By Akansha Dewaker, Batch of 2014
Electronic engineering basically involves the design and testing of electronic circuits that use components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors to achieve a particular functionality. Communication branch on the other hand deals with broadcasting or point to point transfer of information. It includes designing of telecommunications
equipment and facilities, such as complex electronic switching systems, copper telephone facilities, and fiber optics.
•Microelectronics engineering deals with the designing and fabrication of very small electronic circuit components for use in ICs or sometimes for use on their own as a general component. Nanoelectronics is further scaling of devices down to nanometer levels.
•Signal processing deals with the analysis and manipulation of signals, both analog and digital. For analog signals, it may involve signal amplification and there modulation or demodulation for telecommunications. Digital signal processing on the other hand is a quite a different field with applications in all kinds of image, video, audio and speech processing systems.
•Telecommunications engineering focuses on information transmission across a medium by optical fiber or simply through free space.
•Control engineering focuses on designing of controllers to cause systems to behave in the desired manner. It uses electrical circuits, digital signal processors, microcontrollers and many other electronic packages to do so. Auto-pilot technology and industrial automation have been possible though this engineering.
•Computer engineering deals with the design of computer systems. It involves designing new hardware, PDAs and supercomputers or the use of computers to control an industrial plant. Computer-like architectures are now found in a range of devices other than computers themselves such as video game consoles and DVD players.
•Instrumentation engineering deals with the design of devices to measure physical quantities such as pressure, flow and temperature. It requires a good understanding of physics especially electromagnetic theory. For example, flight instruments measure variables such as wind speed and altitude to enable pilots the control of aircraft.
•Microwave engineering is basically the study and design of systems which work on signals with short wavelengths. This field has a role in antennae, radar, transmission lines, space based systems (remote sensing), measurements, microwave radiation hazards and safety measures. For example, it has significance in design of shipboard radar as it makes possible the detection of smaller targets. While, conventional circuit theory is based on voltages and currents microwave theory is based on electromagnetic fields.
•Mechatronics deals with the convergence of electrical and mechanical systems and includes automated manufacturing systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and various subsystems of aircraft and automobiles.
•Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, manufacture and application of robots. It is related to the sciences of electronics, engineering, mechanics, mechatronics, and software.
•Biomedical engineering is another related discipline, concerned with the design of medical equipment. This includes fixed equipment such as ventilators and MRI scanners as well as mobile equipment such as artificial pacemakers and artificial hearts.
•Oceanographic engineering, also called marine electronics engineering concerns with the design of electronic devices for use in the marine environment, such as the remote sensing systems used by oceanographers.
•Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the branch of electrical sciences which studies the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy.
•Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. It is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory and has influenced game theory, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and architecture and organizational theory.
•Remote sensing technology is designed to enable people to look beyond the range of human vision in range or in spectral perception. It is used for a variety of measuring and mapping applications in order to study and analyse atomic structures and various other objects that even the most high-powered microscope cannot see.
•Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties. More generally, it is about constructing and analyzing protocols that overcome the influence of third parties. It is related to various aspects in information security such as data confidentiality, data integrity, and authentication. Modern cryptography includes the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Its applications include ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce.
Syllabus and System: The old story
It’s high time that our archaic syllabus is revised. We are studying about magnetic tapes and cassettes in the consumer electronics course which can fairly be called the forefathers of present technology. Nimish Girdhar, 4th year complains of being forced to study outdated 8085 microprocessors, rather than focusing on present industry demands. One of our alumni working in Texas Communications, Harshit Jain feels that we should be studying about VLSI Circuits, Fabrication and layout of circuits on Silicon, and Advanced Sequential circuits in keeping with the industry demands. According to Gaurav Sharma, 4th year , currently working under Dr. Raj Senani, there are many loopholes in the syllabus needing urgent attention. Having 5 electromagnetic courses without even the slightest clue on how to build an actual antenna, 2 useless communication courses and Digital signal processing 1 and 2 without a digital signal processor in the course limits our practical knowledge. The academicians also need to take into account a 6 month contiguous intern period in the final year, a shorter winter break and a longer summer break, with practical exam dates not spilling over into the vacation period. Talks to change this syllabus have been going on since eternity, but little seems to be done. Serious reforms in courses like VLSI (Very Large Integrated Circuits) Circuits, Fabrication and layout of circuits on Silicon and depth into Advanced Sequential circuits is important. The saddest part is that most electronics engineers have never known the smell of the caustic fumes of molten solder.
But, another side does exist to this aspect. We do examine discrete components using breadboard, and Oscilloscopes. It’s an excellent way of observing theories of equations. We also use PSPICE and Matlab softwares to observe simulations of complicated circuits. This is the perfect way to start with. However, sometimes it is our wrong attitude towards studies which further affects us and it all forms the unfitting system we all are stuck in. So, a little inward assessment regarding this will not be a bad start.
The Safe Haven
While many remain ignorant of the marvels of this subject and pass-out without getting to play with micro-controllers or magnificent circuits, there are a few shining stars still adorning this field in NSIT. For genuinely interested students, hurdles are just passing stones. Albeit with little facilities – but with guidance of highly capable professors; students are learning and excelling. We have some brilliant professors and one can always find a great mentor for one’s interest. Dr. Harish Parthasarathy is a known personality in the areas of Artificial intelligence, wave propagation and study of stochastic processes. Professor D.V. Gadre is very popular for his exciting projects and students have made projects like LED birthday candles, LED markers for photographs and twilight switches under him. His field of research also includes embedded systems. The basic areas of research for Dr. Tarun Rawat are digital signal processing, circuits and systems and stochastic processes. Dr. Maneesha Gupta is working on Low Power and high performance flip-flops, their applications and design of fractional order differentiators and integrators. Mr. S.P.Singh is working in the area of communication and digital signal processing. Mrs. Sujata Sengar is also working in Digital Signal Processing(DSP) among other fields. With Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology(IIIT),Delhi functioning from our own campus, some students are also working under their professors. Varun S. Shridhar, 3rd year is working on wireless communication under Professor Sanjit Krishnan Kaul of IIIT. Dr. Vinayak Naik also guides students in the same field. Professor Saket Srivastava helps students in a variety of miscellaneous fields of electronics.
Will you land in here?
The companies coming for on-campus placements in technical field are indeed few. But nonetheless, they are big players in the electronics world. Some of these include Texas Instrument, nVidia,, Cosmic Circuits, Freescale Semiconductor, Cypresss Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, ST Ericson, BHEL, C-DOT, TRAI and AGC Networks.