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Student question

Student question

(OP)
Hey,

So I am considering doing my Masters of Applied Science (MASc) in Electrical Engineering in Toronto and was just here to get some opinions. The MASc requires course work and a project and students must choose a specialization field. I wanted to get a bit familiar with the potential fields I could choose from. Namely, the ones I want to discuss are Energy Systems, Electronic Circuits and Systems and Electronic Devices. Since this is a research-based degree, based on what I found online a lot of the research in Electronic Devices is at the nano-scale level where researchers are attempting to use various metals and metal oxides within their devices. It probably will depend on the lab I choose but this seems to be what I am getting from online reading... on the other hand Energy Systems seems to be more focused on large scale electrical distributions and how such processes can be optimized. Does anyone within these various fields have some comments/contrasts/comparisons regarding/between these various fields and what these fields may consist of?

Thanks.

RE: Student question

Those are three radically different fields.

The Energy one is working with complete systems usually supporting a broad base of customers. Lots of field work or site visits. Specifying, teaching customers, and supporting them and their ideas. A job you could do working in a company, possibly an energy company, or as the 'energy guy' working with a mechanical contractor who does lots of other stuff, or as a consultant.

The Electronic Circuits and Systems; is going to be pretty broad and you might find yourself working as an electronics designer for a large company, as an integrator pulling a lot of off-the-shelf stuff together to meet a system need, or working for, say, a semiconductor company as a support engineer helping their customers thru designs they need using your company's products.

Electronic Devices; will again put you into a semiconductor company working at the physics level instead of the electronics level on designing the products they will sell. It is a job that can only be done at a large facility with huge capital equipment available. You likely can not do it consulting.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Student question

(OP)
Thanks for that smoked! Personally I have spent some time on studying, and did a research project on, small scale electrical properties of various materials and just didn't feel that it was the right thing for me... that's why the information I found about electronics particularly for the program makes me lean towards Energy systems instead (I think I am more interested in complete systems as you described it)... I have given thought to consulting and it definitely intrigues me more than a lot of other options. I will look further into Energy systems. Thanks again.

RE: Student question

Thanks Dan.

Ykj; They are quite different and would be for pretty different personalities. It's a bit sad details like this are passed over by higher education. I believe they should do a much better job at helping students understand their own personalities and help them towards things they'll thrive at.

For instance, the Electronic Devices degree would be a good fit for a self-starter who is content to be pointed at a single task and to work independently towards the goal whereas the Energy degree would require the absolute opposite of working with all sorts of others on the phone, in person, long time, one day.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Student question

I used to have a boss who verbosely waxed on, during an already absurdly long staff meeting, that "system" was in the eye of the beholder. Even a lowly resistor is a "system," albeit mostly mechanical and partly electrical. Even at the level of energy systems, a rooftop solar panel installation is quite different than a multi-MW utility, which are both quite different than wind or ocean power generation.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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