I can’t believe it’s already the third week of semester 2! I swear we just started back only a few days ago? The good news is that the semester is going fast which means that it will be over really soon. The bad news is that it’s already really busy, and is only going to get busier…
I have to say that this semester is a big jump from what we have done in previous semesters. This semester the courses are a lot more hands-on. It’s quite fun to apply your knowledge to practical stuff, but at the same time it’s difficult because if you can’t remember everything you learnt during the first semester, you need to re-learn that theory too. This makes these courses a lot more time consuming – particularly Electeng 209.
We have lots of small weighted assignments/quizzes/report/labs/writing for each course due very early on in the semester. This applies to all the courses except for Electeng 204, which is structured in a similar way to other courses prior to this semester (i.e. two 20% tests and a 60% exam). From what I can gather, Electeng 204 is about transmission lines and electromagnetics. Electeng 204 is more aimed towards those in the electrical and electronics specialisation, however we have been told that it’s still very much relevant to computer systems students too. If you weren’t aware: electrical/electronics and computer systems students do the same second year.
For Electeng 209, we are designing a wireless energy monitor. Let’s say we have a circuit and we want to measure standard stuff like voltage, current and power. We are designing the multi-meter to measure these parameters. The meter will connect via Bluetooth to a display screen. I must admit that it sounded quite intimidating at first. But the lectures discuss important concepts to completing the project, and about 60% of the project will be done during the compulsory labs.
Electeng 209 seems to be the first step to becoming a real engineer. The skills learnt in this project will be vital to the rest of the degree.
The other course I have enjoyed is Compsys 202. Now, I’m not good at coding. But of course I need to be good enough to pass the course… I have actually found though that I’m keeping up fairly well. The trick with this course especially, is to get help as soon as you need it. There are lots of drop-in (optional) labs where you can ask the teaching assistants any questions you have.
An interesting point to note about the Electrical, Electronics and Computer Systems Department: It is world-renowned! You may not know this but our department has world-famous “Green Energy” and “Wireless Power Transfer” achievements. If you think electrical engineering is something you would enjoy, remember that you may well end up learning from internationally recognised professors/researchers who as a department are making waves around the world. Have a look at www.engineering.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/our-research/energy-research/energy-expertise.html if interested. One thing is very clear to me, the world needs electrical/electronic engineers! You have an excellent chance of being highly sought after once finishing your degree, as well as getting paid well.
I’m off to finish my second lab for 209 now…