#BeAnAwesome: Electrical Engineer

Assoc Prof Vengadeshwaran Velu, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at INTI University College shares his ideas with the readers of coursesmalaysia.com about lighting up the world.
Assoc Prof Vengadeshwaran Velu
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at INTI University College

What will I do?

The duties of electrical engineers are possibly the most diverse in the engineering field. Electrical engineers are responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy to the end user in real time. The production of electrical energy is the only business which is neither export nor import orientated. Electrical energy is generated and utilised in real time.

The role of an electrical engineer ranges from the design, estimation and installation of high current equipment to the calculation of harmonics in switch mode power supplies. Electrical engineers design and produce drawings of electrical systems using computer-aided design (CAD) simulation software. Based on calculations, they decide on the type and arrangement of circuits, transformers, circuit-breakers, transmission lines and equipment. Electrical engineers design and install control and signal devices for road, rail and air traffic. They also contribute and adhere to the safety requirements of the operation.

Is it for me?

Ever wonder how a fluorescent lamp works or why the lights along highways are so bright? Had your curiosity piqued about how a windmill works, how a nuclear power plant produces electrical energy, or how electrical energy is transmitted through high voltage power lines? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then pursuing a career in electrical engineering may just be the one for you.

To be a qualified electrical engineer, you are required to complete an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering with extensive experience in handling high-voltage electrical equipment.

Upon employment, junior electrical engineers spend a few years learning on the job about the company's products, design procedures and systems. Electrical engineers are required to be innovative and creative when solving problems, as they need to find solutions for a number of challenges − from identifying problems to selecting appropriate technical solutions, materials, test equipment and procedures, to manufacture and produce safe, economical, high-performance products and services.

Additionally, electrical engineers are expected to possess strong leadership skills, computer skills, communication skills and interdisciplinary teamwork skills.

How much will I earn?

In Malaysia, electrical engineers earn from RM2,000 to RM14,000 per month depending on their qualifications and professional experience. The starting salary of a fresh graduate may range from RM 2,000 to RM 4,000.

Who Will Employ Me?

Electrical engineers have career opportunities in many multinational electrical engineering companies such as GEC, Siemens and ABB; and national electricity boards such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Singapore Power. However electrical engineers are also employed in various areas of work − R&D, manufacturing, testing and servicing − in almost every industry.

Specialisations

There are a number of specialisations within electrical engineering. These include power generation, power transmission, power distribution, power utilisation, power electronics, control systems, electrical instrumentation, protection and switching, power line communication, power supplies and cableless power transfer. Those wishing to specialise are advised to pursue related postgraduate qualifications in order to excel.