What do electrical engineers do?

Electrical engineering provides you with endless opportunities

An electrical engineer is someone who designs and develops new electrical systems, solves problems and tests equipment. They study and apply the physics and mathematics of electricity, electromagnetism and electronics to both large and small scale systems to process information and transmit energy. They work with all kinds of electronic devices, from the smallest pocket devices to large supercomputers.

UNSW's Electrical Engineering students learn through a combination of design and lab work. This mix of theory and practical application allows students to visualize concepts and then apply their ideas in a variety of real life situations. Students learn to analyse and diagnose problems and develop innovative solutions.

Industries electrical engineers work in

Electrical engineers are usually concerned with large-scale electrical systems such as motor control and power transmission, as well as utilizing electricity to transmit energy. Electrical engineers may work on a diverse range of technologies, from the design of household appliances, lighting and wiring of buildings, telecommunication systems, electrical power stations and satellite communications. Another emerging field for electrical engineers is microelectronics - the design and development of electrical systems and circuits in computers and mobile devices.

However, graduates are not just limited to the above industries. UNSW's Electrical Engineering degree teaches you excellent problem solving skills and logical thinking. The courses are structured in ways that encourage analytical thinking, help master time management and ensure students are technically proficient. Because of this, electrical engineers from UNSW are in high demand even in areas such as:

  • Renewable energy
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies
  • Mobile networking
  • Banking
  • Finance
  • Arts
  • Management
  • Consulting

Electrical engineering design

A few examples of the applications and reach of electrical engineering are:

  • The computer, tablet or smartphone you purchased recently is a masterpiece of electrical engineering design.
  • Robots are comprised of sensors, actuators, microprocessors and sophisticated feedback control systems, designed by electrical engineers!
  • Space projects - deep space communications, robust control systems, extra terrestrial GPS for navigation and positioning, power generation and storage networks, imaging systems - made possible by electrical engineers.
  • Sophisticated medical technology that you encounter in a modern hospital including CT, MRI and PET imaging machines, ECG and blood pressure monitors, all based off electrical engineering principles.

Find out more about the different types of Electrical Engineering at UNSW and read our graduates' experiences at EET UNSW and the career paths they have followed.