What can I do with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering?

Mechatronics engineering graduate Angus Watson

Mechatronics Engineering is the efficient and effective integration of mechanical systems and electronics, and intelligent control. Mechatronics engineers employ precision engineering, control theory, computer science, mathematics and sensor technology to design enhanced or 'smart' products, processes and systems. Examples of mechatronic systems include aircraft, dishwashers, toys, motor vehicles, automated manufacturing plants, medical and surgical devices, robots of all types and artificial organs. Almost everywhere you look you will see a mechatronic system.

During the coming decades we will see an explosion of these automated systems further infiltrating our lives. Already mechatronic systems are utilised in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, communication, transport, medicine, service, energy and smart farming.

Through their Mehatronics Engineering degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferable to a range of careers, including:

  • Analytical, logical and quantitative thinking
  • Practical application of engineering technology and science
  • Problem solving that applies to real world challenges
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Mechanical and computing abilities
  • Broad knowledge of a range of engineering disciplines.

Students undertake 800 hours of practical work experience as part of this engineering degree, providing them with a good understanding of industry and the confidence to apply their skills at work. 

Mechatronics engineers work in industries such as:

  • Robotics
  • Aerospace
  • Chemical
  • Defence
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing industries

Recent UC graduates have found roles in:

  • Information, media and telecommunications eg, Telogis, Flightcell International
  • Manufacturers eg, Dynamic Controls, Fisher & Paykel, CSR, Abiliquip, Attocube Systems
  • Roboticis eg, Invert Robotics
  • Professional, scientific and technical services eg, Dynamic Controls, Telogis, Scott Technology, Aeronavics
  • Technology development eg, Syft Technologies, Tiro Medical
  • Engineering consultants eg, Controlweb Ltd, Beta Solutions
  • Automation companies eg, Macro Automation, Street Automation
  • Smart technologies and network companies eg, Aviat Networks, Unison networks
  • E-commerce eg, eStar
  • Software companies eg, Wireless Guard, Wynyard Group
  • Aviation, aeronautics and defence eg, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Altitude Aerospace
  • Electricity and energy services eg, Beca, Mainpower
  • Research institues eg, Scion, Auckland UniServices
  • Government eg, Ministry of Economic Development

Mechatronics Engineering graduates are well prepared to join the technological revolution - see some examples of career options below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Mechatronics engineer

  • Uses mechanical, computer and controls knowledge to design and create products
  • Researches components of design
  • Tests products for efficiency and adaptability

Robotics technician, roboticist

  • Works in teams to desgn and develop robots
  • Tests robotic operations and processes
  • Services and maintains robotic functioning

Software engineer

  • Analyses customer needs, evaluations computer software and researches new technologies
  • Develops software progrmaes for new products
  • Manages software development projects

Industrial designer, product designer, product development engineer

  • Researches a client's brief, an organisational or social need, or a gap in the market
  • Prepares drawings, models and proposals for new product improvements
  • Designs and produces a prototype
  • Tests the prototype, ergonomics and investigates patents

Mechanical/control systems engineer

  • Assists in the development of products using drafting tools or computer software
  • Designs testing control equipment
  • Researches and advises on design modifications to resolve problems

Programmer, software developer

  • Determines specifications and writes code
  • Builds prototypes of software programs
  • Tests and fises computer programs and systems
  • Maintains and upgrades programs and systems
  • May develop and integrate technical aspects of websites/mobile apps

Mechanical engineer

  • Investigates and optimises the use of energy, machinery and materials
  • Designs products and processes
  • Advises on the design, fabrication and repair of various equipment

Mechanical design engineer

  • Designs power machinery
  • Uses computer software to create visual plans
  • Assists in testing machinery

Project engineer, project manager

  • Manages project plan, times, costs, compliance
  • Manages procurement, purchasing, contracts
  • Liaises with project staff and clients

Avionics/flight engineer

  • Manages avionic development projects
  • Oversees a part's lifecycle, from idea to launch
  • Designs and tests the project prototype
  • Manages workflows and issues

Patent examiner

  • Researches to assess if a product is new/unique
  • Maintains knowledge of laws and regulations
  • Writes patent applications for new inventions
  • Advises businesses, government and industry

Automation engineer

  • Designs and programs high-tech computer-controlled equipment for industrial processes
  • Identifies and fixes machine issues

Entrepreneur and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Gets involved in a start-up
  • Offers their servcies as a consultant

As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep up-to-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

Learn from our students' experiences

For more information

see the Mechatronics Engineering subject page