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Career Connections: Electrical Engineering

7 minutes

(male) I decided to go into engineering as a boy. I used to watch the original Star Trek series and the engineer, Scotty, was always held in high regard. I used to take things apart, much to my dad's dismay, and had difficulty putting things back together. I was curious. I wanted to understand why things worked. An electrical engineer is a student of engineering that specializes in the electrical discipline. We have electrical engineers that focus on computers. We have electrical engineers, like myself, that focus on heavy power systems for manufacturing facilities. We have electrical engineers that focus on communications. They work with networks. SSOE is a consulting engineering firm. We provide solutions for clients that have issues either with their current manufacturing systems or they want to expand production. They come to us with ideas and we try to find the most economical solution to help them do whatever it is they need to do. They're in the duct bank... My key responsibility as a project lead engineer is to manage the effort of teams of individuals. Some of those individuals are in our Toledo office, and there are individuals in other offices. We have a group right now that's in our office in Mumbai, India that we're involved with. So, what I am expected to do is set the picture for what that team is to execute as part of delivering a project. I tell them what I want them to do, when I want them to do it, and they figure out the details. The do the work. They send it to me. I review it. If there are clarifications or questions or I think that they're interpreting it incorrectly, I get them back on course. This requires shielded cable-- VFD cable. Right now we're working with a Chinese client that actually has Chinese engineers here in our office helping us interpret their design documents. English is a second language to them and most of them are fluent. The language is only part of the challenge that we have. It's the technical aspect of what their documents are trying to convey to us because they don't learn about how to explain technical terms in some of their schooling in English. So, having the ability to talk to somebody and explain things different ways, that's something I find very exciting as an engineer. I have multiple ways to explain something to somebody, and you can tell when the light comes on and they understand. I'd suggest that students in middle and high school that are interested in engineering, they should focus on a couple of key areas. I think mathematics would be important. Communications would be a really good one to understand. Mechanical drafting, or what I would consider drafting-- being able to draw a picture-- I think that is important. Any of those other sciences like chemistry or physics, those would really help someone that was interested in going into engineering. I never considered myself smart, so math always scared me when I was in school. And when I did finally get into math classes was actually in the navy. I was in the nuclear power program. They were very heavy into math. What I learned from that is that there are rules on how to do things. You have to learn to learn the rules. Once you get the rules, it's all pattern recognition. The more practice you get as part of homework, you get good at recognizing those patterns. Once you recognize the pattern, it's simple. One of the things that we found out is that this plenum-- Becoming an electrical engineer is a four-year degree. After that degree, if it's received from the right college, you can pursue what's called "licensure," becoming a registered engineer. Licensure, in the state of Ohio, requires a four-year degree from an accredited college, and then take a couple exams. First exam is the fundamentals in engineering that you can take right out of college. Once you pass that exam, you're an engineer in training. Then you have to work under a senior registered engineer for four years. Then you can sit for what's called "Principles in Engineering," or the PE exam. Pass that test, you can then become licensed in the state of Ohio. My job is the best in the world. I enjoy what I do because it's never the same thing. It's different every day. I work with great people. We're all trying to do cutting-edge things. It's like I get paid to play.

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Explore the dynamic work environment of an electrical engineer who oversees large industrial projects. Watch as engineers interact with one another and use cutting-edge 3-D modeling. Learn how to become a licensed professional engineer. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 7 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12