Mechanical or Mechatronics?

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knowing the differences between the two will help you make a knowledgeable decision about what’s the best degrees to apply for. 

What is Mechanical and what is Mechatronics Engineering? 

Mechanical Engineering deals with producing a component, machine, system or process by using laws of motion, energy and force. You will focus on creating new technology that fits human needs: the printer that helps you copy a document, the engine of a car,  or the air-conditioning that cools you during hot summer days.

As a mechanical engineer you can also go into research in areas like development of composite materials, biomedical applications, nanotechnology or environmental conservation.

Top universities where you can study Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering are:

  • University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
  • University of Tasmania (UTAS)
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • University of Deakin
  • Victoria University (VU)
  • University of Wollongong and etc.

Mechatronics blends the laws of mechanics, electronics and computing to improve technical systems and to create new equipment with built-in ‘artificial intelligence (AI)’. The autofocus camera, automated guided vehicles, robots and anti-lock braking systems are all applications you’ll become familiar with during a Mechatronics Bachelor’s degree.

Mechatronics engineers focus on finding new ways to make a system smarter. In Mechatronics, you integrate into one project mechanical components, mechanical, electronic sensors and electrical actuators, and computer controllers.

Top universities where you can study Bachelors in Mechatronics are:

  • University of South Australia (UniSA)
  • Federation University
  • Curtin University
  • University of Queensland (UQ)
  • Swinburne University

What does a Major in Mechanical Engineering focus on?

The target of Mechanical Engineering undergraduate studies is to prepare you to find mechanical solutions and become an innovative thinker. Typically, a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering includes courses like:

  • mechanics
  • materials science
  • manufacturing engineering
  • drawing and CAD (computer-aided design software)
  • mathematical methods in engineering

What does a Major in Mechatronic Engineering focus on?

Bachelor programmes in Mechatronics will give you a wide view on how to build and connect components like control systems or micro-processors, and will introduce you to the world of futuristic technology. Degree studies in Mechatronics cover courses like:

  • computer science
  • programming
  • electronic circuits
  • mechanics
  • hydraulics
  • robot techniques

What’s the difference between mechanical engineering and mechatronics?

Mechatronics basically consists 70% mechanical and 30% electronics and control engineering. Mechanical engineer will know everything that is related to the absolute mechanical aspects of a machinery, equipment or device, while a mechatronics specialist knows a little bit of everything that involves creating that same system. You could say mechatronics integrates mechanical engineering knowledge, but in fact, the two field overlap only up to one point.

A mechatronics engineer will rarely possess the complete knowledge and skills of a mechanical engineer. Mechatronics is a little more complicated, but both mechanical engineering and mechatronics share this common goal: to be one step ahead of the future of technology.

How to decide between a Mechanical Engineering and a Mechatronics undergraduate degree?

Since both programs are quite similar, the final decision for which major you should apply to is not easy. You have to think if you’re more inclined towards employment opportunity and dealing with the logical tasks of Mechanical Engineering that make things work better, or if you’d like to go beyond the principles of mechanics and make devices smarter.

Whatever you choose, you will learn fascinating things and you might even be the next prestigious engineer that makes a ground-breaking discovery!

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About Post Author

Michelle Phan

A freelance writer, graduated from Curtin University, specialises in commercial writing, love travel and enjoy walking on the beach, Michelle also feeds on Psychology and will give away just about anything to cuddle with furry felines.

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