Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical control systems and components to required specifications. Their work focuses on:
The electrical equipment that they design and manufacture is used across many sectors, including:
• the building industry and services, including lighting, heating and ventilation;
• transportation and transport networks;
• manufacturing and construction;
• Production and distribution of power.
Electrical engineers are involved in projects from the concept and detail of the design, through to implementation, testing and handover. They may be involved in maintenance programs.
As well as having technical knowledge, electrical engineers need to be able to project manage and multitask. They also need to have commercial awareness. Additional attributes, such as team leadership or management skills, are required as careers progress.
Most electrical engineers work in a multi-disciplinary project team, which is likely to include engineers from other specialist areas as well as architects, marketing and sales staff, manufacturers, technicians and customer service personnel.
Electrical engineers may be involved in all parts of the design and development process or just one particular stage. While the work can vary according to the industry, common tasks include:
• identifying customer requirements;
• designing systems and products;
• reading design specifications and technical drawings;
• researching suitable solutions and estimating costs and timescales;
• making models and prototypes of products using three-dimensional design software;
• liaising with others in the design team;
• communicating with clients and contractors;
• attending meetings on site;
• designing and conducting tests;
• recording, analyzing and interpreting test data;
• proposing modifications and retesting products;
• qualifying the final product or system;
• servicing and maintaining equipment;
• preparing product documentation, writing reports and giving presentations;
• Monitoring a product in use to improve on future design.