Emerging Technologies in Electrical Engineering: An Overview

Electrical engineering profoundly impacts the world, playing a crucial role in various aspects of modern life and contributing to a more sustainable future. The period from around 1760 to about 1820-1840 marked the onset of the Industrial Revolution, during which manufacturing processes adopted water and steam power. This era, often termed the First Industrial Revolution, saw significant contributions from Michael Faraday to understanding electromagnetism.

Following the initial Industrial Revolution, between 1870 and 1914, substantial technological advancements, including the introduction of electricity, gas, and oil, revolutionised industries. Notably, superior electrical technology emerged, enabling greater production and sophistication in machinery. The subsequent periods are known as the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions, with the latter characterised by the widespread adoption of digital technology, including electronic systems, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), IT systems, and robotics. The early developments of Industry 4.0 began in the 1990s, gaining momentum from 2011 onwards, ushering in an era of autonomous production facilities, storage systems, and smart machines.

Undoubtedly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has significantly impacted electrical engineering across three key areas: the medical field, consumer products, and the industrial sector.

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