What is Mechatronics? | Michigan Technological University

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that combines several types of engineering—electrical,
computer, and mechanical—and refers to the skill sets needed in the contemporary,
advanced automated manufacturing industry. At the intersection of mechanics, electronics,
and computing, mechatronics specialists create simpler, smarter systems. Mechatronics
is an essential foundation for the expected growth in automation and manufacturing.

Mechatronics is an industry buzzword synonymous with robotics and electromechanical engineering. Robotics, control systems, and electro-mechanical systems fall under mechatronics.
Like mechanics, robotics, or production equipment? Have a knack for creative problem
solving? Enjoy technical and engineering activities? Can you work well as a member
of a team? Mechatronics could be for you.

What do mechatronics engineers do?

Mechatronics specialists can do quite a bit across multiple engineering disciplines and have a solid base
from which to grow. Mechatronics specialists know both mechanical and electrical engineering
fundamentals—they speak both languages—so a mechatronics specialist can work with
both mechanical and engineering teams.

Mechatronics specialists work with massive industrial robots, smaller robots in pick-and-place
operations, control systems for bottling or packaging of food and drink products,
drones, designing control systems for rides in amusement parks, prototype development.

Some mechatronics specialists are employed in firms where it is necessary to design
and maintain automatic equipment. This includes industries such as manufacturing,
mining, aviation, robotics, defense, and transport. Other mechatronic specialists are
employed by large manufacturing companies involved in high-volume production. Many
new career opportunities are on the horizon due to technological advances.

What careers are there in mechatronics?

A degree in mechatronics can lead to management positions, including project management.
Workplaces range from laboratories and processing plants to engineering design offices.

Mechatronics specialists work in the fields of cybersecurity, telecommunications,
computer science, automotive engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer
products and packaging.

Mechatronic specialists may use the following job titles:

  • Automotive Engineer
  • Control System Engineer
  • Data Logging Engineer
  • Instrumentation Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Service Engineer

What skills do mechatronics specialists need?

Mechatronic specialists have broad multidisciplinary skills, so they are able to move
into more traditional engineering disciplines.

A mechatronics specialist is a creative problem solver who can work on a team. Thinking
creatively is the first step; being able to communicate good ideas to coworkers involves
tact.

Many mechatronic engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) and other engineering software for modeling, simulating, and analyzing complex mechanical,
electronic, or other engineering systems.

What tasks do mechatronics specialists do?

There are many tasks mechatronic specialists perform, depending on their particular
industry. Some design, develop, maintain, and manage high-technology engineering systems
for the automation of industrial tasks. Others apply mechatronic/automated solutions
to the transfer of material components or finished goods, or design and assist with
the manufacture of consumer products such as cameras and video recorders. Still others
carry out studies into the feasibility, cost implications, and performance benefits
of new mechatronic equipment. And others apply electronic and mechanical processes
and computers to tasks where the use of human labor may be dangerous (for example,
underwater exploration, mining, or forestry).

How much do mechatronics engineers earn?

According to Recruiter, the mean salary for a mechatronics engineer is $88,800 with the top ten percent earning close to $103,380.

  • $46.75

    median hourly wage
  • $97,250

    median annual salary

The future of mechatronics engineering

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for Mechatronics Engineers is expected to experience moderate
growth, specifically in Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan Tech is strategically located
in close proximity to the largest automotive companies that have expressed they are
in need of Mechatronics specialists.

  • 133,000

    employees in 2016
  • 5% to 9%

    projected growth
  • 9,500

    projected job openings

Mechatronics at Michigan Tech

Technical degree programs have changed. Traditional degrees leading directly to closely
aligned positions in industry are a thing of the past. Tomorrow needs individuals
with advanced technical competencies capable of engaging in interdisciplinary research
and industry applications. Graduates of Michigan Tech’s Master’s of Science in Mechatronics are sought after applied researchers and entrepreneurs, revitalizing the US and global
economies in advanced manufacturing and automation.

Advised by industrial advisory board members and other industry contacts to meet industry
needs and to develop career pathways, our industry-driven curriculum addresses the
need for skilled advanced manufacturing technologies.

Learn core technical skills, advanced technical design skills, and core technical
implementation/instrumentation skills used in design and manufacturing of control
systems and devices in consumer products, aerospace and military, automotive, and
other advanced manufacturing industries.

Our 30-credit degree program is flexible and multidisciplinary. Choose from one of
three options:

  1. coursework with an internship
  2. research option with thesis path
  3. coursework and report

Our 15-credit graduate Mechatronics certificate is available for students looking to enhance a specific skill set, further their
career, find a new job, or meet state or national licensing requirements. 

Contact the Graduate Program Director, Aleksandr Sergeyev, for more information.

Play STEM Students Specialize in Mechatronics video

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STEM Students Specialize in Mechatronics

Our students and faculty know what tomorrow needs. Mechatronics studies combine the
concepts of engineering, robotics, automation and controls. That matters because Artificial
Intelligence helps businesses stay competitive. And employees with this specialized
knowledge have a competitive edge in the hiring process.