It is a compliment to the electric power industry that everyone takes for granted that when you "flip a switch the lights come on." Development of a reliable electric system has required the ingenuity of many engineers over a number of years. Challenging opportunities lie ahead for power engineers to insure that new technologies are implemented. Among the topics covered in the power courses are theories and design of power apparatus and systems, computer applications in power system analysis, power semiconductor devices, power electronic systems, and issues of current interest.
Relation to Other Areas
Power engineering is multidisciplinary in nature. Interactions include not only engineering disciplines, such as controls, computers, electronics, and physical phenomena, but also topics such as economics and regulatory and environmental issues.
The power industry needs expertise in the generation, transmission, distribution, and use of electricity, and areas of employment include design, planning, manufacturing, field applications, and research. Prospective employers include electrical equipment manufacturers, utility companies, consulting companies, and research organizations. The global economy has created international opportunities for power engineers.
Companies are establishing programs to focus on customer needs, improve efficiency of existing systems, determine the most cost-effective form of new generation, promote conservation and reduce environmental operation effects. These changes will provide opportunities for power engineers to work individually or on teams to identify new hardware and software technologies to improve operations and reduce expenses.
The following courses are in the power area.
- ECE 3610 Introduction to Power Systems
- ECE 3660 Electric Power Laboratory
- ECE 4610 Power System Analysis
- ECE 4620 Power System Operation and Control
- ECE 4630 Power Electronics