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Careers in Automotive

Companies in this industry include manufacturers of cars, trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles and their suppliers. For articles about careers in power electronics in the heavy equipment industry, see Industrial.

Articles discussing opportunities, technical requirements, and design challenges for power electronics engineers in the Automotive industry:

Power Electronics Engineers Move EVs And Hybrids Forward With Cost-Cutting Innovations
By David G. Morrison, How2Power Today, Power Supply Jobs & Technology section, August 2011

With the rise of the plug-in vehicle and hybrid vehicle markets, the requirements for automotive power electronics continue to grow and create opportunities for power electronics engineers. These opportunities can be found at mainstream car companies and their suppliers, as well as at the many electric vehicle startups. By working to develop the power systems that are at the heart of EVs, HEVs, and plug-in hybrids, power electronics engineers are helping to address societal needs for more-fuel-efficient vehicles. In doing so, their main challenge is driving down the costs of the power systems as part of the larger effort to make EVs and hybrids more affordable. This overarching need to reduce cost influences many aspects of power electronics engineering in electric and hybrid vehicle design, as Gary Cameron, the interim general director of Advanced Engineering and Business Development at Delphi, discussed in a recent conversation.  Read the full article»

Power Magnetics Designers: Their Skills Grow More Important and Scarce
By David G. Morrison, Editor,, March 2010

In industries like automotive, you find examples of how demanding power electronics applications create a need for very sophisticated magnetic component designs, which in turn create requirements for highly skilled magnetics designers. Although even big organizations like automotive electronics manufacturers may not be hiring these engineers in large numbers, the importance of their work and the scarcity of their skills can distinguish an experienced magnetics designer as an engineering VIP. But just about all engineers who work in power electronics have some experience with magnetics, so what sets apart the magnetics design guru from the crowd. And why with all of these advances in design tools is it so important for some companies to have an expert magnetics designer? Also, if they’re so important, why aren’t there more of them?  Read the full article»

Hybrid Vehicles Drive New Demands for Power Electronics Expertise
By David G. Morrison, Editor,, January 2010

Hybrid electric vehicle technology is changing the way automobiles are designed. It’s also changing the mix of engineering skills that automakers and their suppliers need to design and build cars. While electronics content has been growing in vehicles for decades, the introduction of HEVs has greatly increased the need for power electronics as the technology requires inverters, dc-dc converters, battery chargers and battery management circuits, motion control circuits, and other power management circuitry. But what do job listings mean to PE specialists who have been working in other segments of the electronics industry? Or to recent graduates of engineering programs? To get some answers I spoke with engineering managers and directors at a few automotive companies to get a broader picture of their requirements.  Read the full article»

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