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Electrical engineers bring good things to light

Robert Hayes Modified: July 10, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: June 7, 2013

Have you ever wondered how computers, radios or televisions work?  Ever wonder how a microwave oven or cell phone tower work?  Perhaps you could live without hair dryers and curling irons but what about your remote control, what would be our attitude if we lost all three?  One of the prime ingredients in these working well is electricity, more specifically, controlled electricity.

You might not think very often that having electricity is a very big deal but your car wouldn’t run, your lights would not come on and your air conditioning would not operate without it. You would be washing clothes by hand and drying them on a string. No credit cards, hospital, no running water, equipment and basically any instrument you use at work would likely not perform without electricity.  Electricity pretty much is integrated into operating anything that moves, functions, switches or in any way exerts control over nature around us.  You might think that digging a ditch with a shovel wouldn’t need electricity but could that very shovel have been made without electricity?  Perhaps you might try to argue that making a snow fort requires no electricity but again, did your snow gear require electricity to make, did the food which gave you energy require electricity to get it to you, would you even be in the snow if you didn’t have a warm house to retreat to?  How much electricity went into the making of and maintaining your house?

In today’s society, electricity is almost as essential as clean water and gasoline or diesel fuel.  Without electricity, we couldn’t refrigerate food, control the temperature in our homes and work or even light our way as we go or stay.  It might be easy to think that these things are not complicated or easy to design and create but to know that, you would have to ask an electrical engineer.

With a population as large as we have today, controlling nature is critical to our very survival, from growing food to harvesting resources and manufacturing all the items we have around us, we use electricity in every step.  Controlling electricity comes through design, design in turn comes from an engineer.

Our entire economy is critically dependent on good electrical engineering design.  Whatever your job is, whatever your hobby, whatever you do in between almost certainly requires electricity in a way that was well designed.  Even the oil industry critically requires good electrical engineers.

The path to becoming an engineer starts in college.  A degree in electrical engineering can be obtained from any state University.  As with any engineering degree, this requires a full first year of calculus and physics along with a host of subjects for the next three years.  Examples include computer programming, logic circuits, algorithms, microprocessors, electromagnetic fields, wireless communications, electronic devices and microwave theory.

Whether you have any interest in how electricity makes all the things around us work or not hopefully will not take away your appreciation for how critical it is to our standard of living.  Electrical engineers certainly perform a very valuable service to the world, perhaps far more than many realize.







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