Electrical engineering deals with the study and application of electrical systems for use in different environments. A student has to learn about transmission and generation of electrical power, electrical circuit design, electronics, instrumentation, and control systems. In-depth knowledge of electronic devices and circuits for measurement, instrumentation, control and protection of electrical equipment and conversion systems is also required. One will also have to master the application of computer-based systems in design, analysis and efficient operation of power systems
What do they do?
Working in a power plant or developing software to improve electrical equipment are the primary tasks of an electrical engineer.
One specialising in this field can also work in steel factories, the railways, at construction sites or handle automated systems in which electricity supply and distribution plays a crucial role.
“There are tremendous opportunities for electrical and mechanical engineers — theirs are evergreen professions,” says Prasen Jit Pal, deputy general manager, engineering division, a PSU.
“Given the huge gap between demand and supply of power in India, there’s a lot of scope for more growth in the sector,” adds Pal. “Currently, our company has 30,000 MW of installed capacity, which is expected to almost double in the next seven-eight years. This, in turn, would attract investments of Rs 80,000 crore or so.” Which means still more jobs for electrical engineers.
Those wanting to enter the power or civil sector should go for electrical (power) engineering. Bhola Prasad, project engineer with RITES, a government enterprise, has been involved with work to bring light to hundreds of villages in India. “Every day, I would go on field visits and ensure that the power lines were set in accordance with rules. The work can be quite demanding as it involves a number of checks and verifications while work is in progress,” says Prasad.
Things can get quite hectic, says Pal, when a new power project is being carried out. “During the installation of a power plant, every engineer works extra hard,” he says.
“One must meticulously monitor the installation and commissioning of each piece of equipment. Things cool down during the operation phase, barring annual maintenance time.”
The power generation or distribution sector is not where all electrical engineers go. Many join allied industries like automobile or instrumentation, where massive manufacturing plants are run on power.
“There are two huge plants in our factory that are run on power and electrical engineers are required to ensure continuous supply of electricity to the plant and to fix any faults,” says Varun Anand, electrical engineer with Hero Motors, Manesar.
With each industry now driven by computers, electrical engineers can go in for software development, too. To create and enhance software, one ought to have a sound theoretical knowledge of electricity. This job calls for analysing procedural functions of engineering to do the software encoding.
Rajiv Garg, an electrical engineer from IIT Delhi, works at Mentor Graphics, an electronic design automation company, on ‘enrichment of software’ used for making chips by semiconductor companies like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. He says, “With technology advancing rapidly, the demand for electrical engineers has gone up steeply everywhere. A lot of work goes into the development and enrichment of equipment. It is first designed using software, then the design is optimised considering its utility, followed by its physical test.”
Another emerging area is green energy. “Whether it’s hydro power, solar power or wind energy, each sector will require electrical engineers. That’s why I joined the clean technology sector and will go back to it after doing my MBA,” says Shobhit Goel, an electrical (power) engineer from IIT Delhi and a student at ISB, Hyderabad.
source: HT Horizons
. Strong logical and analytical skills along with the ability to absorb new knowledge
. Keen attention to detail, as machines need a lot of care
. Ability to adapt to the changing technological scenario of the current market, e.g. by
learning software development
How do I get there?
Do a BTech (electrical) or BTech (electrical-power), depending on your area of interest. You can also pursue an MTech if you want to go in for research. After engineering, you can hunt for a job in companies like Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, the National Thermal Power Corporation or Reliance Power. Reputable institutes like the IITs and the NITs have campus placements, but for other students, companies will usually organise a written test for annual intake. Check out newspaper advertisements for announcements of the test dates
Pros & Cons about this career
Well paying job Esteemed job Global prospects
Long hours of work May be summoned at unearthly work hours
Well paying job Global prospects
Long working hours Erratic work timings