Electrical engineering is one of the three internationally accepted and closely-related subdisciplines in the traditional field of electrical engineering (electrical engineering, electronic engineering and computer engineering). Electrical engineering entails the vast and constantly expanding field of the “electrical-energy world”. There is hardly a technological system in the world that does not rely on electrical power as a source of energy. An electrical engineer is someone with a flair for introducing alternative and renewable sources of electrical energy into everyday life.
Huge challenges exist for utilising and storing electrical energy from such sources as the sun (solar energy), wind biomass water (hydro-energy) and even nuclear energy. In South Africa pumped storage systems are extensively used and new systems are under construction. The next steps in the chain from generating to utilising electrical energy are the transmission and distribution systems. The most cost-effective way of saving electrical energy is to spend a great deal of research and development, time and money on sustainable energy-efficient equipment from electrical machines to geysers and lighting.
An electrical engineer has a good understanding of basic sciences and a good education in the theoretical and practical aspects (including design installation and maintenance methodology) of electrical engineering. In the midst of the world-wide crisis in the environmentally-friendly generation of power and energy there is a shortage of qualified electrical engineers all over the world.
The electrical engineering degree at the University of Pretoria was developed over many years to provide exactly what the industry expects from such an engineer. These are extremely exciting times worldwide for electrical (high current) engineers capable of taking the lead with sustainable and environmentally-friendly electrical energy generation, transmission and utilisation. Electrical cars (including series and parallel hybrid vehicles) have already been introduced by most car manufacturers and there are many new entrants to the market.
Electrical engineering is prevalent in almost all application fields and technologies where electrical energy is consumed. Every known piece of equipment requires a source of energy – powered by mains battery or photovoltaic (PV) – and needs the skill of an electrical engineer. Transport and manufacturing industries are excellent examples of electrical engineering where electrical engineers use their excellent skills in designing, developing and maintaining the electrical machines (motors and generators) with control systems for optimal performance. Most ships and trains are electrically powered.
Other applications of electrical engineering include power reticulation in cities, townships, shopping malls and factories. Lighting of indoor and outdoor areas forms the basis of our daily activities and includes sport stadiums, street lighting, safety and security lighting, task and ambient lighting, as well as lighting for offices, entertainment and many other specialist applications. Whether it is medicine, the military, entertainment, sport, education or any other field of technology, electrical engineers will be there to provide the energy and control required by these systems. Many electrical engineers move into management very quickly, where their analysis, synthesis, managerial and leadership skills are used to reach the highest levels of corporate management.
The aim of electrical engineering is to change the world with respect to generating, transmitting, distributing and utilising electrical energy in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way. Typical subsystems that may form part of larger electrical systems are electrical machines of all sizes and shapes, power electronics, control systems, power system components, power quality and network, stability lamps and lighting, power supplies, PV cells, solar geysers, space systems, robotics and energy management systems.
For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.
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Electrical engineers are active in the generation, storage, transmission, distribution and utilisation of electrical energy. There is a brilliant future in renewable energy. Electrical engineers design, supervise the construction, oversee the optimal operation and assure perfect and timely maintenance of all electrical installations for municipalities, residential areas, commercial buildings, factories, mines and industries. Rail transport, water pumping, electrical grids, telecommunications, energy management and smart lighting are all fields of application of electrical engineering.
4 years, full-time.
The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria is a leading source of graduates in the engineering, built environment and information technology professions. We achieve this by a focus on research to drive innovative and enquiry-led teaching for educating and positioning our students to be leaders in their professions. The Faculty has extensive and cutting-edge teaching, learning and laboratory facilities integrated with the excellent suite of facilities and services offered by the University. We facilitate access to our qualifications through our extended programmes but expect our students to excel and develop as future professionals through our programme offering. We invite you to consider enrolling in one of our programmes if you share our vision of excellence and want to position yourself as a leader in the professions that we support.
The Faculty is organised in four schools: the School of Engineering, the School for the Built Environment, the School of Information Technology and the Graduate School of Technology Management. The School of Engineering is the largest of its kind in the country in terms of student numbers, graduates and research contributions and offers programmes in all the major engineering disciplines with many specialisations also offered at undergraduate and graduate level.
The University of Pretoria aims to be internationally competitive while also locally relevant. Advisory boards at both faculty and departmental level promote alignment and excellence in our teaching and research activities. Where applicable and available our programmes are accredited by statutory and professional bodies at both national and international level.