One of the most important challenges that the community sets to the technology is the ability to produce renewable—clean—energy, which has a minimum impact on the environment. Among all the players who contribute to give a credible and sustainable reply to this challenge, electrical engineer is one of the most qualified professionals. In fact, he is called to study the feasibility of different solutions, to design the plants ensuring maximum efficiency, to design algorithms and control logic so that the energy produced is used to the best.
A smart grid is an intelligent electric network. Smartness is given by the designers of these networks, by those who study the controls and monitors the operation. There is a wide variety of smart grids: home networks, distribution networks, islanded electricity networks, power grids supplying large industrial factories, ships, and data centers. Electricity is the lifeblood of modern life: almost every appliance is fed by electricity. To make smart power grids means using electricity in a more rational way, avoiding to waste it. Electrical engineer, with its expertise, can give a significant contribution to make electricity networks smart. He knows deeply both production and utilization processes and, therefore, is not only able to design, control and monitor smart electricity grids but also to offer innovative and effective solutions.
Electrical transportation systems
Transportation, like most of the industrial processes, benefits from electricity. Using electrical transportation one can reduce pollution and increase the efficiency with which the primary source of energy (whether consisting of fossil fuel or renewable sources) is used. Traditionally trains are one of the areas of application of electrical engineering. It is a sector far from being “historical”: high-speed trains are an increasingly lively and relevant. They are, in fact, complex electrical and electronic systems involving not only knowledge about electrical engineering, but also, for example, mechanics, electronics, compatibility, telecommunications, security. Among electric transportation systems electric cars cannot be ignored. Their spread depends on the ability that modern technology has to make this solution actually viable and sustainable.
Nowadays, industrial automation relies almost entirely on electricity. Industrial processes benefit from the use of motors and electric actuators, because of their high efficiency and their reliability and accuracy. Electrical engineer’s task is not only to design and build the plants, suggesting the technological solutions which best suite to the circumstances, but also to operationally implement the desired control logic. In doing so, electrical engineer has to deal with different aspects of technical knowledge (mechanical, hydraulic, reliability, etc.).