Questions for Mechatronics students/graduates

  • Programs
  • Thread starter Vikhr
  • Start date
  • #1
Vikhr
Hi guys,

I will be going back to uni next year to pursue an engineering degree and I'm torn between mechanical and mechatronics engineering (specifically a mechatronics + CS double degree). I've looked at the units in both courses and (almost) all are interesting to me. On the one hand ME is a safer bet - it's more traditional, generalist and can work anywhere. On the other, almost no system is purely mechanical these days and I want to study electronic and computer systems alongside standard mechanical subjects. Essentially I want to be a ME but with a solid grasp of electronic/computer related concepts (though obviously not to the level of a EE/CE).

A big reason for doing mechatronics, and engineering in general, is that I want to work on my own projects and eventually start a small manufacturing business (way down the line), so I want to be well-rounded in several different areas.

I have a few questions for people who did mechatronics courses:

1) What field do you currently work in and what do you do?
2) Did you have any difficulty getting a job with a mechatronics degree?
3) What are some interesting projects you've worked on (including personal projects)?
4) What are some projects you want to work on?
5) What do you think of this course structure: http://handbook.curtin.edu.au/courses/32/321167.html
My major concern is that it's missing some big units from the ME degree - namely fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and strength of materials.
6) Do you regret choosing mechatronics instead of a pure ME/EE/CE course?
7) What are some good skills to develop outside of uni coursework? (e.g. welding, machining, programming languages?)

Thanks for your time.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
178
23
Others might disagree, but I think that trying to cover so much ground is not a particularly good idea. ME is a huge area by itself, and it's very different from your other interests (electrical, electronics). Find what you like the most and stick with it. While you will get some benefit from having knowledge of different fields, you don't have to make a career out of it.

I know people with a mechatronics degree. It's more of an EE course (focused on control systems) with a little bit of CS and ME.
 
  • #3
173
29
I disagree with Ramzerimar. Considering the ongoing revolution in automation, "internet of things" and robotics, mechatronics + CS will be a very powerful combo. Check out the "industrie 4.0" concept many German business experts are touting, for example, to get an idea of what I mean.

I'd probably go for Mechatronics + statistics & AI/machine learning myself, though.
 
  • #4
178
23
I disagree with Ramzerimar. Considering the ongoing revolution in automation, "internet of things" and robotics, mechatronics + CS will be a very powerful combo.

Mechatronics and computer science are already very interrelated. I was talking specifically about studying both ME and EE/CS.

OP said that a mechatronics degree is lacking courses on fluid dynamics, thermo... Thing is, mechatronics only needs a very basic understanding of mechanical engineering (namely dynamics, maybe statics). All the rest is EE with some CS courses.
 
  • #5
173
29
Mechatronics and computer science are already very interrelated. I was talking specifically about studying both ME and EE/CS.

OP said that a mechatronics degree is lacking courses on fluid dynamics, thermo... Thing is, mechatronics only needs a very basic understanding of mechanical engineering (namely dynamics, maybe statics). All the rest is EE with some CS courses.

I suppose it depends on what kind of job the OP wants. The mechatronics + CS program seems like something that'd prepare you for designing the software for the machines instead of designing the machines. I'd say that's fine, and definitely all-round employable.

Though yes, it's always a good idea to know the basic physics if you want to be a "real" engineer.
 
  • #6
Nidum
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,990
850
Though yes, it's always a good idea to know the basic physics if you want to be a "real" engineer.

+1

Not just theoretical notions of physics either . A real engineer has to have an huge general knowledge of how all kinds of different things work and at all levels from purely theoretical to rustic practical .

Undergraduate courses normally contribute a bare few percent to that knowledge .
 
  • #7
Vikhr
On paper it sounds like exactly what I want - designing a machine and then automating it. But from what I can see it's essentially just 3 different courses condensed into 1, so you wouldn't get the same depth and level of detail as you would from just studying ME/EE on its own. For a small business/start up I can see it being cost effective to have someone with a broad range of skills, but for big companies I don't really see what role a mechatronic engineer would serve in a team environment where there are already dedicated mechanical, electrical and software engineers. You would know something about each of their areas, but they would know their own area better than you, so what's the point?

I suppose one advantage is that there are potentially more options straight out of uni. I've seen some jobs for ME that also accept mechatronic degrees, but not EE. Similarly I've seen control jobs that accept EE/CS/mechatronic but not ME. Once out of uni you can specialise in one area while still having some knowledge of the others, and if you needed to re-train later it would be a lot less painful. Even then a lot of these positions would probably prefer a "pure" ME/EE grad though.

I am genuinely curious to hear what paths mechatronics grads have taken, and whether it was worth it vs doing straight ME or EE.
 

Related Threads on Questions for Mechatronics students/graduates

Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
17
Views
13K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
4K
Replies
14
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
3K
Top