Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering

The past, present and future of the electrical engineering profession

Abstract

Electrical engineering has become a prestigious profession and more and more people are aspiring to become Electrical engineers. In due course we will look at the core of this profession, see where this field originated from, where it currently is, and what we can expect from it and its' professionals in the future.

Introduction

Electrical Engineering is a profession which has been around for many years. It is a profession which affects many people indirectly and it is one of the most important modern day professions in the world. Electrical engineering covers a broad scope of skills and talent and thus pin pointing exactly what Electrical engineers do is not an easy task. Electrical engineers are however well known for making a difference in the world through their creative discoveries, critical thinking and willingness to succeed. In short, Electricalengineering is a subject that deals with research, design, integration, and application of electronic circuits and the ability to apply all these factors together with understanding. Information is being used in everyday life, more than it ever has been before, with each passing day electronics becomes more important in our lives and there is no doubt that with time, the rate of growth in the field of electrical engineering will increase tremendously.

1.The History of Electrical Engineering

The birth of Electrical Engineering

Almost every imaginable thing one can think of has a start and this is no different with Electrical Engineering. One cannot say that Thales of Miletus is the man who created Electrical Engineering, one can however say that this Greek philosopher was a man that was responsible for the discovery of the field of Electrical Engineering. He is the man that planted the seed of this huge tree which now consists of many branches which are ever growing. Thales of Miletus (634-546 BC) performed an experiment by rubbing different substances, such as amber on fur. He noticed that an attraction occurred between the amber and the fur being rubbed . Thales of Miletus also discovered that amber buttons attracted light objects such as thread or hair if rubbed for long enough. In performing these experiments, Thales of Miletus indirectly discovered the presence of static electricity . This may be one of the first experiments involving the field of electricity that was conducted.

19th Century advancements

Electrical engineering slowly started developing after discoveries of men such as Thales of Miletus, but it never really took off until the 19th century. Some important developments which occurred in the 19th century was the work of people such as Georg Ohm, who in 1827, illustrated the relationship between potential difference and electrical current in a conductor, in 1831 Michael Faraday discovered the important factor of electromagnetic induction, and James Clerk Maxwell, who was responsible for the publication of a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in 1873.

These men made revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of electrical engineering. The discoveries these men, as well as the discoveries of many other physicists and engineers built substantially onto the solid platform which had been created earlier. Without these further discoveries Electrical engineering would not be what it is today. In fact, these discoveries helped in making Electrical engineering a field of its own and not a branch of physics. Up until the late 19th Century, Electrical engineering was not offered as a subject in any University in the world, however In 1882, Darmstadt University of Technology became the first University in the world to offer electrical engineering as a subject at University level.

Inventions

Once Electrical engineering started spreading throughout the world, many inventions started appearing, and due to these inventions, Electrical engineering truly started becoming a career which many people started showing an interest in. The world became the world it is thanks to all the developments which engineers throughout the world helped to make. In the 1900's there were several inventions which promoted Electrical engineering as a profession such as; The superheterodyne radio circuit which was invented by Edwin Howard Armstrong, The electronic TV system invented by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, the all important integrated circuit which was a joint invention by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce , the first robot was also created in the 1900's, although it was a fairly simple design, and many other engineers revolutionised the world with their creative and out of the box thinking.

2.Modern Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering till this day is still developing. Inventions regarding the field of electronics are still being discovered, and this field is now helping in fighting many everyday problems which we face in the 21st century. Recently the world was faced with the prospect of global warming, a massive problem which affects everyone in the world, even those not creating any sort of pollution or greenhouse gases. In these tough times electrical engineering has become an even more crucial factor in our society and world. Many engineers have been faced with the challenges of creating new forms of producing electricity without affecting the environment in a negative way. Electrical engineers also continually face the prospect of creating new ideas or simply improving on old ideas. Although Electrical engineers are currently scarce and in demand, they still do make profound impacts in the world. Recently this profession has been growing. In Canada, the United States and Australia electrical engineers make up about 0.25% of the entire work force .Electrical engineers are also very common in South East Asia as well as Europe and North America .

3.Electrical Engineering in the future

When one thinks of the future, many thoughts come to mind, some positive and some negative. However, when one thinks of the future of Electrical engineering, the only thoughts that come to mind are positive. The more technological advancements one sees, the more one can expect the amount of electrical engineers to increase. A study that was conducted by the National Bureau of Labour Statistics predicted that electrical and computer engineering jobs will increase by a massive 108% over the next 10 years [8]. Electrical engineering as a profession still has so much to achieve that just the thought of it in the future makes one excited. The world still has so much to learn from this profession. All the men and women with their creative minds and never give up attitudes still have many things to show the world. Solutions to everyday problems are not far from being solved. Some very realistic future prospects which one can imagine are prospects such as cars running on renewable resources, power stations which get their energy solely from the sun, or in the distant future we may see new forms of computers, ones which do not use capacitors, resistors or conductors. One aspiring engineer may be on the brink of discovering a new form of data communication, or a completely new invention. There are so many things which are waiting to be discovered, and we can only wonder when our Electrical engineering professionals will find them.

Conclusion

The concept of Electrical engineering has been in our lives for many years. The contributions which many individuals have made in this field have affected all of us profoundly and caused Electrical engineers to be admired and respected. The modern day engineers are still contributing to the world and trying to find new ways to make improvements in the world. Electrical engineers are increasing by the year in exponential numbers and the future looks bright for Electrical engineers. The world can expect great things from this team of elite minds and expect the profession of Electrical engineering to keep growing day by day.

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