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What is it all about?

Electrical and Electronic Engineering is an exciting and dynamic field. Electrical engineers are responsible
for the generation, transfer and conversion of electrical power, while electronic engineers are
concerned with the transfer of information using radio waves, the design of electronic circuits, the
design of computer systems and the development of control systems such as aircraft autopilots. These
sought-after engineers can look forward to a rewarding and respected career.
What we do about it
Electrical energy systems - encompass the study and design of electrical transmission systems, electrical
machines and variable speed drives; high power electronic converters and high voltage engineering. This
requires engineering on a grand scale, such as power distribution across Southern Africa. Power
generation from renewable resources, such as wind and sun, and electrical transport, such as battery
electrical vehicles, are of growing importance in the electrical engineering field and postgraduate
Electronics - the study of components and circuits used to construct items such as audio amplifiers,
radio transmitters and computer circuits. Students learn about elementary electrical components,
transistors, integrated circuits, computer circuitry and power electronics. The field specialises in areas
such as microwave electronics, superconducting electronics, ultra-high speed electronics and the
prevention of electromagnetic interference between devices.
Electromagnetic systems - are diverse and complex, ranging from the study of the electromagnetic
effects of motors and electrical insulators to radio and radar antennas, radio waves and visible light
(fibre optics). The scope of study ranges from undergraduate introductory courses to world class
research at graduate level.
Computer systems - students are trained to design and implement computers and digital electronic
systems. This field also covers the design and construction of microcomputers built to control almost
every electrical appliance, from automatic irrigation systems to autopilots for aircraft. Computer
programming for embedded systems and reconfigurable logic circuits and the use and development of
real time operating systems to address a variety of engineering problems, are also of key importance.
Control systems - range from the temperature control in air conditioning systems to the sophisticated
automatic landing systems that allow aircraft to land autonomously in thick fog or to point camera
systems accurately from satellites to target areas on the ground. Students learn techniques to design
control systems for both electronic (analogue) and computer (digital) implementations and also to apply
the knowledge in other branches of engineering.
Signal processing - Speech, radio waves and television images are all examples of signals. Students
study the behaviour of these signals and apply computers usefully to process them (eg speech, speaker
and image recognition, software defined radios and protocols). Mathematical aids are created to
analyze and understand these signals. Postgraduate students are involved with leading edge research in
speech processing, radar and sonar, image processing, software defined radios and protocols/networks.