New degree aims to meet demand for engineers in New Zealand

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s new electrical and electronics degree will help address a growing demand for engineers in New Zealand.

Starting in 2021, Electrical and Electronic Engineering will replace the Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering degree that is currently offered under the four year Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours) degree.

Spiralling demand for engineers reflects the increasingly significant role they play in our daily lives, from designing modern communications systems to helping predict natural disasters.

The enhanced degree will leverage Wellington University’s existing strengths in research and teaching across a range of niche areas, including robotics, communications and control, electronic design, power systems and signal processing. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme will enable graduates to understand and evaluate the impact of professional engineering work in addressing complex problems across various contexts.

Wellington Faculty of Engineering Dean, Professor Dale Carnegie, says the new degree is a crucial step towards addressing the estimated industry requirement for more than 1000 new engineers every year.

“Making up nearly three percent of the workforce in New Zealand, engineers are the silent force behind nearly everything we do today. Whether it is to build compact and eco-friendly devices, leverage renewable energy sources more efficiently or even build robots that can undertake tasks that are too dangerous for humans, electronics plays a key role in our lives.

“With Electrical and Electronic Engineering, our focus will be on building a strong theoretical foundation, complemented with real-world application and industry-related projects, and this will help students acquire specialised skills that are relevant across public and private sector enterprises.”

Students enrolling for this degree will be able to choose one of four specialisations—robotics, renewable energy systems, machine learning or communication engineering. Each specialisation has been designed to equip students to apply reasoning informed by contextual knowledge, along with an understanding of the professional responsibilities of engineering practice.

The Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering major is fully accredited by Engineering New Zealand under the Washington Accord.

Professor Carnegie says a decade of hard work, collaboration, innovation and creativity has resulted in an outstanding engineering programme. “Technology is constantly changing and it is a great time to be an engineering or computer science student. Our focus on digital-based technology provides students the knowledge to succeed in today’s modern workplace while preparing them for jobs of the future. We also have the advantage of being located in New Zealand’s tech capital and our close connections to the industry here offer significant value to our students.”

In recent years, the Wellington Faculty of Engineering has introduced various courses in emerging fields, including artificial intelligence, computer graphics and cybersecurity. As part of the industrial work experience component of the engineering degree, more than 500 students have undertaken paid internships, both domestically and internationally, with organisations across the public and private sectors, including Google, Xero and TradeMe.

More information about the degrees and courses offered by the Wellington Faculty of Engineering is available online.