Author Topic: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer  (Read 9538 times)

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Offline matrixofdynamism

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How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« on: October 07, 2012, 03:41:09 am »
I wish to become an Electronic design engineer and know how to do PCB design, Analogue/Digital design (I know analogue is quite a broad term), Microcontroller programming and simulation in MATLAB. I wish to have a job where these things are done.

I have an MEng in Electronic Engineering from UK but after going through the degree I am not at all satisfied with the level of experience and knowledge that I have gained through the degree itself. There are also those things that did not become completely clear from the degree course itself. What should I do to learn about all these things to the extent of being able to do them like adding two number?

I know C, C++, C#, VHDL, and MATLAB. I don't have enough money to make a lab at home that I badly wish to do.

I wish to get into Electronic design industry, please advice me.
 

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 03:57:04 am »
I have an MEng in Electronic Engineering from UK but after going through the degree I am not at all satisfied with the level of experience and knowledge that I have gained through the degree itself.

That's what industry experience is for.

Quote
I wish to get into Electronic design industry, please advice me.

Step 1. Apply for electronics design jobs.
Step 2. Succeed in getting a job.
(note, if Step 2 is not immediately successful, repeat step 1)

There is no step 3  ;D

You have an MEng in EE, there is nothing more you need in order to get a job in the industry.

Dave.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 04:15:42 am »
It's like Dave said. An undergraduate degree in engineering is the beginning of a journey, not the end. You start out in your first job as an apprentice, knowing little but the basics, but hopefully with the ability to learn. Expect it to take five years at work before you feel able to do a good job as an engineer, and ten years before you might call yourself experienced. It typically takes at least five years of work experience to move from being an engineer in training to gain a professional qualification like CEng in the UK or P.E. in the U.S.A.

Your engineering degree has (hopefully) prepared you to start work. Now you need to find a job. If you have learned well, you should be able to take on tasks assigned to you in that job without becoming lost. As you complete those tasks more and more things should become clear to you and eventually you will have the feeling you really know something.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 06:57:27 pm by IanB »
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline DL8RI

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 11:50:50 am »
Hi,

experience in Industry is one thing... but experience in a free development at home is another.

Even if you say, that you have not the money to bild your home-lab, thats not true...
No one starts with a LeCroy Wavemaster or whatever...
Buy yourself a old (>20 years) Desk-DMM (Fluke, HP, Philips, whatever). If it has some faults (e.g. broken Display) you get it for a few beers. BTW, beer is in fact my mostly used currency for Lab-Equipment. :D

Same for a scope... i started with a old and half broken Hameg. The first Power-Supply can be build with a old transformer from the junk-yard and some parts for a pocket-money. Same goes for a basic function-generator. If you want, you can have a complete, very basic, home-lab for 100 Pound(s?).

Thats all you need to start... ...no... it's not... there ist one IMPORTANT component missing... that's your creativity!
How to measure the THD with just a scope and some passive components? How to measure Caps with a scope? How to... ?

And THAT is how you gain experience. Of course it goes hand in hand with the industry-experience mentioned by the two others... :)

Just my opinion :)

73,
Martin
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 02:36:52 pm »
Hi,

experience in Industry is one thing... but experience in a free development at home is another.

Even if you say, that you have not the money to bild your home-lab, thats not true...
No one starts with a LeCroy Wavemaster or whatever...
Buy yourself a old (>20 years) Desk-DMM (Fluke, HP, Philips, whatever). If it has some faults (e.g. broken Display) you get it for a few beers. BTW, beer is in fact my mostly used currency for Lab-Equipment. :D

Same for a scope... i started with a old and half broken Hameg. The first Power-Supply can be build with a old transformer from the junk-yard and some parts for a pocket-money. Same goes for a basic function-generator. If you want, you can have a complete, very basic, home-lab for 100 Pound(s?).

Thats all you need to start... ...no... it's not... there ist one IMPORTANT component missing... that's your creativity!
How to measure the THD with just a scope and some passive components? How to measure Caps with a scope? How to... ?

And THAT is how you gain experience. Of course it goes hand in hand with the industry-experience mentioned by the two others... :)

Just my opinion :)

73,
Martin

Martin,you're a German bloke---you love beer!! ;D
You don't have to pretend you keep it all just for bartering for Electronics.

P.S. Have one for me!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 02:38:56 pm by vk6zgo »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 03:29:28 pm »
I wish to become an Electronic design engineer and know how to do PCB design, Analogue/Digital design (I know analogue is quite a broad term), Microcontroller programming and simulation in MATLAB. I wish to have a job where these things are done.

I have an MEng in Electronic Engineering from UK but after going through the degree I am not at all satisfied with the level of experience and knowledge that I have gained through the degree itself. There are also those things that did not become completely clear from the degree course itself. What should I do to learn about all these things to the extent of being able to do them like adding two number?

I know C, C++, C#, VHDL, and MATLAB. I don't have enough money to make a lab at home that I badly wish to do.

I wish to get into Electronic design industry, please advice me.

If you have an electronic engineering degree, then as others have said, your next step is simply to start applying for jobs. Employers understand that you won't have real-world experience yet, though you'll certainly have an advantage over your peers if you've done some tinkering in your own time for the sheer fun of it. We're looking for people who are genuinely interested in electronics, and if you are then you'll be expected to be able to prove it. Being able to talk about projects you've done on your own is a great way to do this.

You don't need a lot of expensive kit to set up a lab. In fact I didn't really "set up a lab" at all until a few years ago, when I decided to undertake a major project which I intended to sell commercially. Until then I had a £5 mains powered soldering iron, one of the cheap, crummy "830" multimeters like you can get off Ebay for about £3, plus a load of resistors, caps, stripboard and so on. Add a few basic hand tools and you're all set.

If you're interested in microcontrollers, get yourself a PICKIT 3 and a PIC development board - like this:
http://uk.farnell.com/microchip/dv164131/debug-kit-express-pickit-3/dp/1686530

For about £55 you have a complete programmer, compiler and debugger, and a board to experiment with and learn on. It's fantastic value IMHO, and much more professionally useful than something dumbed down like a Picaxe or Arduino. If you already know C then you've got a major advantage over me when I bought one of these kits last year.

When I did start setting up my lab, I started with a nice, solid bench (s/h off Ebay for next to nothing), and covered it with an ESD bench mat. Then I added a desk lamp and, finally, a cheap s/h (but good quality) analogue scope. The project I was designing was mains powered, so I did the PSU first and didn't even need a bench supply.

You can do quite a lot of learning for free by simulating circuits instead of having to build and probe them. Download yourself a copy of LTSpice from the Linear Technology web site, it's a wonderful tool and costs nothing at all. Design your next project with it, simulate it, tweak it until it all works OK, then build it once with real components.

Of course, once you start earning, you'll be much better placed to buy yourself some decent tools and equipment, so the major hurdle is to get your first job. If you can find vacancies for junior design engineers then apply for them, of course, but don't overlook ads for technicians either.

Don't be afraid to move on after a year or two as a tech, though. Someone with a degree and couple of years' experience as a technician could be quite valuable to a new employer as a junior design engineer, whereas to your original employer you'll be more valuable as a tech who knows their products and has started to become useful in that capacity. Don't expect to automatically get promoted.

The best advice I can give you right now is to get your CV sorted, and really thoroughly checked for typing and grammatical errors. Your original post contains a few, which would give a prospective employer a bad impression. Do remember that a major part of engineering is being able to document what you've done in a way which is accurate and readable, so any mistakes at this stage can be the red flag that gets your CV chucked in the bin.

Offline G7PSK

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 05:07:33 pm »
On the other hand you don't. You do a post doctorate and invent an alternative for electrolytic's as your research thesis and after you have spent the research grant developing them you leave with the patent to set up a spin off company to manufacture or sell licences to manufacture.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 09:02:55 pm »
And keep this in mind, in engineering don't ever trust your company because they will not trust you, mostly and they will start eating you for lunch because they "gained" your trust
shift companies every 3-4 years, this isn't job hopping.
A 57-year old EE veteran told this to me
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 07:39:57 am »
I wish to get into Electronic design industry, please advice me.

Where are you based and what did you get in your degree? We have some vacancies for graduates with a 1st in Electronics or software.

Offline free_electron

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 02:19:42 pm »
Pizza and beer are considered legal tender by geeks, coders and engineers
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline matrixofdynamism

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 07:47:35 pm »
To SteveG, I live in UK in East Yorkshire.
I have attained maximum result in my O levels in 8 subjects (apart from English (as 2nd language) where I ended up with A rather than A*) and have As in A levels as well. I got a scholarship in the university and did quite well expect the final year. Some events in my life related to my family landed me in a very difficult position that I could have discontinued my studies for some time. Somehow I made in through both the difficult circumstances and the studies but ended up with a 2:1 which I am not impressed with at all.
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 09:14:29 pm »
To SteveG, I live in UK in East Yorkshire.

We're based on the Science Park in Cambridge. Bit far away, but if you're interested I can give you details via PM and you can forward me your CV.

Good luck with the job search - If you're having trouble try engineering recruitment agencies, there's LOTS of jobs in the UK in this area. We have trouble recruiting partially due to the lack of candidates.

Offline IanB

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 09:35:12 pm »
We have some vacancies for graduates with a 1st in Electronics or software.

We have trouble recruiting partially due to the lack of candidates.

No connection between these two statements I presume?  ;)
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 10:46:26 am »
We have some vacancies for graduates with a 1st in Electronics or software.

We have trouble recruiting partially due to the lack of candidates.

No connection between these two statements I presume?  ;)

No, graduates are the only thing we don't run short of, especially with our University sponsorship scheme and Cambridge University nearby! Experienced electronic engineers, ideally with an appreciation of ISO60601 and able to fit into a senior role are in a shortage all over Cambridge.

Offline G7PSK

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 03:44:32 pm »
We have some vacancies for graduates with a 1st in Electronics or software.

We have trouble recruiting partially due to the lack of candidates.

No connection between these two statements I presume?  ;)

No, graduates are the only thing we don't run short of, especially with our University sponsorship scheme and Cambridge University nearby! Experienced electronic engineers, ideally with an appreciation of ISO60601 and able to fit into a senior role are in a shortage all over Cambridge.
That's dur to the best ones setting up on their own all over the Cambridge area, I grew up there.
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: How does one become an Electronic Design Engineer
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 10:02:44 pm »
That's dur to the best ones setting up on their own all over the Cambridge area, I grew up there.

Very few startups make it past their first few phases of funding. It's mainly down to the majority of people being 'happy enough' where they are at the moment and not wanting the risk of changing job.


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