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Mechatronics refers to the efficient and effective integration of mechanical, electronic, and computer systems. The Mechatronics degree emphasises the synergistic use of precision engineering, control theory, computer science, mathematics and sensor technology, to design enhanced or "smart" products, processes and systems.

Course structure and choices

First Professional Year

In the First Professional Year of the Mechatronics Engineering degree, students are introduced to fundamental principles of engineering through 'core' courses in the engineering sciences, mathematics and engineering design. All courses are compulsory at this stage, specialisation occurring in the Third Professional year when students are required to select specific courses from a range of options.

Some courses are taught during the first half of the academic year (March-June) and examined in a four week break from lectures in late June. Others are taught in the second half of the year (July-October) or throughout the entire year and examined during a second examination period in October. Most courses also involve a significant proportion of in-course assessment; this is particularly true of design.

Second Professional Year

In the Second Professional Year of Mechatronics Engineering six of the seven courses are compulsory (core subjects). The final course can be chosen from appropriate 200 or 300-level Electrical or Mechanical courses at the discretion of the 2nd Pro Director of Studies.

Third Professional Year

Unlike the First and Second Professional years, when all the courses are compulsory, the Third Professional year provides an opportunity for students to select subject options in areas of Mechatronics Engineering which are of particular interest to them.

There are, however, some core Third Professional subjects which all students must take.

The Department also offers postgraduate diploma, masters and doctoral programmes through the Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments.

Postgraduate qualifications

All masters and doctorate students undertake a research project and present a thesis that is examined externally. In addition, masters students are required to take four postgraduate courses.

Mechanical Workshop Training (ENME199)

All students must undertake mechanical workshop training in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (not the basic mechanical workshop training offered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) in the use of hand tools, drilling, milling, turning, and welding. Mechanical Engineering offers this 35-hour training course in the evenings or during the holidays in our dedicated training facility. You may also complete this training at an approved establishment.

It is strongly recommended that first-year students with little or no experience with engineering tools complete the core workshop course before the start of the second semester.

Enrolment

Students should enrol in a Mechanical Workshop Training course via the Online Workshop Enrolment website. Classes will be finalised and students notified of their confirmed class groups as soon as possible.

Electrical Workshop Training (ENEL198)

An electrical workshop course conducted in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering must be completed by all Mechatronics students before enrolment in the 2nd Professional year. The Electrical Workshop is run by the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Electronics Laboratory.

If you do not attend the workshop course you booked into, you will not be able to enrol for any of the other courses in that year, unless exceptional circumstances prevented your attendance.

Enrolment

Electrical Workshop courses can be booked online.

Students who want to move their booking must do so at least five days before the course starts. This gives other students three days to book the vacated slot(s). Bookings close two days before the start of the course.

Exemption

Students who believe they are exempt from the Electrical Workshop course should obtain approval for the exemption from Jac Woudberg.

BE(Hons) students must complete an approved first aid course, or, at some stage during your three Professional years, hold a valid first aid certificate. Approved courses qualify a student as a trained first aid person as described in the guidance notes published by the Department of Labour to help employers comply with Health and Safety legislation.

Our graduates acquire expert knowledge in their field, and familiarity with standard engineering science, processes, responsibilities and ethics. They have the advantage of having been exposed to different engineering perspectives. Although they will be neither mechanical nor electrical and computer engineering graduates, they will be fully conversant with all but a few of the under-pinning engineering sciences of both disciplines, and thus be equipped for a wide spectrum of engineering employment opportunities.

With a substantial input into the curriculum from the leading New Zealand employers in the electronics and controls industries, the top graduates from this degree stream are sure to land some of the best entry-level engineering jobs in New Zealand. We look forward to seeing our graduates running the most exciting New Zealand technology companies of the future!

Graduate careers

Mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical and software engineering in the design, development and control of diverse systems used in a range of industries including manufacturing, medicine and the service industries. 

Graduates with a Mechatronics degree can take up careers in a wide spectrum of industries - including robotics, aerospace, chemical, medicine, defence and automotive, service industries and manufacturing - in which complex software plays a major role, as well as in businesses that require extensive computer support, such as banking and commerce. Contributions can be made to these industries in a variety of roles including design engineer, software engineer, project planner, product designer and project manager. 

Examples of mechatronic systems include aircraft, dishwashers, motor vehicles, automated manufacturing plants, medical and surgical devices and systems, robots of all types, many toys, artificial organs and many others. Mechatronics engineers are therefore involved in almost every possible industry at levels from applications development to manufacturing to advanced research.

Where do Mechatronics Engineers work?

After graduation with a BE(Hons) many students work in industry and gain IPENZ recognition as Professional Engineers. Some who achieve high level passes in the various professional years may go on to undertake advanced research based degrees at Masters and Doctoral level.

A mechatronics engineer can apply for almost any job advertised in product development or team leadership, as well as most electronic and mechanical engineering work. Examples of mechatronic systems include aircraft, dishwashers, motor vehicles, automated manufacturing plants, medical and surgical devices and systems, robots of all types, many toys, artificial organs and many others. Mechatronics engineers are therefore involved in almost every possible industry at levels from applications development to manufacturing to advanced research.

Graduates with a Mechatronics degree can take up careers in a wide spectrum of industries including robotics, aerospace, chemical, defence and automotive and manufacturing where complex software plays a major role, as well as in businesses that require extensive computer support, such as banking and commerce. Contributions can be made to these industries in a variety of roles including design engineer, software engineer, project planner, product designer and project manager.

Real-world learning opportunities

Mechatronics offers a coherent, integrated, and project-based mechatronics degree, that emphasises a mix of theoretical and fundamental training, as well as problem-solving skills. 

Project-based programme

Our students develop and reinforce their taught “mechatronic” systems thinking skills through project-based teaching and hands-on design and implementation of fundamental principles. Our courses also involve substantial laboratory work.

You will undertake a series of designs throughout your studies, drawing upon cross-course knowledge and different skill-sets. This project-based programme has been developed in response to the increasing convergence of mechanics, electronics, computer control, embedded software, and informatics in design and manufacture of modern smart products and systems. This rounded training will prepare you for future challenges in existing and emerging sectors.

Join our inter-disciplinary research teams

Mechatronics is strongly supported by research into cutting-edge mechatronics, control systems, and robotics at UC, spanning bio-mechatronics, bio-mimetic robotics, mobile robotics, assistive devices, instrumentation and control, biomedical systems, and manufacturing automation. It involves active academic members from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science.

Our research teams are actively engaged in fundamental and applied research in close collaboration with industry partners, and exploit commercial applications. Excellent research opportunities are available for master and PhD studies in Mechatronics Engineering.

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