Mechatronics Engineering is the integration of electronics and intelligent control in mechanical systems. Mechatronics engineers employ precision engineering, control theory, computer science, mathematics and sensor technology to design enhanced or 'smart' products, processes and systems.
Almost everywhere you look you will see a mechatronic system. They are utilised in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, communication, transport, medicine, service, energy, smart farming and increasingly in advanced gaming systems.
During the coming decades we will see an explosion of these automated systems further infiltrating our lives. Robots are widely used to automate manufacturing processes for productivity benefits, quality consistency and reduction/elimination of physically hard and/or hazardous labour. Mobile machines, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV), are deployed to operate in such environments.
Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and components are now as small as a few microns and researchers are investigating nanotechnologies by using mechatronic systems for applications such as microscopy, spectroscopy, nano-fabrication, big data storage and sensor technologies.
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Mechatronics students, this is made up of:
Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:
- ENGR100 Academic Writing Assessment*
- ENGR101 Foundations of Engineering
- EMTH118 Engineering Mathematics 1A
- EMTH119 Engineering Mathematics 1B
- PHYS101 Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves and Thermal Physics
* No EFTS, no fees.
Plus courses specific to Mechatronics Engineering:
- COSC121 Introduction to Computer Programming
- EMTH171 Mathematical Modelling and Computation
- ENGR102 Engineering Mechanics
In addition you must study at least 15 points of elective courses
To ensure a total workload of 120 points in the first year. It is advisable to check with the College of Engineering student advisor for suggested electives.
- To see how this qualification is structured, see the degree diagram on the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours page.
- See the Regulations for the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Intermediate Year.
- For guidance on how to structure your Intermediate Year, visit the College of Engineering.
The professional years
Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Mechatronics Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.
The First, Second, and Third Professional Years consist of compulsory and elective courses from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and dedicated Mechatronics Engineering. At UC, special emphasis is placed on project-based learning.
The First Professional Year introduces the topics of mechatronics design, computer systems, electronics and devices, dynamics and vibrations, machine elements, and engineering mathematics.
The Second Professional Year focuses on mechatronics system design, control engineering, embedded systems, computational mechanical analysis, and power electronics.
The Third Professional Year allows students to take courses that suit their specific interest, and includes courses on electronics, aerodynamics, robotics and computer vision. All students also take a course on modern control theory and complete a design and research project, which typically are real-life engineering projects offered by industry partners.
Graduates with a Mechatronics Engineering degree can take up careers in a wide spectrum of industries where the interaction of software and a physical system plays a major role, including the robotics, aerospace, chemical, gaming, internet/cloud/software, defence, automotive and manufacturing industries. Mechatronics graduates also work in businesses that require extensive computer infrastructure and algorithms, such as banking and commerce.
Within these industries, graduates may be design engineers, software engineers, project planners, product designers or project managers.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering.
More informationDepartment of Mechanical Engineering
Please see the Department's website for up-to-date location details.
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800