Hello everyone! My name is Shoeb Islam and I am your Electrical Director this year. Throughout my time at Ryerson I have been exposed quite a bit to the field of electrical engineering by attending many different workshops, tutorials and events that were held both on and off campus. My favourite part of electrical engineering would be the versatility and the demand for our field. Electrical engineers (EE) almost always have a part in any industry due to their versatility.
There are many branches of electrical engineering which include electronics engineering, radio frequency engineering, signal processing, and even computer or biomedical engineering!
One very broad area of EE that you will encounter is Electronics. This covers many subfields such as analog electronics, digital electronics, embedded systems and many more. Analog electronics are electronic systems with signals that are continuously variable such as an AC signal, whereas digital electronics have signals that have distinct two signals, similar to binary with 1s and 0s, but with voltages such as 5V as a 1 and 0V as a 0. There are courses that teach you all about Analog and Digital Electronics at Ryerson such as Electronic Circuits I & II or ELE 404 and ELE 504 for analog systems, whereas for its Digital counterpart you would take COE 328 or Digital Systems..
One of the very interesting fields of Electronics Engineering that you can go into is Radio Frequency or RF Engineering which deals with wireless communication systems by working with radio waves, cellular components, and radars. As an RF Engineer you can see yourself working at cell phone companies by designing devices that use and transmit radio signals or at defense systems where you can work on satellites for communications. The Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Department within Ryerson offers a course for electrical engineering called ELE531 – Electromagnetics which teaches you the basics of this field; mainly through the concept of transmission lines.
Signal processing engineering is another subfield of electrical engineering that focuses on the analysis, modification and data collection of signals. These signals can be based on sound, images, or even scientific measurements. As a signal processing engineer, you will develop and manage signals through algorithms. You will either be creating or developing them. Usually when you are working with signals through lets say, an earpiece, you might be required to amplify them or filter the background noise. These can also apply for radios, cell phones, radars, missile guidance systems, GPS, noise cancelling headphones, and so many more devices! Signals and Systems I and II or ELE 532 and ELE 632 will give you a brief insight on this field.
Many EE students, like myself, choose this program to gain a general understanding of the entire field of Electrical, Computer, and even Biomedical Engineering and apply the skills we learn to problems that we face today. Even though some of us may be enrolled in Electrical Engineering, our interests may lean more toward computer engineering or biomedical engineering. I am personally considering taking more computer and software engineering oriented courses – namely in the field of embedded systems in my 4th year. We are also encouraged to move more into the field of software as it ties very closely with our curriculum. The best part of electrical engineering would be its diversity and freedom of allowing us to delve into whichever industry best suits our interests.