Hughes Electrical and Electronic Technology 11th edition
It continues to surprise that the subject of Electrical and Electronic Engineering does not draw more young people into the profession, either at Technician or Graduate Engineer level. It is rewarding, both financially and intellectually, whatever the particular role chosen. There are exciting roles for every personality, both for men and women, in manufacturing, production, design, R&D, teaching, management . . . the list is long; and there are opportunities for travel. Above all perhaps, it is a profession that provides service to the community, whether through the technology of a washing machine, a mobile phone, a laptop, satellite communications, the electrical power system, new renewable generating equipment, electric vehicles both on and off rails . . . that list is even longer. Engineers are the driving force that brings ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace.
A widely publicized fact is the decline in uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in schools and colleges. Yet businesses regularly report a shortage of young people with STEM skills. How can a modern technological economy thrive without them? Why might this be the case? A recent survey by the Institution of Engineering and
Technology suggests a number of issues:
• A lack of relevant subject material in the curriculum.
• STEM subjects are viewed as hard so that, in an environment where there is an emphasis on getting good grades, there is a perceived difficulty in getting a good grade in STEM.
• The learning process is passive with less and less time spent on practical work.
• Perceptions about success in STEM are negative, the technologically adept being seen as ‘nerds’. This extends into careers such that students don’t perceive STEM subjects as a passport to lucrative and interesting jobs.
An added concern is the lack of women in the profession, the result, perhaps, of outdated views of engineering.
We hope then that the subject material of this the eleventh edition of Hughes will help you extend your own knowledge of STEM subjects, and that you will be encouraged to pursue a career in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. When studying gets hard, as it invariably does, remember the huge range of exciting opportunities within the profession and that there is a well-documented and continuing shortage of Technician and Graduate engineers.
We might claim that this is the fiftieth birthday edition of Hughes, the preface to the first edition having been written in April 1959. It is an honour to be editors of the book, earlier editions of which illuminated our own undergraduate studies, as it passes this landmark. Once again, we acknowledge the support of our families during the course of preparation of this new edition, which is dedicated to our respective wives, Wendy and Judy.
Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh
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