Mechatronics Engineering-Offered at UNC-Asheville

Miniature computer run systems at Center for Embedded Systems Research (CESR) in NC State's College of Engineering. PHOTO BY ROGER WINSTEADThis is a joint program with N.C. State University and UNC-Asheville and is offered only on the campus of UNC-Asheville. N.C. State University students who are interested in this program would need to apply as transfer students to UNC-Asheville.

Mechatronics engineering is a multi-disciplinary combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Mechatronics engineering focuses on the precision control of mechanical and machine systems. Control is achieved in today’s modern engineering systems electronically through the use of sensors, actuators and microprocessors. The marriage of modern control systems with mechanical devices is key to the design and development of high-performance engineering systems. Just a few examples of computer-controlled mechanical systems are robots, engine fuel systems, hybrid automobiles, autonomous aerospace vehicles, stair-climbing wheelchairs, garage door openers and alternative power generation systems. Through mechatronics engineering, new avenues of thinking and design can greatly enhance the utility, performance and efficiency of modern machinery and sophisticated mechanical systems.

The joint Mechatronics engineering degree is a unique educational opportunity in which students attend classes on the UNC Asheville campus, and distance education technology is used to deliver a portion of the engineering coursework from Raleigh by live, interactive connection. The Mechatronics curriculum combines the best that two nationally recognized universities have to offer. From NC State University comes the engineering component comprising course work from the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Mechatronics. Hands-on laboratories are integral to the engineering course work. From the University of North Carolina at Asheville comes Humanities and Social Science component with a rich liberal arts foundation. Students earn a single joint degree from both institutions.

Courses include:

Statics, Dynamics, Solid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Principles of Automatic Control, Electric Circuits, Logic Design, Computer Programming, Linear Systems, Complex Digital Systems, Computer Control of Robots, Advanced Mechatronic Design Lab, Senior Design Project*

*Teams of students experience mechatronics engineering design through the design and fabrication process with fundamentals of mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering. Recent projects have included a mechatronically-assisted electric bicycle, computer-controlled tracking solar energy system, a mechatronic system that lifts and tilts a person in a wheelchair so they can receive medical attention without the risk of patient transfer, and a solar steam generator. Designed and built from the ground up, these types of activities provide real-life, hands-on applications of an interdisciplinary engineering education that emphasizes teamwork skills. Our Mechatronics Engineering laboratory activities create a venue for a spectrum of design work. Line-following robots, fighting battle-bots, robots that self-navigate through uneven terrain and other automated systems are a few of the recent class projects. In the Mechatronics Program, there is hands-on design or lab activity in almost every semester.

 

College
  • College of Engineering
Discipline
  • Engineering
Academic Department
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
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Curricula Requirements
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Related Majors
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Minors
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Skills You Could Develop
  • Technical
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
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