Our degrees at UNSW School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications unlock your potential and provide you with endless opportunities. There is no limit to where you could apply your skills. It teaches you excellent problem-solving skills and logical thinking. Electrical engineers are in high demand in many areas. Hear from some of our notable alumni:

BE (Electrical) (First Class Honours), 2002 

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

I was just glad to finish! I was interested in finding a job that paid well and gave me a range of  experiences. Electrical engineering is a broad space and I had many ideas so it was difficult to choose, however there are many fantastic companies out there that offer great graduate programs, so go with your heart not just your hip pocket.

Why did you choose to study Electrical/Telecommunications Engineering?

Engineering is about problem solving and being challenged. It offers a broad range of opportunities. This is what attracted me. And of course the opportunity to move out of home and experience life.

Where do you work now?

I currently work for EnergyAustralia managing the Smart Grid Program, a new and exciting field for the electricity industry.

What kinds of things do you do in your job and what do you like most about your job?

I evaluate new technologies that will help to transform the existing electricity industry to enable it to adapt towards a more renewable and smarter future. I manage a great team, but most importantly I am having fun and getting new challenges every day.

What are your plans for your future professional career?

To keep enjoying what I do, first and foremost. When it ceases to be interesting, or I stop learning then it's time to reassess. My aim is to make a difference, wherever that maybe. The area that I am in, smart electricity grids, is at the very beginning of a long decade of major change. So building on what I've done to date is my current plan.

Have you been involved in any interesting projects during your career to date?

Yes. I've been fortunate to work on some great projects. For example I was able to develop and then implement a fibre based upgrade of the entire EnergyAustralia telecommunications network, create a new project to deploy smart sensors across the street level electricity network for real time monitoring and have managed a new project to prototype Australia's first real end to end smart village in the suburb of Newington. These are just to name a few... this poster just isn't large enough!

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

I have friends who stayed in academia and have funny acronyms next their name, others who vaguely practise engineering, some who went very technical, whilst one guy ended up a monk in the Vatican and others who are now living abroad.

How well did your degree prepare you for the work that you do now?

The degree, and I hope it hasn't changed too much, taught me how to manage my time, build great networks and prepared me for anything that might come up in the future. If you can survive engineering degree you are set for anything that working life might throw up!

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

If you have a pulse and you know a thing or two, there are jobs out there in engineering. There is a real vacuum at the moment as the older generation of engineers are reaching retirement and passing on the knowledge to the next breed. It is fantastic opportunity at present.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

This depends on what they teach you these days. But in my opinion you can't go wrong. Whilst technology is always rapidly changing the fundamentals that at first you wonder why they teach in 1st and 2nd year are still the same. That is why the final bit of the degree is so relevant to the rest of your career. This is what sets engineering degrees aside from many other technical courses out there.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

EE&T is about taking these fundamentals of maths and science and applying it to real world problems. But like any career choice it all comes down to communication. You can have the best ideas, technical understanding but I cannot stress enough the importance of sharing your ideas. This and teamwork.

BE (First Class Honours), UNSW 2002, ScD MIT 2007 and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what careers or companies did you consider?

For my undergraduate thesis, I initiated a collaborative project with the Bionic Ear Institute in Melbourne because I was fascinated by cochlear implants. Naturally, I saw Cochlear Ltd as a good fit. However, I decided to go to graduate school to better understand our speech and hearing system and eventually I “fell” into an academic path.

Where have you worked / completed your graduate work?

I received my doctoral degree at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, MA, USA. As a Co-op scholar, I completed my internships with Nokia, EnergyAustralia and Alcatel.

What kinds of research do you do?

We look at how our brain selectively attends to different sound in a cocktail party environment. We achieve this by using a combination of neuroimaging techniques – we use electro- and magneto-encephalography (E/MEG) to record brain signals with milliseconds resolution and we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at the blood flow in the brain with millimetre precision. We also explore the possibilities of using EEG as a non-invasive tool for brain-machine interface, e.g., by classifying brain signals into different “brain states” to control machines.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy the creativity of being a researcher. The emerging field of neuroengineering captures my imagination: How can we best use our neuroscience knowledge and combine it with the state-of-the-art engineering tools to design new biomedical devices that can enable our brain to directly interact with machines? Working on making this dream into a reality is what I enjoy most about my job.

What are some other things you’ve enjoyed in your engineering career?

I enjoyed teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate levels in UNSW and MIT. I cherish the moments when I know that my students finally grasp a difficult concept.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

Many have become leaders in the energy or telecommunications sectors. Some went on to become successful consultants.

What did your degree give you that you value most in your current position?

My BE degree gave me the necessary tools and the mindset to become an analytical thinker.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

Maths and science are just the language and the subject-matter that we focus on in our training. EE&T is a degree that teaches you how to learn complex concepts and solve complex problems.

Is Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

I think an EE&T degree provides the best training for tackling complex problems. In fact, I think that students with an EE&T background make the best neuroscientists. Our brain is an amazingly complex system: a network of ~1011 neurons and ~1015 synapses communicating at a millisecond time frame. An EE&T degree provides us with the necessary basic toolboxes, e.g., signal processing, system analysis, to start teasing apart how our brain dynamically responds to and interacts with our surroundings. Thefundamentals taught in an EE&T program can be widely applied to many different fields. This flexibility, in my opinion, makes EE&T a smart degree choice for the brightest minds that dare to explore different possible career paths.

BE (Telecommunications)/MBiomedE (First Class Honours & University Medal), 2005 and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

My undergraduate thesis work at EE&T left me with a strong interest in audio processing. I was also interested in biomedical technologies. I was unsure whether to pursue a career in industry or in academic research, since they both looked like great options. In the end I took a job at Cochlear as a graduate engineer working in sound processing. I also consider a couple of other   biomedical and technology companies.

Where do you work now?

I am an engineer at Cochlear Ltd, still enjoying working in audio processing and embedded firmware development.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

One friend moved to Orange to work as an electrical engineering in gold mine. Another moved to Boston to do a PhD at Harvard searching for improvements to magnetic resonance imaging. Another took a management consulting role in Tokyo, Japan, while others have gone into jobs working in the power industry (e.g. Energy Australia) of various other technology companies (e.g. CISRA)

What kinds of things do you do in your job and what do you like most about your job?

I work with a team of engineers on the design and implementation of audio processing algorithms for cochlear implants. This involves lots of technical coding work. We initially model our ideas in Matlab, and test them out with cochlear implantees using a real-time PC-based platform. Then we code them up on a custom, embedded platform for use in a cochlear implant sounde processor. I'm involved in the full product life-cycle from the initial idea to the final implementation, testing, and commercial release, and everything that comes between. I'm also involved with the preparation and monitoring of clinical experiments with cochlear implantees.

I love the technical challenges of my work, there's always a new problem to be solved or a new idea to be tested out. More importantly though, I love seeing the impact Cochlear's products have on real people. The work I do contributes to a medical device that allows deaf people to hear.

What are your plans for your future professional career?

I'm not to sure yet. I love what I am doing now but I'm tempted to go back to uni and start a PhD. I've enjoyed the product development work I've done, but ultimately I think I would like to end up in more of a research role.

Have you been involved in any interesting projects during your career to date?

I've been lucky enough to work on a bunch of really interesting projects. One of my favourites was the design of an algorithm that constantly searches for hearing-loop or telephone signals on a telecoil (alternative input to a cochlear implant speech processor). This involved a lot of time running around Sydney testing the algorithm out in shopping centres, trains, movies, metal detectors and with phones. You name the crazy the crazy test situation and I probably tried it. The test time paid off though and it was great tp see that feature released in a commercial product and in regular use by a significant number of people.

In your experience, are there many jobs for electrical engineering and telecommunications graduates?

Yes. Few degress provide you with the qualification to enter such a diverse range of possible jobs as a degree at EE&T does. Good EE&T engineers are always in high demand.

Is electrical engineering/telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

Yes. EE&T gives you a great background in maths, science and computing. Since these are the languages of technology, they are sure to be useful for some time to come.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

Yes and no. there's certainly plenty of both to be had, particularly during your degree but afterwards as well. You definitely want to have a reasonable level of mathematical and scientific aptitude to start an EE&T degree. However a big part of doing an EE&T degree, and the work that follows on from it, is realising that maths, science and computing are not the dry subjects you snoozed through in high school. They are really useful tools that allow you to design heaps of cool things. If you can gain a solid foundation in maths and sciences, it can set you apart and guarantee you your choice of interesting job and (in many cases) generous salary.

Engineering is about more than that too though. It's about working in a team, coming up with new ideas and turning them into reality.

How well did your degree prepare you for the work that you do now?

The combination of Biomedical Engineering and Telecommunications was a perfect background for my current work. Various electives and my undergraduate thesis (spoken language identification) gave me a great starting knowledge in audio processing. The biomedical side taught me the basics in auditory physiology and medical device regulation. There's always more to learn though. Finishing an undergraduate unviersity degree will never teach you everything you need to know, it's just a start. It gives you just enough knowledge to figure out, what you want to know more about.

"My engineering degree has been fundamental in shaping my problem solving  skills and logical thinking, and my decision to undertake further studies in the  Electrical Engineering discipline has allowed me to make a greater contribution  to my current work place, the DMO (Department of Defence).

Also the ability to take subjects that spanned across both electrical power and communications has broadened my scope of career opportunities.

With the technical skills shortage Australia is currently facing, good engineers are in high demand and with the need for diversity in thought and problem solving, female engineers are even more sought after."

BE(Elec) (First Class Honours) 2005, MCom 2006

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

When I graduated, I wasn’t completely sure of the direction I wanted to head in. I considered several different careers, including investment banking and other finance related careers, but was really drawn back to electronics. I also considered a range of engineering companies, from Energy Australia to Silverbrook and ResMed.

Where have you worked?

I completed my Industrial Training at TransGrid, and really enjoyed this. As a graduate I worked in Applied Research at ResMed. This was fantastic and really enabled me to grow as a graduate engineer.

Where do you work now?

I currently work at LX Innovations, an electronics design house based at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

What kinds of things do you do in your job?

I do almost anything in my role at LX. I look after sales (which involves a lot of networking and various presentations), building client relationships and liaising with them, managing projects, marketing, grant applications, finance, business admin and HR.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the exhilaration of seeing projects transformed from an idea into a commercial product – the excitement is contagious. It can be quite a journey, but you travel it with the client and your team. I love the variety and the challenge – there’s never a dull moment. But most of all I love being part of a team that brings ideas to life.

What are some other things you’ve enjoyed in your engineering career?

At ResMed I worked in the research department. I had the opportunity to investigate new technologies and how they could be used to improve our products. I was really working in the blue sky area, where there were no boundaries. It was an amazing opportunity to apply what I had learned at university every day. Working on future product development in a biomedical company I knew that what I was doing would improve the quality of people’s lives in the future.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

A lot of those who completed engineering and commerce started careers in investment banking. Other friends went into power, government bodies such as the RTA, or companies such as Cochlear.

What did your degree give you that you value most in your current position?

My degree taught me a way of thinking that is systematic and rational. Large projects are all made up of smaller, easier to solve pieces.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

There are so many different jobs available for EE&T graduates, including power, biomedical, control, mining, banking and teaching.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

EE&T is very relevant. It opens the door to some really unique opportunities. I didn’t grow up designing electronic devices, but by the end of the degree, I had a thorough understanding of electronics and could confidently apply for positions as varied as an embedded systems engineer or a power engineer.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

EE&T is so much more than just maths and science. It uses that as a foundation for other courses such as design and the thesis that really promote creativity. Maths and science are an essential foundation in order for students to fully understand and appreciate electrical engineering. But the course goes beyond teaching maths and science, by applying them to real problems and using them to solve real issues. In my opinion, there’s no better way to harness maths and science to equip a student for the workforce.

BE (Telecommunications) (First Class Honours), 2005 

Why did you choose to study Electrical/Telecommunications Engineering?

I was interested in electrical things from a young age, and I've always loved pulling things apart and seeing what’s inside and discovering how things work. This degree just made all those childhood dreams come true – with this degree I can figure out how almost anything works, and can come up with my own ideas as well.

When you graduated, what careers or companies did you consider?

I originally looked for Telecommunications companies such as Telstra, Optus,  Alcatel and I received offers and interviews with many of those. However, I expanded my search to other companies as I knew the engineering skills I learnt were highly sought after by many companies, not just those who specialised in my field.  Other companies have included rail company Ansaldo Signal, the major manufacturing conglomerate CSR, defence giant Thales – the range is really quite large. Having an open mind broadens your horizons and allows you to discover just how  valuable an EE&T degree is to the real world.

Where do you work now?

Thales Australia (formerly ADI Limited) at the Commonwealth naval base Garden Island in Potts Point, Sydney. And prime location too! We are basically right on the harbour, have a great view of the city, Opera House, the Domain, Botanical gardens. And on New Years Eve we have access to be perched right smack bang in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the fireworks. 

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

Some now work for large companies such as Energy Australia, Integral Energy, Optus and the RTA, whilst others are involved with start-up companies or consulting firms. One friend now even works for UNSW!

What kinds of things do you do in your job and what do you like most about your job?

I manage the 7000+ functional requirements we are required to verify, using a database to track and manage related test procedures and test results that correspond to those requirements. I have been involved in selling off all requirements to the Commonwealth, and conducting engineering reviews to ensure the many onboard systems are technically mature. I manage the problem report database and have actively closed problems, locating evidence and agreeing the course of action with the customer. However the best part of my job is that I get to be involved in just about every part of the project because I have a broad set of skills that means I can do just about anything asked of me, whether its engineering related or not. Doing this I am able to meet a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds, and this means I learn more on the job and allows me to easily transition to others areas of expertise if I wish.

Have you been involved in any interesting projects during your career to date?

For 4 years I have been working on the largest defence project in Australian history – FFG Upgrade Project (Guided Missile Frigates). It has lasted 10 years and has involved the upgrade of 4 Navy Frigates, and 2 land facilities. It’s a very exciting project that’s involved missile and gun firings, testing with other ships, air and land forces. On top of that is the satisfaction of completing the most complex Australia defence projects in history – arguably the world, integrating new technology into a ship that was originally designed 50 years ago, making it one of the most lethal frigate fleets in the world.

What are you plans for your future professional career?

I am planning to do undertake a Masters in Systems Engineering to further supplement and enhance my knowledge and experience gained thus far in the workplace. My company is covering the costs as it is very relevant to the work we carry out, and they have a very strong focus on training and encourage all employees to learn as much as possible.

How well did your degree prepare you for the work that you do now?

There’s a common saying I’ve heard in the workplace from other graduates that says “University teaches you how to learn”. Apart from the technical knowledge gained and the analytical skills I’ve developed during my degree, that quote sums it up for me. I have been able to diversify my areas of expertise by taking on challenges and learning on the job. And I believe this has made me more valuable to employers as I have shown that I can take on whatever is asked of me.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

Whilst searching for job myself, I had many interviews and received several excellent offers. There is a huge demand for engineers and I don’t see this changing as engineers are the professionals building and improving services in the community. There are a plethora of jobs out there for EE&T graduates, not only in their specialised fields but also in other engineering roles and even non-engineering positions. Engineers are also highly sought after by finance companies for their analytical skills.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

EE&T is one of the best choices to make in terms of maximising career options. For those students who know what they want to do, became engaged in that area and attach it such that you will be the expert in the coming years for that field. And for those unsure what fields they like, ensure that you diversify your subjects - this will allow you to learn a broad range of skills and knowledge that become invaluable to any employer, since you will be able to show them that you can learn anything thrown at you, that you are the person who can solve any problem that needs to be solved. 

BE (First Class Honours) (University Medal), 2007 and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

I was very open for the various career opportunities available when I graduated. I considered working in biomedical engineering companies, telecommunications  companies, business consulting and IT.

Where have you worked?

As part of the Co-op scholarship program, I was on several industry placements ranging from a telecommunication company to a hearing implant company. These companies include Siemens, Dematic, Alcatel, Telstra and Cochlear.

Where do you work now?

I am currently working in Macquarie Group, in their Information and Technology group.

What kinds of things do you do in your job?

My current role is a Business Analyst, working as the bridge between the Business and the IT Technical team. I gather business requirements processes and translate them into technical specifications for developers to build. I provide testing recommendations and also assume some project management tasks.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoyed the interactions between different teams such as the business, developers, testers and operations. There is no boring day and there are always challenges for the projects that I do. I learn new things every day on the job, whether it is something about a new technology or the financial market.

What kind of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

A few of my friends went to work in engineering consulting companies. Others work as a business consultant, railway engineer, and a researcher.

What did you degree give you that you value most in your current position?

Problem solving skills as well as creativity and techniques in designing solutions to meet requirements.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications  graduates?

EE&T degree equips graduates with skills that are valuable to a lot of different industries. The career opportunities for EE&T are therefore very broad.

Is Electrical Engineering/Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

Yes. I believe EE&T is the core of many important innovations and many engineering contribution to society. In addition to the problem solving skills and creative mindset encouraged throughout the degree, students will gain valuable knowledge on edge technology in different streams such as signal processing, electronics and power.

Is EE&T mainly just Maths and Science?

Maths and science subjects provide the basic foundation in EE&T. In later years, during the degree, students will see more of their applications. It is very exciting to be able to engineer something based on numbers and calculations learnt in maths and physics.

Electrical Engineering - 2003 University Medal and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

I considered three main career paths when I graduated: engineering, post-graduate studies and management consulting. I quickly realised that my heart was in applying technology in the real-world and wanted to pursue an engineering path. The companies I considered were in the hi-tech semiconductor design: Lucent
Technologies Microelectronics (later Agere Systems), IDT Electronics, Cochlear Limited, and Silverbrook.

Where have you worked?

My first job was with Agere Systems as an ASIC Engineer. After 3 years I moved to Cochlear Limited as a Systems Engineer. Before I graduated I’d already worked at Telstra, Alcatel, Advantra, and Solar Energy Australia.

Where do you work now?

I work at Cochlear as a Principal Systems Engineer and Project Manager. I’m heavily involved in the design and development of next generation products – leading the way in the cochlear implant.

What kinds of things do you do in your job?

I wear three hats at Cochlear: as a Principal System Engineer I am responsible for the technical architecture and design of new products, as a Project Manager I am responsible for the delivery of new developments, and a Team Leader (people manager) I am responsible for the coordination and development of a team of System Engineers.

What do you like most about your job?

The cross-functional and varied nature of it. Cochlear is an engineer’s wonderland with wide variety of disciplines needed to produce a implantable medical system – electrical, mechanical, software, firmware, chemical, biomedical, manufacturing and so on. But to deliver a product to the market the complete organisation must be engaged and involved for success – and part of my role is to interface and work with all the other departments including clinical, marketing, regional sales offices, training and education, communications and so forth.

What are some other things you’ve enjoyed in your engineering career?

I enjoy creating. Engineering is about knowing what’s possible and making a solution that works. I’ve enjoying conceiving new wireless technologies and then progress them in internal standards bodies, I’ve enjoyed seeing a recipient hear for the first time with my product, I’ve enjoyed leading a team in innovating to change current business models, and I’ve enjoyed travelling the world representing my product to internal and external stakeholders.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

A wide variety of jobs. From management consulting, to human resources, starting up their own financial software business to studying theology. Several went on to work in the renewable energy sector. And a great many are working internationally in the technology sector.

What did your degree give you that you value most in your current position?

Engineering teaches you how to think systematically, wholistically and creatively.
These are attributes I couldn’t work without. Electrical Engineering is the most rigorous of technology degrees and helped shape my thinking greatly. At a technical level the Cochlear Implant is the perfect example of an electrical engineering marvel. Without the fundamentals in technology I couldn’t develop the future of our implantable technology.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

Absolutely! The types of jobs EE&T graduates can successfully undertake are immense. You can apply the skills and practices in many fields, and many applications within the technology sector. There’s almost nothing man made in the 21st century that won’t rely heavily on a technology engineer.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

For sure. I’d encourage a wider view of what it means to be an EE&T student, and think about fields across energy, microelectronics, IT, user interfaces, biomedical, telecommunications, gaming, and anything else that requires technology – because you’re perfectly suited.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

Certainly not. It leans on them heavily, especially in the early years, but working with the applications such as wireless technologies, computer networks, audio processing, image compression, chip design are central to the degree. Although founded on the maths and science, they are all disciplines unto themselves.

BE (Electrical) (First Class Honours), 2006 and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

I considered a career in Automation (Honeywell, Dematic) and also Consulting (Maunsell, Connell, Wagner, Beca) to gain a wider variety of experience.

Where have you worked?

I have worked for Beca Pty Ltd since I graduated.

Where do you work now?

I am still working for Beca but on secondment to Goodman Fielder.

What kinds of things do you do in your job?

The beauty of consultancy is that you get the chance to work on a variety of projects, work in different areas of engineering and pick up a large variety of knowledge and skills. Since I have started, I have designed and commissioned a control system (PLC and SCADA system) for a water treatment plant at Orica, designed power and lighting for commercial buildings, been the onsite Automation Engineer for a dairy factory in Victoria (including troubleshooting of all on-site automation issues and design/ commissioning of control system upgrades), managed electrical contracts (worth over $1 million) for the reinstatement of a fire damaged juice factory in Mildura and I am now managing electrical capital projects around Australia for a client.

What do you like most about your job?

The constant challenge each new day brings and the feeling of satisfaction and pride when you see the result of all your hard work, whether it be a new building installation, the first container of oranges to run through a refurbished juice factory or clean water running from a new water treatment plant. Also the fact that the work you do has a direct impact on the community makes the job all the more rewarding.

What are some other things you’ve enjoyed in your engineering career?

Engineering has provided me with a great sense of fulfilment in my career so far. The change in roles, projects and clients means that I am working in a very dynamic environment and always facing new challenges, gaining new responsibilities and learning new skills. The job can often be tough but it is certainly never boring. I have also been given the chance to see a lot of Australia through work including Perth, Adelaide, Cobden, Mildura, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and I will soon be travelling to Darwin and Alice Springs!

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

Power engineering (Energy Australia, AGL), engineering consultancy (IBM, Leightons), start-up company, research based companies (Cisra and Cochlear) and analyst roles (Ernst and Young, KPMG).

What did your degree give you that you value most in your current position?

The ability to adapt my technical knowledge to a challenging problem and come up with a solution.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

I believe there are many jobs available for EE&T students, more in some industries compared to others. During the Global Financial Crisis there was certainly a drop in employment opportunities but this of course happened across all industries. With the economy slowly recovering and increased capital spending, we will certainly start to see more jobs available for graduates.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

During the first couple of years at university, it certainly seems like electrical engineering is largely all maths and science. However since finishing university I have not had to put any of the complex maths to practice! A large part of Electrical Engineering is using your technical knowledge and practical experience to solve problems. Sometimes it may be a technical problem in which case I have found a good understanding of the basic theories behind electrical circuits and power engineering most helpful in my line of work. In other cases it’s understanding how the electrical system interacts with other systems (i.e. mechanical, chemical) and working with others to ensure the system as a whole is functional and meets its purpose. Whatever it is, you end up using the skill you learn at university to analyse the problem, gather and understand additional information relevant to the problem, determine influencing factors and propose solutions.

BE (Electrical) (first Class Honours), 2005

When you graduated, what career or companies did you consider?

I considered a career at a company which would enable me to design embedded systems and develop new products. I also considered starting or joining a technology based start-up company. However, in the end I started LXInnovations - an electronics design house that specialises in the development of custom embedded systems.

Why did you choose to study Electrical/Telecommunications Engineering?

I’ve always loved electronics, ever since I was really young. I grew up designing things. Electrical Engineering was the next logical step.

Where do you work now?

I work at LX Innovations. It’s an electronics design house, where we develop new products for a range of different clients.

What kinds of things do you do in your job?

I do a whole range of things in my job – electronics design, system level design, project management. I love the challenge of taking a new project, breaking it down and creating a solution.

What are you plans for your future professional career?

Build LX further, and then spin off an innovative tech start-up. At the moment I do more project management than actual design. I would love to get back into designing, and to have the opportunity to take an idea right to the market. Technologies will change, but for me designing will never lose its spark. It’s what I love.

Have you been involved in any interesting projects during your career to date?

As a design house, we get to see many different projects. Some of the really interesting projects include the design of a wireless fireworks control system, 3D printer, tsunami alert system, fruit sorting machine, holographic button interface system, promotional gaming system for casinos, asset tracking systems, wireless HSDPA router, clarinet playing robot, gas optimisation system for a diesel train, home automation system, a wireless diabetes monitor - the list goes on.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

Many went into the power industry working at places such as Energy Australia and Integral, while others went into the electronics field with companies such as ResMed, Cochlear and Altium.

How well did your degree prepare you for the work that you do now?

The degree has enabled me become a much more competent designer by understanding the theory behind the design.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

Definitely. EE&T equips you with a way of thinking, and teaches you to learn. This is an invaluable skill in almost any industry.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

Yes! Every day LX is contacted to design new products using cutting edge technologies. Some have the potential to save lives or significantly improve the quality of someone’s life. There is no better job than one in which you can design new embedded systems all day long, knowing that you are making a real difference in the world.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

Not at all. EE&T provides the foundation for being able to take just about any problem and break it down – it’s teaching a way of thinking that is a skill for. Sure, there is a lot of maths and science and theory in amongst this. But it’s so much deeper and richer than that. EE&T is one of the most practical and useful degrees that I think exists. If I’m looking for a graduate, and they have a degree in EE&T that says a lot about them and their way of thinking.

Electrical Engineering - 2001 University Medal and Co-op Scholar

When you graduated, what careers or companies did you consider?

As I entered my final year of study I considered two main avenues for my initial career: automation and control (Dematic, Honeywell), and digital signal processing (Cochlear, CISRA,  Lake Technology, Thales). I was keen to find somewhere local that was doing interesting engineering. Having always had a passion for music and audio the DSP path won out in the end.

Where have you worked?

After university I worked with the bionic ear manufacturer Cochlear. At Cochlear I spent my time working on the signal processing firmware that captures the audio at the ear and transmits commands to the implanted stimulator to create a perception of sound. In late 2008 I joined the audio advanced development group at Dolby Laboratories in Sydney. At Dolby I’m working on voice signal processing which is commercialised through a product called Dolby Axon. Dolby Axon is a platform that enables spatial voice communication focusing on massively multiplayer online games.

What advice would you give EE&T students?

My job involves most aspects of the signal processing development life cycle including:
• Algorithm development and refinement
• Real-time implementation
• Testing and integration
The job has more of a software development focus rather than hardware development. An understanding of some hardware concepts is required such as data conversion and processor architecture.

What do you like most about your job and what is a highlight from your engineering career?

I enjoy the challenge of solving real-world problems and seeing those solutions come to life. One nice aspect of audio signal processing is being able to listen to the result of your efforts at the end of the day. I have been fortunate to work with many creative and intelligent people who stretch my understanding and thinking. Such relationships make it enjoyable going to work each day. A highlight was being present when patient’s cochlear implants were switched on for the first time, seeing the reaction and knowing that your work has positively impacted someone’s quality of life.

What kinds of jobs did some of your EE&T friends go into?

In diversity matching the breadth of the EE&T degree friends went into areas such as: radio astronomy, communications, power engineering, automation and control, Building services consulting and finance.

In your experience, are there many jobs for Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications graduates?

Given the broad areas covered by an EE&T degree there is a lot of choice in career path and many job prospects. The discipline and skill required to complete the degree is valued beyond the engineering profession, creating even more opportunities. That being said, most industries go through boom and bust periods and some career paths are more adaptable than others. This is something to consider when thinking about what you might do with your degree.

What did your degree give you that you value most in your current position?

I actually DO use technical knowledge gained through my degree as a basis for my daily work! If you are considering following a DSP career path the subjects beyond signal processing that are helpful include:
• Real-time embedded system engineering
• Microprocessor architecture
• Software development

As you study I would also encourage personal projects where you try to apply some of the things you have learnt. Beyond the purely technical aspects the degree also helped teach me self discipline and the skills required to learn new things.

Is Electrical Engineering / Telecommunications still a relevant degree choice for current students?

Absolutely, technology produced by EE&T graduates is increasingly pervasive. This is especially so in the field of embedded systems engineering. Consider the number of consumer electronic devices you interact with on a daily basis. All along the development path of these products EE&T engineers have been hard at work.

Is EE&T mainly just maths and science?

Yes, in a way… so why not do a science degree? One key difference with an engineering degree is the focus on application and reduction of science into physical designs. So although the degree and profession requires a background in maths and science you should always consider how this knowledge can be applied. It should also be noted that different career paths apply different amounts of science and maths.

BE (First Class Honours), UNSW 2014

 

Why did I choose Electrical Engineering at UNSW?

My entire family (mother, father, grandfathers, brother) are engineers and so from a young age my path was clear. I rebelled, hoping to become an English major, but my parents talked me out of it by telling me that engineering would open many more doors and I could always go back to writing. They were right, as usual.  

I chose electrical engineer because computers fascinated me. I’ve heard it said that to pick between the disciplines its best to choose the tools each creates. Electrical engineers learn to build computers, civil engineers skyscrapers, mechanical engineers cars, aerospace engineers jets, and chemical engineers factories.  

 

What am I doing now?

I graduated with a BE (Electrical) (First Class Honours) in 2014 and joined A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. We are a team of about 2,500 consultants world-wide who help CEOs and other executives solve their strategic and operational issues. 

Practically, this means we sit with those CXOs to identify major issues within their business and then create a team of our people and their employees to solve these issues. I’ve worked on twelve projects in the two years since I joined, with teams ranging from just me to twenty-plus consultants. We have tackled projects like creating and implementing a five year strategy for a major Australian Bank, helping a major manufacturer of spinal implants shrink their portfolio of products in half (removing 17,000 different products), and helping the new CEO of major Australian Bank manage a crisis within her new team.

There are two things I love most about my job, the challenge and the people. With every new project I get thrown headfirst into an industry in which I have little to no experience to solve problems which no one fully understands, and for which I am directly accountable to the heads of those companies. It’s a challenge, but it is incredible fun and a great way to learn how the business world works. I also have the pleasure of doing this with an international mix of colleagues who are some the smartest people I have ever met, and who I am proud to call friends. 

 

What else did I consider doing?

In my penultimate year I was tossing up lots of different options. I was working at a small telecoms start-up. I wanted to, and still do want to, start my own VR company. I was considering starting a masters of Neuroscience. I still had a lingering desire to go back and complete an English degree. Beyond this there were all kinds of other options which my degree had opened up, everything from engineering consultancy, to jobs in software companies, to engineering design work. 

I made my choice because I felt I was a more capable businessman than a technical engineer, but I really appreciated the breadth of opportunity my degree offered. 

 

Why EE was valuable?

While I’ve never done a Fourier transform at A.T. Kearney the ability to quickly dismember and quantify problems and my understanding of how technology and systems work has proved invaluable to me. In order to succeed in business you don’t need to know a lot of financial jargon or memorise business principles. You need to be practical, quick with numbers and concepts, and curious about how the world around you works. These are all things which I learned studying engineering at UNSW.