June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Building the Mechatronics and Robotics Education Community
Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (MRE) is one of the engineering disciplines that is experiencing tremendous, dynamic growth. MRE professionals are shaping the world by designing smart systems and processes that will improve human welfare. This requires an interdisciplinary knowledge of mechanical, electrical, computer, software, and systems engineering to oversee the entire design and development process. There have been many educational efforts around MRE, including courses, minors, and degree programs, but they have not been well integrated or widely adopted. Now is the time for MRE to coalesce as a distinct and identifiable engineering discipline. To this end and with support from the National Science Foundation, the authors have planned three workshops, first of which was just concluded, on the future of MRE education at the bachelor’s degree and postgraduate levels.
The objectives of these workshops are to generate enthusiasm and a sense of community among current and future educators, promote diversity and inclusivity within the community, seek feedback from the community to serve as a foundation for future activities, and identify thought leaders for future community activities. The workshops will benefit a wide range of participants including educators currently teaching in MRE; PhD students seeking academic careers in MRE; and industry professionals desiring to shape the future workforce. These workshops will significantly contribute to the quality of MRE education and increase adoption to prepare individuals with a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on learning.
Workshop activities include short presentations on sample MRE programs; breakout sessions on topics such as mechatronic and robotics knowledgebase, project-based learning, advanced and open-source platforms, reducing barriers to adoption, accreditation, preparation to teach MRE, and community-building; and open discussion. In this paper, the outcomes of the first workshop, results of the qualitative and quantitative surveys collected from the participants, and their analyses will be presented. Particular attention is paid to attendee demographics, changes in participant attitudes, and development of the MRE community.
Gennert, M. A., & Lotfi, N., & Mynderse, J. A., & Jethwani, M., & Kapila, V. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Building the Mechatronics and Robotics Education Community Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33598
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