University of Kwazulu Natal Electrical Engineering

University of Kwazulu Natal Electrical Engineering

University of Kwazulu Natal Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering Programme

Programme Leader: Dr Andrew Swanson | Telephone: +27 (31) 260 2713 | Email: Swanson@ukzn.ac.za

The Electrical Engineering curriculum is designed to prepare the student for the environment in which the generation, transmission and use of electrical power takes place.

This environment varies from large generators in a power station to the latest microprocessor used to control a process in a factory or the supply of electricity to a house.

We believe that the best way to accomplish this preparation is by a broad-based degree in which the third year includes modules such as Electromagnetic Theory, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Electronics, Digital Systems, Power Electronics and Control Systems.

The study of electronics and the use of computers are integrated into the electrical engineer’s training because they are vital tools. Students also attend a module on Engineering Management and Labour Practices in preparation for the management role they will assume in Industry.

Final year students take two compulsory modules in each semester including Engineering Business and Entrepreneurship. The remaining module credits required are selected from a wide range of options to suit a student’s specific interests and chosen career specialisation area. These options address issues likely to be experienced in practice and so familiarise the future graduate with problems that will be faced in Industry.

Options that may be offered include High Voltage Engineering, Power Systems, Power Electronics, Electrical Machines, Control Systems, Automation, Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems, Illumination and Data Communications and Telematics.

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Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering careers

Electrical Engineering:

Electrical Engineers are employed in a wide range of fields from designing the very large machines and equipment used to generate electrical energy and transmit it throughout the country, to the design of the electrical equipment and systems that use this energy in almost every sphere of the economy: mining and industry, rail transportation, automated production lines, and the lighting and heating of homes and shopping malls.

To make these things happen electrical engineers must not only understand the principles of operation of electric machinery such as generators, motors and transformers, but also must know how to combine these machines into large and complex systems capable of operating efficiently. Due to the complexity of modern electrical machines and technology, computers are increasingly used by electrical engineers, both as tools for designing and analysing electrical systems and for automation and control of the systems themselves once they go into operation. Computers and IT are therefore very much a part of electrical engineering.

There are many large and small organisations, which depend upon a steady stream of new engineers to meet their needs. If you decide to be an Electrical Engineer you could be employed by companies such as: Eskom, Spoornet, Sasol, AECI, CSIR, Mittal or Highveld Steel, Mondi or Sappi, Hulett or Illovo Sugar, mining companies, municipalities, processing industries, consulting firms. Many electrical engineers are self employed as consultants.

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Electronic Engineering:

Electronic Engineers are responsible for the design, management and specification of an almost endless list of hi-tech appliances, equipment and systems. Some examples of these would be: cellular and land-line telephones and networks, satellite transmitters and receivers, global positioning systems, CD and DVD players, Hi-Fi equipment, computers and software, high speed fibre optic communications links as well as television and radio transmitters and receivers. In fact one would be hard pressed to find a device today that has not been improved by some electronic engineering innovation.

Almost all electronic design and evaluation work will be completed using computers and as with all engineering a significant amount of time will involve the use and programming of computers.

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Computer Engineering
Computer Engineers design and manage computer systems from small LANs to networks that span the world, connected via cables, optical fibres and radio and satellite links. Computer networks are the backbone on which our economy is based.

The work of a Computer Engineer is very similar to that of an electronic engineer, but the computer engineer specialises in all aspects of computing such as operating systems, software engineering, computer hardware, computer and network security and network design. The strong foundation on subjects such as software engineering, network and computer security, design and analysis of complex systems, Internet engineering and e-commerce are what provides the computing specialisation.

Electronic equipment today relies very heavily on computer technology and so the two types of engineers work together to design and manufacture electronic equipment which requires both hardware and software design.

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The above-mentioned engineers are employed by a wide range of companies such as:

  • Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C
  • SABC, Orbicom, Sentech
  • CSIR, SABS, Armscor
  • mines, defence industry, electronic manufacturing industries, computer companies, software houses, consulting firms or
  • You could be self-employed running your own business in many of these fields

Engineering careers booklet

Contact details:

Ms Bennedin Mokoena
Assistant Administrator Officer
Telephone: 031 260 2744
Email: Mokoenab@ukzn.ac.za

Ms Dumisile Ngcobo
Assistant Administrator Officer
Telephone: 031 260 2753
Email: Ngcobo8@ukzn.ac.za

 

Physical Address

Discipline of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering building
Howard College
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Mazisi Kunene Road
Glenwood
Durban, 4041

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