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What Does a Mechatronics Engineer Do?

Mechatronics engineers integrate the sensor systems used in robots.
A mechatronics engineer may be responsible for setting up assembly lines.
Mechatronics engineers design, build and test industrial machinery.
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  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
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A mechatronics engineer develops innovative new systems by combining elements of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. Professionals in the field design a wide range of consumer products and industrial machinery, from cars to televisions to robotic assembly lines. In addition, a mechatronics engineer may lend his or her skills to the creation of safer and more efficient medical equipment. Regardless of the nature of the work, a mechatronics engineer must be creative, determined, and able to intuitively understand the complex relationships between mechanics, electronics, and computers.

When planning a new project, a mechatronics engineer might consult with experts from many different disciplines. He or she may speak with marketing managers to determine if there is a demand for a new design; consulting with factory workers to see if they could benefit from changes to their equipment is common as well. The engineer can then begin brainstorming, drawing schematics, and creating computer models with drafting software. The design phase of a project can take anywhere from a few days to several months depending on the complexity of the system and the available budget.

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Once plans are finalized, a mechatronics engineer leads a team of technicians in building a prototype. Many engineers personally participate in testing and inspecting a machine or product once it is constructed. They try to identify potential setbacks or problems before they occur in order to make the proper adjustments. Engineers who are confident in their products may write technical user manuals and apply for patents on their designs. Successful systems can then be mass produced and distributed.

Mechatronics engineers are responsible for many modern advancements in medical equipment. Engineers have improved vital sign monitoring machines, computerized tomography scanners, and magnetic resonance imaging devices, among dozens of other innovations. In addition to having traditional engineering knowledge, many mechatronics engineers in the medical industry have some practical or academic experience in the biological sciences.

A person who wants to become a mechatronics engineer can look into bachelor's degree programs in the specialty. In recent years, the demand for new engineers has dramatically increased the number of mechatronics programs offered worldwide. If such a degree plan is unavailable, a student can still benefit from majoring in mechanical, electrical, or software engineering. A graduate can look for entry-level opportunities at local manufacturing plants and product development centers. New engineers typically spend several years in supervised junior positions to gain experience before advancing to official mechatronics engineer jobs.

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Discuss this Article

anon345231
Post 7

What are the required subjects needed to study mechatronics engineering?

anon204150
Post 5

Mechatronics is a combination of electronics, electrical, computer hardware and programming.

I was a service engineer of an american company RVSI Robotics Visiion System Intl. which manufacture and sell automated pick and place machine to semiconductor companies worldwide.

Sensors and transducers, PLC programming (Discrete I/O), interfacing, electropneumatics, programming C,C++ and Visual Basic, IT like networking, then of course Electrical controls and should have high aptitude in mechanical system. This also includes Stepper and servo motors, DC motors.

MrMoody
Post 4

@miriam98 - I would think that since the mechatronic discipline is fairly new, you would need experience in those other disciplines you mentioned before calling yourself a mechatronic engineer. You’d probably work as a mechanical engineer for some time, then branch into Information Technology or electrical engineering.

Then you’d probably look for companies that might need that blend of experience; off the top of my head, I can imagine that a company which builds smart houses or smart appliances would have such a need.

As you said, anywhere there is convergence, there will be a demand for mechatronics engineering.

everetra
Post 3

@miriam98 - You forgot to mention chemical engineers. I think these guys (or gals) are the most in demand. I’ve heard chemical engineers can graduate from college and get offered at least $80,000 right on the spot. I knew a guy who was offered that amount right after graduation, and he told me it’s a common salary for that profession.

That beats my first starting salary right out of school, many times over in fact. Many chemical engineers wind up working for the petroleum industry where they may assist in refinery operations or in developing new products.

I think they’re so highly paid because they’re expected to have a mastery of all the engineering disciplines, in addition to chemistry.

miriam98
Post 2

@nony – I agree, that is unusual. From my experience different types of engineering usually appeal to different personality types. Someone who gets into mechanical engineering obviously likes to think about how the different parts of a system interact to make it work; his mind likes cogwheels and gears.

An electrical engineer prefers meddling with electronics and schematic diagrams. He likes to follow the paths of an electrical current as it winds its way around a circuit. He likes to take test measurements of voltages and enjoys the sine waves of ramp patterns on a monitor.

A civil engineer like building large scale structures; he enjoys mapping out these structures on paper and modeling them.

I think it’s rare to find people who enjoy the hybrid of engineering disciplines. But such professionals will be more in demand, I believe, as modern technologies continue to converge.

nony
Post 1

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of mechatronic engineering. It almost sounds like a buzzword, a mixture of different terms into one new word. It sounds like this specialty would be very appealing for someone with diverse engineering skills: a person who enjoys mechanical as well as electrical engineering, in addition to some computer science. Engineers typically break out into one specialty or another, so it’s unusual to hear of a specialty like this that combines multiple disciplines.

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