Regardless of the degree name, the multidisciplinary person will be more useful than the specialist in many areas. It's similar to job descriptions. There are several main jobs listed, but they always seem to end with the phrase "other duties as assigned." Starting from the basics and moving toward the specifics is a proven methodology. As when building a house, the general contractor is running the show. There may be specialists to dig foundations, lay block, pour concrete, frame, glaze, finish sheetrock, install plumbing, run wiring, and shingle the roof, but the general ties it all together.
I think even if universities and colleges don't formally label a program as a mechatronics degree, you're going to see a lot more university curriculum reflect the new (and not so new) reality of what Alex has aptly labeled "an interdisciplinary world."
I'm down with this idea, Jon. As I noted in "Are You an Interdisciplinary Engineer?," narrow specialists are on the wane. They're being replaced by generalist engineers who can work comfortably across the boundaries of hardware, software, and embedded. The rise of a Mechantronics degree reflects this reality.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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