Rev, you asked. You shouldn't have left me an opening like that. This may not be extremely interesting, but here it is.

Basically an Electronic Engineer (EE) designs electronic equipment. Is that simple enough? Well of course it is too simple. EEs work on equipment of all kinds. They design:

  • the electronics in Martian Rovers.
  • digital clocks.
  • computer chips.
  • radios and TVs.
  • metal detectors.
  • LED lights.
  • control equipment for manufacturing.
  • computers.
  • Almost anything that uses anything electronic.

And of course they do this at different levels. Different EEs design computer chips and computers. Computer designers used components designed by other EEs.

There is another side to this. Sometimes you will see a reference to Electrical/Electronic Engineers. Back in the old days the difference was more obvious. Electrical engineers worked with power circuits. Electronic engineers worked with vacuum tubes. Well, those days are long gone. There is I think still some separation that way, but with modern electronics you get a huge overlap.

And they do a lot of other things as well. In my career I started off by writing test plans for the communications systems on the Space Shuttle. Then I wrote TV plans for use during Shuttle flights. Yes they had a different TV plan for each flight, so they could schedule all the different activities. After the Challenger explosion I analyzed the Shuttles Pyrotechnic circuits to see if there were any problems there. After that I designed an environmental monitoring system for the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This monitored the air in the clean work areas to verify that the area was clean and had the required temperature and humidity. When I finished that I did some software maintenance on the central data station for the system. Then I was given the job of designing a hydrogen leak detection system for the Delta IV rocket system. In these systems I used off the shelf components and designed the mounting and interconnections so that they would work as required.

And as an aside I was asked to find a way to measure the position of the Delta IV components, first stage, second stage, etc. in real time to allow quick and easy assembly before launch. I didn't really design anything there, I just searched out equipment that could be used to perform the task.

I think one reason I got do do a number of these things was that I have a BS in physics. That meant that I could quickly grasp the idea of how various detectors worked and so could figure out how to use them.

Does that put you to sleep satisfactorily?

Bill Gill
_________________________
C is not the speed of light in a vacuum.
C is the universal speed limit.