modern electronics. The vacuum tube is similar to a current amplifier in that it increases the output current by a factor of many times the input current. Up until the middle of the 20th century, it formed the backbone of all electrical devices. The transistor, invented in 1947 by William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories (for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956), quickly replaced it.

What are the Branches of Electrical Engineering?

Power Engineering

Generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical power are the focus of power engineering, often known as power system engineering. Transformers, motors, and generators are the focus of this branch of engineering. Engineers in the field of power supply work diligently to ensure the safety and reliability of their systems by developing and implementing foolproof operating procedures.

Control Engineering

Control engineering, sometimes called automation engineering elsewhere in Europe, focuses on automated systems. Control engineering is the study and practise of creating, modifying, and manipulating systems to achieve desired outcomes. This branch of engineering is based on the principle of using control theory to influence the behaviour of systems.

Electronic engineering

The discipline of electronic engineering is one of the most in-demand industries worldwide. Electronics engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with electronic systems, components, and infrastructure. It has a positive bearing on the environments in which the circuits and devices in question are grown and put together.

Microelectronics

Microelectronics is an ever-evolving subfield of electronics engineering. Miniature electrical components, especially semiconductors, are the focus of this industry, which produces and refines them. Most of these devices are micro fabricated from semiconductor materials and are built on a micrometer size.

Signal Processing

Integration, manipulation, and generation of signals (such as sounds, pictures, or scientific data) are the primary focuses of signal processing. Transmittal, storage efficiency, and related signal quality are all greatly improved by the application of signal processing. The process of decoding a signal into human-readable language is the focus here.

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What does an electrical engineer do?

Electrical engineers, according to the BLS, “design, develop, test, and oversee manufacture of electrical equipment, including electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generating equipment.”

From broadcast and communications systems to portable music players and global positioning systems (GPS), electronics engineers are responsible for the design and development of a wide variety of electronic devices.

Almost every real-world gadget that generates, transmits, or utilizes electrical current was probably conceived of and created by an electrical engineer. Engineers often test devices and components for performance, reliability, and long-term durability, and they may also execute such tests or develop the specifications for them.

Present-day electrical engineers use fundamental elements including conductors, coils, magnets, batteries, switches, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors to develop electrical devices and systems. From the generators in a power plant to the microprocessors in your phone, almost all electrical and electronic devices rely on a few fundamental parts.

Knowledgeable in electrical and electronic theory, mathematics, and materials are all essential abilities for an electrical engineer. Because of this understanding, engineers may plan for the future behaviour of hardware designs by designing circuits that perform certain tasks while also meeting standards for safety, reliability, and energy efficiency. However, “breadboards,” which are just prototype circuit boards created on computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines, are often used for testing purposes before the actual circuit boards are manufactured.

Computer-aided design (CAD) tools are widely used by electrical engineers to draw out circuit diagrams and schematics. Computers are also used to model the behaviour of electrical equipment and networks before they are ever built. To simulate complex systems like a national power grid or a microprocessor, electrical engineers need to be comfortable working with computers. Schematics, PCB layouts, and blueprints for electrical and electronic equipment may all be quickly drawn with the help of a CAD system, and changes can be made to the design with ease. Rapid prototyping can then be performed using CNC machines.

Examples of Electrical Engineering Designs

Electrical engineers are pioneers in many emerging technological areas, such as:

  • Sensors, actuators, microprocessors, and feedback control systems make up the components of robots.
  • Many different kinds of space projects are now under development, from extraterrestrial navigation and positioning systems to power grids and imaging telescopes.
  • Tablet or smartphone design
  • The latest and greatest in medical technology, such as electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitors, computerized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET)

How much do Electrical Engineers earn?

In the United States, an entry-level electrical engineer may expect an average yearly pay of $74,423. If you are promoted to senior electrical engineer, your salary might increase to $116,764 per year.