Electronic 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). Electronic engineering entails the vast and constantly expanding field of the “electronic world and era”. There is hardly a technological system in the world that does not rely on electronics and electronic engineering. An electronic engineer is someone with a talent for introducing new technologies and upgrading old technologies.
An electronic engineer has a good understanding of the basic sciences and a good education in the theoretical and practical aspects (including design methodology) of electronics and electronic engineering systems. With the drastic increase in the development of new electronic systems all over the world it is essential to be well prepared for the work of an electronic engineer.
The electronic engineering degree at the University of Pretoria was developed over many years to provide exactly what the industry expects from such an engineer. This is an exciting world with the “half-life” of microelectronics and photonics being approximately two-and-a-half years. There are constant improvements and developments.
Electronic engineering is used in almost all information communication and technology (ICT) application fields especially those of telecommunications (cellphones broadcasting internet service providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies (Telcos), global positioning systems (GPSs), transport (aeroplanes, ships, trains, motor cars), consumer equipment (iPods, induction, stoves, fridges, microwave,s televisions), peace-keeping operations (avionics, night vision, electronic warfare, smart bombs, drones, laser, target designators), medicine (bioengineering diagnostic systems, rehabilitation engineering, intensive care units, laser surgery), robotics (mechatronics, mine robots, spacecraft), entertainment (video games, shows, casinos), mining manufacturing, navigation communication, satellite surveillance (day and night entrance control, face recognition) and photonics (lasers, optical fibres networking).
Electronic engineers have to be innovative and ensure that they stay abreast of new technologies. Many electronic engineers move very quickly into management where their analytical synthesis, managerial and leadership skills are used to reach the highest levels of corporate management. A number of graduates of this Department have sold their ideas (patents) for hundreds of millions of rands.
The aim of electronic engineering is to do things faster, cheaper, in smaller sizes and with much more control and artificial intelligence. Typical subsystems that form part of larger electronic systems are amplifiers, transmitters, receivers, control systems, sensor systems, power supplies, radio frequency (RF) subsystems, micro- and nanoelectronics and microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSPs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Most electronic systems use a standard process of measurement (sensing), calculate/compare/ store information and controlled outputs (actuators) with extensive computing and communication power.
For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.
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