If you are not able to make up your mind about which branch of engineering to pursue- mechanical, electrical or computer- then why not choose to study a combination of all three?
Put together mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and control systems together and you get mechatronics- a hybrid discipline that has become increasingly popular today among students the world over. Many Indian students are pursuing degrees in mechatronics either at the undergraduate or postgraduate level at universities in the U.S.
A mechatronics degree combines all the branches of engineering to produce graduates with the knowledge of integrating mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and control systems, to design and manufacture products and processes. Mechatronics courses in the U.S. usually include student projects and lay stress on real-world applications.
One of the major advantages of studying the course at a U.S. university is the outstanding facilities you will get to use. For example the University of Texas at Austin has a dedicated Mechatronics Lab that features five instrumentation stations, staging robot, magnetic Levitation device and a PLC- controlled Assembly line simulation. The University of Stanford too has state-of-the-art labs for the “Smart-Product Design” or mechatronics courses offered at the University.
Job opportunities for mechatronics engineers are plenty as many industries are looking for qualified professionals who can handle various functionalities in a product life-cycle. As a Mechatronics graduate, you can select from a wide range of industries such as automotive, manufacturing, packaging, medical, transportation and vehicular systems and even mobile applications. In fact almost every industry that works with technology will have a mechatronics job.
You can also fill in a variety of roles such as project engineer, mechanical design engineer, controls engineer, simulation engineer, and project manager. You will also find opportunities in smaller companies that require generalists who can perform both electrical and mechanical engineering functions.
The application of mechatronics systems can be seen in a wide variety of areas: automotive electronic fuel injection and anti-lock brake systems; aircraft flight control and navigation systems; artificial organs; health monitoring and surgical systems; automated manufacturing systems including robots, numerical control machining centres, packaging systems and plastic injection-moulding systems; copy machines; and many more.
A first degree in mechanical or electrical engineering from a recognised university is required to apply for a master’s programme in mechatronics.