Electronic Engineering

General Overview

Electronics is a field within electrical engineering and focuses on the design, manufacturing and maintenance of electronic circuits and devices. Electronics is also a broad term and encompasses power electronics, digital electronics, consumer electronics, embedded electronics and analog electronics. These fields look at the design, manufacturing, integration and maintenance of electronic circuits which include resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, programmable devices and typically assembled onto printed circuit boards to achieve a particular functionality. Examples of what these circuits can achieve include radio frequency circuits, control systems, telecommunications systems, transmission circuits, microprocessors or a complex circuit that provides a supply from a source such as a battery. These types of circuits can be much larger and cover entire vehicles, structures or aircraft.

A number of circuits constructed onto Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). Source: www.bgmeng.com

Electronic engineers require a lot of technical knowledge which can be gained through completing Bachelors, postgraduate degrees and often PHD’s. The skills stem from fundamental physics, chemistry, mathematics and electrical engineering. Working through a structured education, electronic engineers will end up identifying what sub-field suits them the best. Use of computers is vital in modern day design of electronic circuits. There are many software packages that will provide tools to undertake design and analysis of electronic software. Electromagnetics and network theory are two of the most fundamental topics required to be understood by electronic engineers. They must also understand the manufacturing process of electronic circuits, whether that be small soldering circuits on a printed circuit board or large circuits with many different cable thicknesses and interfaces as seen in vehicles and aircraft.

 

Electronic engineering is again a relatively new field of engineering. It took quite some time before the theories could be fully understand and then applied. The industry grew out from telegraph, radio and telephone systems. Throughout the major World Wars these technological advancements were very large due to secrecy required when talking between different service branches, teams and countries. This developed the industry in terms of transmitting and receiving radio wave signals and also radar, sonar and advanced communications and interaction systems. Following these advancements, the industry grew through the information age with significant developments in televisions and computers. Modern electronic engineering is grossly populated with wireless systems and we are now moving to an age where artificial intelligence will continue the progression of this field.

Required Knowledge

Skills and Expertise

  • Strong knowledge of fundamental mathematics, physics and chemistry theories

  • Strong knowledge of electrical engineering

  • Knowledge of control engineering, instrumentation, signal processing and telecommunications.

  • Understanding of manufacturing methods of electronic systems.

  • Ability to manage the design and manufacturing of an electronic system. This include project management skills.

  • Programming skills beneficial

  • Understanding of the health and safety requirements involved with electronic circuits and how to design and manufacture a safe and usable electronics circuit.

 

Software Understanding

  • Electronics CAD software (MultiSim, Catia, Siemens NX, AutoCAD, PCB, Altium Designer)

  • Electronic circuit analysis software (MultiSim)

  • Relevant circuit testing software and data manipulation

  • Knowledge of computer programming

Example Jobs
  • Software Engineer

  • Electronics Manufacturing Technician

  • Electronics Test Engineer

  • Circuit Design Engineer

  • Electronics Project Managers

  • Automotive electronic circuit design / manufacturing engineer

  • Aerospace electronic circuit design / manufacturing engineer

Institutions

UK:  Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP)

USA: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Audio Engineering Society (AES), Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)

© Engineering First Principles Limited.

All Rights Reserved.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon