July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The U.S. Department of Labor projects an increase in the number of engineers in the USA from 1.68 million to 1.82 million by 2026. The fastest-growing demands are in Data Science and Machine Learning, and Mechatronics and Robotics. The term 'Mechatronics' is expanding its horizon due to the current digital disruptions in industrial automation. Starting with a concept of leveraging the synergy between mechanical and electrical engineering from a system theoretic prospect, mechatronics now encompasses several engineering disciplines, including intelligent control, wireless networking, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems, and autonomous vehicles. Mechatronics finds its application in almost every engineering field, such as cyber-based smart manufacturing, medical, agricultural and bio-systems, autonomous vehicles. Robotics is another engineering discipline, often connected with mechatronics, revolutionizing industrial automation and other applications. The fields of robotics and mechatronics are tightly integrated, and robotics can be considered one of mechatronics' application areas. With the rapid technological explosion, the demand for the interdisciplinary workforce has been increased significantly. This demand calls for developing a trained workforce and universities and colleges have started offering new curricula in mechatronics and robotics. In general, the focus of these programs depends on the faculty research area and local industrial demand. From the perspective of Engineering Technology, where hands-on learning is pervasive, the development of the Mechatronics and Robotics curriculum is of more importance to cope with the industry-ready workforce demand. However, there are several challenges involved in developing and implementing such a program, especially at the graduate level, due to students' expected diverse backgrounds. The XXXX Engineering Technology at XXXX University recently developed a Master of Engineering Technology (MSET) degree program with an option in Mechatronics and Robotics (MERO). The program will leverage the expertise of the Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology faculty and will have multiple focus areas, such as control, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, autonomous vehicle, energy, and vibration. The paper will present the curriculum developmental process, industry feedback, and the challenges involved during the process from the perspective of engineering technology. It will also discuss the details of the MSET curriculum and focus areas. This paper will add value to the technology programs planning to develop a new curriculum in MERO in the future.
Sahoo, A., & Yang, C., & Chang, Y. B. (2021, July), Graduate Curriculum in Mechatronics and Robotics: Development and Implementation Challenges for Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37232
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