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Planning to finish EE degree

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1


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    I am an electrical engineering tech. graduate who is planning to bridge into a degree program that takes two years to finish.

    Has anyone here ever received their BEng in this way? I have been out of school for about a year, working towards a industrial journeysman certification and gaining practical knowledge at a mine in northern Canada.

    If anyone has ever received their BEng in this way, is there anyone who can give some assistance on what i'm likely to encounter a lot of as I attempt to bridge?

    I have to take a series of make up courses to get into the faculty, I assume it will consist of a lot of signal analysis, most of the education we receive in the 3-year tech program deals with theory behind motors, transformers, PLCs, well... technology and the industrial uses of each, but it is not as math intensive as a EE program. So I assume this is where the focus on bridging into the faculty will lay.

    The highest level of math I have done is only up to integrating by parts, and some basic real world examples of where to use integration in circuits/ proofs of formulae for corona in transmission lines/ capacitances to ground for polyphase circuits, et cetera

    The fourier series/laplace transforms was removed from the program, really too bad. I assume Engineering students do this pretty early in their educational career, will I be at a severe disadvantage going into year 4 of 5 without any prior knowledge of these mathematic principles?

    I do have a good work ethic, and I realize I will need it. I only went to work here to save enough money to put myself through engineering, and if I succeed, I at least can say I put myself through my education without a loan, which was the goal of taking the technologist route and getting a job here first.

    Any information appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #2
    I think you're in pretty good shape. Focus on the math - 3D calculus and differential equations, and linear algebra is also used commonly. I think a diff eq course is very valuable to learn that subject rather than self study. Also, brush up on physics, especially semiconductor physics and electromagnetics.

    I didn't learn signal anlaysis in its final form until 3rd year, so you're about overlapping to that point.

    How are your circuit analysis skills? Do you understand digital electronics well? Do you know much programming?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  4. Apr 5, 2012 #3


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    Circuit analysis skills are where they should be I think.. at least they were when I graduated and it shouldn't be hard to refresh.

    No not much programming,
  5. Apr 5, 2012 #4
    I think its core to know C and how to program microcontrollers for an EE. Also, FPGAs with VHDL/verilog. You won't necessarily go into this for your last year and beyond, but I think most EEs are expected to learn these things.

    I did a lot of digital and programming EE courses that were introductory, ie first 2 years. Luckily these things are more easy to self teach, so if you can learn it on your own and your EE program doesn't require you to catch up with formal courses, you should be fine.
  6. Apr 5, 2012 #5


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    I wasn't sure if I should add the fact that yes, I did a lot of programming controllers. In fact that's a lot of what I did.. I thought you meant the C, yeah I didn't do any of that.. but I saw all the texts in my professors office and I knew I would need to do it eventually.

    But yeah, did extensive programming with siemens and AB microcontrollers, not only programming but building the stations and setting up the racks/addressing etc. right from scratch to real world scenerios

    EDIT: Yea haha I see you edited to include the point of digital electronics. I did a lot of digital electronics, now I say a lot, it isn't a lot compared to the knowledge that is required to master the subject or anything, but a lot compared to the other material that I did. Digital electronics and PLC's were a large part of a couple of years
  7. Apr 5, 2012 #6
    Did you use assembly?
  8. Apr 5, 2012 #7

    jim hardy

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    I applaud you. The best engineers appreciate the practical side of their craft and you have a ten year head start .

    Good luck with the math. It will come easier for you because it explains the 'whys' behind the 'whats' you already know. You will love differential equations because they apply directly to things you can see and feel. Just never get behind, for they pace the math curriculum at about the maximum rate a mortal can absorb.

    old jim
  9. Apr 5, 2012 #8


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    we used it but not extensively, only for the purposes of memory and whatever the instructor felt we should know... used a siemens or AB based interface, like RSview you know? ladder programming... I guess I shouldn't even call it programming it was only built to allow old school electricians to simulate relay logic haha. But that's what I used, interfaces such as those.. still allows for all the programming operations, but yeah it's simpler. not really useful outside of itself huh
  10. Apr 5, 2012 #9


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    Thanks Jim, I hope so.

    I find myself at work trying to make sense of the logic behind schematics, I can recite the laws..and TRY to explain how things physically happen.. but I can't quantify anything which for now makes it all kind of an open loop.

    hopefully school gives me tools to bridge gap.

    EDIT: And yes, hopefully I can keep up, especially considering I'm taking on more courses than a fourth year engineering student... might be too much.. try my best.
  11. Apr 5, 2012 #10
    I'm not familiar with that kind of programming. I think some EE programs might focus more on the computer architecture/science than others, and it depends more what you want to specialize in. Usually when you learn C programming, you also learn computer architecture to some degree, same with assembly. Maybe these things you can learn as you go.

    I still think the most important thing for you will be to focus on the fundamental math/physics.
  12. Apr 5, 2012 #11


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    Yeah, for sure.. I am trying to learn it now, a little ahead of time, maybe get to where I need to be,

    Thanks for the input.
  13. Apr 5, 2012 #12
    You may learn microelectronics in your 2 year program, and that should help you a lot with the schematics. Also, a lot of the stuff in schematics you won't learn in school, and I don't mean that because its harder or "real" work in any sense, rather its just something you don't have to consider. This is because its more of design considerations and practical matters that theory doesn't really care about often (I really don't understand why so much pride and superiority is felt for knowing practical vs academic for a lot of engineers). Its hard to make sense of schematics when you don't have proper context of what they're doing, and lots of them are built from trial and error or iterations and the designers might tweak the schematics to get the desired effect. I've seen someone use a diode for its capacitances properties rather than for its diode function, and I would never guess that in a million years without him telling me or having some kind of clues.
  14. Apr 5, 2012 #13


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    right right, i understand what you mean.

    for example, we have been installing propel lockout systems on our trucks at work, for the purpose of preventing the truck from propelling from ground level.

    when it was installed, it did not work correctly at all.. but it was a weird system.. the engineers decided that rather than switch the positives from the batteries, they were going to put 24volts potential on all the truck circuits, and switch the truck frame from ground... which meant... that the loads all had 24 volts wrt the batteries negatives... It is only for a wire to chafe through and the prelub will run automatically... or anything... aby ways the system wasn't working properly, but some lights were dim... in measuring voltage i accidently shorted one out with my lead, and everything went fine... I didn't understand what happened, but then when I moved the truck out of the bay, I noticed the two way radio was out. Turns out, when I shorted the light, I blew the fuse for the radio... and the radio was somehow backfeeding and messing up the propel lockout circuit...haha.. but komatsu engineers decided I should feed the two way from a regulated 15 volt supply rather than 12 unregulated.. works fine now.

    But who would guess as to WHY that would be the nature of the source, without first encountering the problem first, as you said.. trial and error..
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