From the beginning of human existence, man has identified ways to improve the standard of living. Electricity was one of these identified ways. The development of electricity led to the creation of electrical engineering, a challenging vocation that changed and improved our way of life. In this paper I will discuss the history of electrical engineering, the preparation for becoming an electrical engineer, and the actual career.
The history of electrical engineering is rather recent, but it is based on ancient ideas. Electricity and magnetism are the two bases for electrical engineering. The Greeks were the first to discover the nature of attraction of amber and lodestone. The Chinese, on the other hand, were the first to control the power of magnetism. Therefore, they understood how to magnetize steel from lodestone. The Chinese used their knowledge of magnetism to create the first compass in the third century A.D. Then came the first dedicated observers of magnetism, Roger Bacon and Peter Peregrinus, during the Renaissance period. Dr. William Gilber also wrote the first meaningful book, De Magnete, about electrical science in the 1600Тs. Gilbert discovered the first electrical instrument, a versorium, which is an electroscope for detecting the presence of an electrical charge. There were many others who contributed to the advancement of electrical engineering such as: Robert Boyle, Otto von Guericke, Benjamin Franklin, Aslessandro Volta, Luigi Galvani, Georg Simon Ohm, Michael Faraday and many more. Robert Boyle, in 1675, wrote about the mechanical origins or production of electricity. Otto Von Guericke, of Magdeburg, Germany, observed, for the first time, sparks and heard crackling sounds when attaching objects using magnetism. Benjamin Franklin was a giant in electrical science. He coined the terms "conductor" and "nonconductor". He also theorized that lightning was an electrical display (History of Electricity 1). Aslessandro Volta created the volt, the unit of electromotive force, in 1900. Luigi Galvani was a professor of anatomy at the ancient University of Bologna (Kingsford 17). He discovered, when experimenting with dead frogs and electricity, that frogsТ legs twitched when two different metals, copper and zinc, were made to contact them. This was significant because it led Volta to finding the Voltaic pile, the first electric battery. Georg Ohm discovered Ohm's Law when at Cologne caring out experiments (20). Michael Friday was one of the greatest scientists of all time. He has been compared in greatness to Galileo and Isaac Newton (21). Friday brought electricity and magnetism together and discovered a new source of current, electromagnetic induction. His discovery was the basis for the electric motor and laid down the laws of electrolysis. Without all these contributions by the founders of electricity, our technology would not be as advanced as it is today.
College preparation is key to becoming a successful engineer. Consequently, it is beneficial to find others that are interested in electrical engineering. Being involved with students who have similar interests, most likely, will improve one's chances of success. Likewise, one should meet with one's high school career counselor and ask what kind of classes one must take to prepare for an engineering major in college. A person interested in engineering should get suggestions as to what must be done to prepare for such a career. Thirdly, one should ask parents for support and advice to advance one's exploration in engineering. In addition, one should let teachers know of his interest in electrical engineering in case they can provide more information (Jets). Chris Abrahamsen of Pace Engineering said, "I prepared for electrical engineering by taking all the math and science classes I could in high school. I also worked one summer while in college to help determine what area of electrical engineering I would like to pursue."
If one wants to be an...
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