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A Collaborative And Interdisciplinary Approach To Mechatronics

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Controls, Mechatronics

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.18.1 - 10.18.11



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Paper Authors

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Nathan Wiedenman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Nathan Wiedenman1, Barry Shoop2 1 United States Military Academy, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, West Point, New York, U.S.A. email: 2 United States Military Academy, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, West Point, New York, U.S.A. email:


Mechatronics continues to gain currency throughout the world as a unique field of study. As this happens, more and more universities within the United States are expanding their offerings to include this valuable multi-disciplinary field. This paper examines the ongoing effort to develop a mechatronics track within the mechanical engineering and electrical engineering majors at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. The physical, military, and educational requirements at USMA present unique challenges to expanding course offerings. Adding a mechatronics track requires incorporation of at least one additional course into already demanding existing requirements, as well as some re-arranging of other required courses. In order to leverage talents and resources already in place, this effort is undertaken jointly by the Departments of Civil and Mechanical Engineering (CME) and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Consideration is made of the overall educational philosophies of both the Academy and the departments involved. Accreditation concerns must also be addressed in accordance with the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).


“Mechatronics” has been defined many ways1, but all of these definitions emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of this engineering field. The crossroads of mechanical engineering (ME) and electrical engineering (EE), mechatronics is an integrative field that provides an understanding of mechanical and electrical subsystems united by a control algorithm (see Figure 1). With the rapid and continued advancement in integrated circuit technology, more and more devices have the capability to sense the environment, make decisions based upon coded instructions, and take some physical action within the environment. Machines with this flexible control capability can be classed as mechatronic systems. Therefore, it is important to produce engineers who are versed in all of the contributing disciplines necessary to create such integrated devices.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Wiedenman, N. (2005, June), A Collaborative And Interdisciplinary Approach To Mechatronics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15168

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