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Do you think Mechatronics Engineering is too broad?

  1. Jun 11, 2012 #1
    Mechatronics Engineering is a combination of the three main engineering fields -

    Mechanical engineering
    Electrical engineering
    Computer engineering

    EACH of these courses take at least 4 years to cover deeply enough in university but Mechatronics Engineering does them all at once, so my question is, do you think that mechatronics engineering covers enough of the topics or is it better for students to study specific topics such as the ones listed above?

    Also as an extra question, Is there much demand for mechatronics engineers or would employers rather employ employees with a better knowledge about specific topics?
    Are there specific jobs that are just for mechatronics engineers? I mean mechatronics deals a lot with control systems such as PLC's and SCADA systems, would a mechatronics engineer deal with these or do other engineers also work on these control systems?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2012 #2
    When touring the Engineering School many years ago, I was told "If you don't know what type of engineering to go into, then go into Mechanical because it is the broadest field." I didn't know because growing up in a tiny farming community did not give any examples of Engineering fields. But I was always the kid who was tuning up cars and disassembling the family's washing machine. Electricity was mysterious to me, and I had a string of electrical failures that were occasionally exciting. So I chose ME.

    I gravitated towards a mixture of engineering topics, and eventually added a Master's in Manufacturing to pursue Factory Automation. I was doing "mechatronics" before anyone called it that. Besides all of the usual ME classes, I also pursued classes & work experiences in:
    • Assembler Language
    • Robotics
    • Manufacturing & Factory Automation, PLC applications, sensors, & instruments
    • Control Systems Theory
    • Industrial Controls, Interfacing, Programming, and connectivity/wiring
    • Business, Finance, & Accounting
    • Written & Spoken Communications

    In addition to the automation/controls/robotics stuff of mechatronic technology, I also have a good foundation of understanding in mechanical design, thermal applications, and materials science. You don't list the course requirements for a "Mechatronics Engineering" degree. I suspect that it would focus on the automation/controls/robotics stuff only. You'd have to learn on your own all the other stuff.
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