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How Electronics Engineers are shaping tomorrow’s industries

16/10/18 David Philpott Manager, Electronics & Technology

The era of electronics began with the invention of the transistor in 1947 and silicon-based semiconductor technology. Seven decades later, we are surrounded by electronic devices and, much as we try to deny it, we rely heavily on them in our everyday lives.

According to ESCO (Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities) Workstream Report on Manufacturing, the UK electronics industry employs more than 850,000 engineers who design, develop and manufacture technical products that often change the world in which we live.

Before 2018, people made predictions of how the world would be more automated and how our lives would be more machine-dependent. Gradually, our imaginations have become reality and today we are living a life which is more convenient due to new technological advances which is credited to today’s electronics design engineers.

Today, Electronic engineering jobs involve research, design, development and test of electronic components, devices, systems and equipment in a range of industries, including:

Telecommunications – mobile phones, radio, TV and satellite communications
Data communications – PCs, tablets and cashpoints
Scientific research – acoustics, optics, physics and nanotechnology
Medical instruments – clinical and laboratory equipment
Defence – communications, navigation and weapons systems
Aerospace – avionics, radar, navigation and communication systems
Manufacturing – programmable logic controls (PLCs) and industrial machinery

Electronics engineering jobs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but are generally broken into the following fields:

Analogue electronic engineering:   Analogue electronics is still a major sector within the overall electronic engineering arena. With many analogue elements still being needed, analogue circuits are still widely used. Analog electronics are electronic systems with a continuously variable signal and can be found in audio, power supplies etc .Whilst analogue engineering is not as large as it used to be many years ago before digital electronics took off in a big way, the growth in the overall electronics market has compensated for this.

  • Radio frequency engineering: Radio frequency electronic engineering has grown in its size in recent years. With many more systems using wireless links, everything from mobile phones to Wi-Fi, IoT - wireless technology is needed. Radio frequency design is in great demand.
  • Digital development engineering:  Many functions are now undertaken using digital techniques. The demand for digital engineers alone may not be as large as anticipated. The reason for this is that much logic circuitry these days is accomplished within programmable logic chips. 
  • Programmable logic engineering:  With the complexity of many logic / digitally based circuits, an approach that is being used increasingly is one where programmable logic chips are used. FPGAs, and other programmable logic chips are widely used, enabling large amounts of logic to be incorporated into programmable chips. Using high-level design languages like VHDL, the design is brought to within manageable limits. If the design needs optimising or changing, this can be achieved by changing the logic programme. 
  • Software engineering: Today, there is an increasing amount of software contained within electronic products. As a result, software engineering is becoming increasingly important. In many projects, at least two thirds of the development budget is allocated to developing the software – which is an indication of how the sector has continued to grow. 
  • Systems engineering: Systems engineering refers to the form of engineering which looks at a complete object or system, comprising of smaller items, everything from boards to complete units. It looks at the operation of the overall system, ensuring that the initial requirements are correct and that the item is finally tested to ensure that it operates to its specification, and also to the initial requirements that were placed upon it.

What is the future of electronics engineering?

Communication will be faster

Photonics is a growing sector for electronics engineers. Photonics looks at how light (including lasers) can be used in areas such as medical diagnostics, data communication, fusion energy or laser defence. Fibre-optic technology, barcode scanners and laser printers are all examples of photonics in action. In tomorrow’s electronics world, it will make everything superfast at the speed of light. Multiple video conferencing and superfast data transfer will be a common thing in future. 

Advances in Medical Devices and Medical Electronics

Major surgeries are now being handled by sensors and devices that give lesser chances for human errors or malfunctions. For example, the X-ray medical imaging, previously used to provide only X-ray images, but now it creates high-quality and 3-D medical images that in recent years has made medical imaging a very important aspect of clinical care today. 

Advances in Nanotechnology

In the attempt of reducing the size and increasing the performance, electronic engineering will be  revolutionised by nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is hailed as having the potential to increase the efficiency of energy consumption, help clean the environment, and solve major health problems. It is said to be able to massively increase manufacturing production at significantly reduced costs. Products of nanotechnology will be smaller, cheaper, lighter yet more functional and require less energy and fewer raw materials to manufacture, claim nanotech advocates. 

Redline Group, formerly Technical Recruitment Ltd, has specialised in the field of electronics jobs since 1982 providing knowledge-led recruitment solution to the permanent, interim and contract arena.

We are the technical specialists in electronics recruitment with a broad variety of clients in some of the fastest moving industry segments including Automotive, Aerospace, Broadcast, Communications, Consumer, Defence, Industrial Control, Medical and Semiconductors. Click here to see a full list of markets and industries.

If you’re interested in developing a career in the electronics industry or wish to discuss your next career move then contact David Philpott on 01582 878819 or email