Electronics & CPD for Higher Education

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) describes electronics as an enabling technology- it is used in numerous branches of business and in small, medium and large companies worldwide.

Newly qualified electronic engineers are likely to find themselves working for companies that manufacture products used in fields they have virtually no experience of.

Because of the every increasing sophistication and complexity of technology, electronic engineers require CPD from the start of their first job and probably for most of their working lives.

Figure 1 An Outline Organogram for an SME Specialising in Medical Electronics

Figure 1 An Outline Organogram for an SME Specialising in Medical Electronics

The Organogram is very simple and is intended to facilitate what follows on this page.

Typically, a small SME would have a board of directors, with a chairman, a managing director (MD) and several directors.

It is likely that the directors are player managers of the departments they are responsible for.

The Financial Director (FD) would be responsible for, and manage, the company finance department.

The company specializes in electronic based medical equipment: for example an instrument that monitors blood pressure for domestic use.

 

 

Another version of the model could be used in gyms and for sports in general.

The R&D department has been shown in a little more detail than the other departments.

It is clear that some people in R&D should know about relevant medical principles, the physics of medical devices and the regulatory requirements of medical equipment. They, and/or possibly others, should be able to employ their electronic specialisms, to the design and manufacture of their companies products.

Many electronic engineers work as programmers, particularly with embedded systems.

Electronics, because of its status as an enabling technology, is a rich educational domain for CPD.

 

Figure 2 Some Possible Modules for CPD

Figure 1 An Outline Organogram for an SME Specialising in Medical Electronics

The figure shows some possible module titles for CPD at an advanced level, that is at postgraduate level.

Modules may be useful to new graduates and experienced engineers that are changing their careers.

The lists are by no means exhaustive.

Module content and exercises etc should be postgraduate standard and be practical: delegates completing a module should be able to apply what they have learned immediately in their working environment.

There is enough scope, even in the non-exhaustive list we have shown, to create a few complete educational programmes at Masters level.

We have mentioned post graduate level, but experienced engineers without formal qualifications, should have access to CPD.

General CPD Requirements & Marketing

CPD is for qualified engineers: it is intended to improve their skills and knowledge. Experienced engineers without formal qualifications should be able to benefit.

CPD is useful to employers, especially SME's, many large organisations can afford to set up their own training facilities, most SME's cannot.

CPD should be available when engineers want it- to tell a prospective delegate the next run of the module they are interested in is in 18 months time is not very helpful.

CPD is for mature students, they are capable of studying and learning how to apply their newly acquired knowledge without the need for tutors.

An effective way of learning advanced topics is to study them in the workplace and apply techniques to real problems of relevance.

This is possible with web based CPD- tutors could not participate in this type of activity nor should they be asked to do so.

Finally CPD should be affordable, newly qualified engineers possibly have debts of several thousand pounds, CPD should not add to this.

Marketing- of CPD courses and modules is possible using direct email and direct mail techniques- companies with a technical director are likely to be interested in improving the skills of their key employees, especially if it is affordable and does not interrupt their working week.