View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
User Rank
Re: Do Mechatronics Degrees Make Sense?
ddamato31   8/11/2011 3:53:47 PM
I've just completed the design of four modular experiments for graduate mechatronics eduation, as part of my masters degree in mechanical engineer with a controls/mechatronics focus.  I've also researched the current state of mechatronics education.

To my knowledge Chico State in California had the only accreditied BS Mechatronic program in 2010.  However, several other university in the U.S. are expecting their ABET accrediation by the end of 2011.  I suspect as more U.S. universities follow suit, ABET will provided updated information on Mechatronic Engineering programs. Internationally, Austrailia and Great Britian have nearly two dozen accredited BS in Mechatronic programs.

After reaseraching this topic for the past 18 months, I would firmly say that accreditied programs are needed.  Two or three courses at the end of a Mechanical or Electrical engineering program is pathetic.  I speak from both experience and collecting data from other students, as well as being very observant of what skills industry is looking for from incoming engineers.

Mechanical engineers are lacking software and electrical engineering prowess, meanwhile, electrical and software engineers are short on mechanical and machine design powess.  I'm sure engineering managers would enjoy having engineers that can coordinate and develop truely integrated systems and assist in removing communication barriers.

Finally, all focused diciplines are weak on cross-dicipline system modeling.  This is a systemic issue with how engineering is being taught.  For example, mechanical engineers learn circuit analysis, but stop a class or two short of being able to design practical protype circuits, let alone simulate the performance of an integrated electromechanical system.  However, they have more than enough math ability to accoplish this taks, its simply never taught.

In the end, there is only one way to detemine if Mechatronics Degrees make sense.  Develop the programs, offer them to incoming freshment, and see how industry reponds with hiring!  Everything else is empty words and speculation.

William K.
User Rank
The mechatronics degree
William K.   7/26/2011 10:00:56 PM
A degree in mechatronics would indeed have a good value if the study included the modeling and multiphysics simulations that I see as the definitive part of mechatronics. That is the part that seems to be new, since having a well rounded engineering education, as opposed to a very narrow specialization, is not a new concept. The ability to create the entire mathmatical model, from inertia and friction through electomagnetic forces, and including the control systems transfer functions, is indeed an incredibly valuable thing. That skill and the methods of modeling would be a large part of a valuable mechatronics course of study. 


My guess is that not all of the programs are that thorough, and that they are not all equal. It could certainly be a useful discussion to define what would be included in such a program. My guess is that it would wind up being a six year degree.

Tim Smart
User Rank
Do Mechatronics Degrees Make Sense?
Tim Smart   7/26/2011 4:25:33 PM
Agreed with many of the comments, I'm a Mechanical Engineer, but had this been offered back in the day I would have taken it instead. Not sure about the reference to (12) Universities offering the program, I logged onto the same site, and searched for Mechatronics Degrees at the Bachelor's level, and it spit out (7). None were Marquette University of Milwaukee, who of course has one of the pre-eminent college professors in the field in Dr. Kevin C. Craig (who writes a great column for Design News). Sure wish he taught at the University of Wisconsin instead !

N. Christopher Perry
User Rank
ME, EE & SW programs really need some sort of mechatronic like options
N. Christopher Perry   7/26/2011 3:50:35 PM
I personably know of a number of engineers who work in the classical ME, EE and SW disciplines.  However, I encounter them less frequently all the time.

In the organizations I've been in cross-discipline expertise is virtually required to be competitive, particularly in smaller scale organizations.

I'm not sure a specific Mechatronics program is needed, but some sort of class work covering mechatronics should be made available to students in the undergraduate curricula.  It would certainly lessen my workload in getting interns and new graduates up to speed on the programs I put them on.

Mina Farouk
User Rank
I beleive Mechatronics degrees do make sense
Mina Farouk   7/26/2011 3:44:02 PM
I'm a mechatronics engineer, got my Degree from an Egyptian Institute, I studied mechanics courses, also got some courses for programming microcontrollers, PLCs, also studied a lot of electronics courses, this made me unique in my work, I can work with mechanical systems, work with electronic systems, which gave me the opportunity to become (in my young age) "Manager of Maintenance Dept."

I do beleive it is the mechatronics era, you don't see now a mechanical system without an electronic control, whether it is controlled by a microcontroller, a PLC or even just an ordinary electronic circuit, but you need to know both mechanics and electronics

Greg Stirling
User Rank
Do Mechatronics Degrees Make Sense?
Greg Stirling   7/20/2011 9:00:56 PM
If there had been a mechatronics degree program in school, I would have taken it.

The cirrucilum for the first 2 years would be the same as an EE or ME.  Then after that, subjects that relate to: pneumatics, stepper motors, servo motors, motion control, stress and dynamics as it relates to robotics, control systems, ladder code, sensors, safety, communications, HMI's, basic wiring etc...

It should also be taught by a professor with extensive applied knowledge and a track record of sucessful projects...

User Rank
Re: It's an Interdisciplinary World
Tim   7/19/2011 11:45:39 PM
I do not have a Mechatronics degree, but it is common in daily work life to be called into action for both mechanical and electronic items.  The fewer engineers that are employed at a certain location.  The more hats that are worn by each engineer.  As an engineer, it is important to learn and adapt to your surroundings and how you can best benefit your company.  If universities can start graduating students that are already cross trained through the Mechatronics cirriculum, the in-field learning curve will be reduced, and these graduates will be able to make an immediate impact in the industry.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
I wish it had a different name
TJ McDermott   7/19/2011 10:15:30 PM
It's obvious where the name came from, but I cannot shake the feeling that a marketing type made the word mechatronics.  It sounds like a kid's game instead of a serious field of study.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Re: It's an Interdisciplinary World
Dave Palmer   7/19/2011 6:01:10 PM
In my field (materials), we have already seen this type of shift towards a more interdisciplinary approach.  In a matter of a few years, the name of my university department changed from Metallurgical Engineering (until 1999), to Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (from 1999 to 2004), to Materials Science and Engineering (from 2004 to now).

Of course, there are still schools which offer traditional Metallurgical Engineering programs, as well as Ceramics Engineering, Plastics Engineering, Composite Engineering, etc.  I think there is a value to this level of specialization.  However, for many jobs, it is important to have a strong level of familiarity with a wide variety of materials.  This is why many schools have moved towards an integrated approach. 

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Re: It's an Interdisciplinary World
Jack Rupert, PE   7/19/2011 1:56:02 PM
I also like the idea, given the move to interdisciplinary engineering.  I think the combined title, rather than a major in one and a minor in the other, more clearly demonstrates that the engineer is multi-discipline instead of being seen a a ME who happened to have taken some EE courses.

Page 1/2  >  >>

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service