STEM Connection

Mechatronics Education Fills Need for Multidisciplinary Engineering

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William K.
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Not what it was called back then.
William K.   6/9/2015 2:14:29 PM
An understanding of other aspects besides electronics requires a bit of education in the other areas besides electronics. In the "olden days" when I studied engineering we also took courses in materials, statics, dynamics, and chemistry, as well as psycology and physics classes. This was not to just make us "well rounded", but to allow us to build an understanding of the way the real world functions. There may not have been quite so much emphasis on some mechanical aspects as in the current mechatronics classes, but we certainly had a foundation. Of course it is also possible that the school that I attended, Lawrence Institute of Technology, was better than most of that era. The strength of materials class has been valuable many times,as well as the dynamics understanding. 

But with the common goal of putting a student straight into some engineering position with no broad base, many current programs are delivering graduates that are quite clueless in a wide variety of areas.

William Ng
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Re: Not what it was called back then.
William Ng   6/11/2015 10:08:11 AM
William, thanks for posting your experiences. I wish I was exposed to a multidisciplinary foundation when I was in engineering school.   

William K.
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Re: Not what it was called back then.
William K.   6/11/2015 11:07:41 PM
While it is still a good school, the tuition is over 72 times what I paid when I attended that school. So I am not willing to state that it is still a good choice, although it was at th time. Possibly the same courses are available at other engineering schools, although way to many schools seem to focus on a very narrow list of schools. A masters degree in programming one model of micro may assure a job doing exactly that, but in five years when the chip is obsolete those skills will also be obsolete. But I have seen claims that the very narrow focus is wht industry wants and needs, I don't think so.

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Mechatronics coined by Yaskawa engineer
Bperry66   6/11/2015 5:12:16 PM
Thanks for an informative article, Tracey. Btw, regarding your comment about a Japanese company coining the phrase mechatronics, here's the detail:

"The same year that humans first set foot on the Moon, in 1969, Yaskawa engineer Tetsura Mori coined the term mechatronics."

This quotes comes from a Design News article about robots in use at NASA. That article is titled "A Robotic Approach to Refueling Satellites."





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