From automatic clothes dryers to jet navigation systems to automated manufacturing systems, mechatronics is all around you!
The joint engineering mechatronics (JEM) curriculum combines the best that two nationally recognized universities have to offer. From North Carolina 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 an engineering-themed Humanities and Social Science component with a rich liberal arts foundation.
What is Mechatronics?
Mechatronics engineering is a concentration 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 modern mechatronics engineering, new avenues of thinking and design can greatly enhance the utility, performance and efficiency of modern machinery.
Mechatronics Curriculum - entering Fall 2015 or later
This revised curriculum applies to all students entering or returning beginning Fall 2015
- 8-semester Display of Curriculum (JEM158)
- Flow Chart of Curriculum (JEM158)
- Prerequisite and Corequisite for Engineering Courses
Visit UNC Asheville's course catalog for course descriptions and major requirements.
The mechatronics curriculum is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.mechatronics.
Application Process, Admissions Requirements and Transfer
Prospective students should apply to UNC Asheville and express an interest in engineering. Upon completion of the freshman-year curriculum with a 3.0 GPA or better, and a 2.5 or better math GPA based on last two math classes completed, students will be admitted to the Joint Engineering Mechatronics (JEM) Degree program. Transfer credits from other universities, majors and community colleges are accepted. Many courses from NC community colleges are transferable, but care must be taken in selecting applicable courses for the mechatronics curriculum. The Tuition Surcharge Policy of the UNC System may apply. In that there are no free electives in the curriculum, the following links are proved to assist in avoiding extraneous transfer credit:
Peer Tutoring and Facilitation
Students have access to faculty members, both in Raleigh and Asheville. However, assistance from a fellow student may be the quickest and most effective to understanding. Advanced students act as peer tutors and course facilitators. While providing assistants with employment and valuable teaching experience, this also promotes a strong sense of community within our engineering student body.
Internships and Cooperative Education
Many mechatronics students obtain employment within industry while earning their degree. There is no formal requirement in the curriculum for internship, but students are encouraged to gain real world experience prior to graduation. This can be full-time during the summers or part-time at any time during the year. Employers contact the department directly or submit postings through the career centers of both NC State and UNC Asheville. In the past, most internship opportunities have been in the Asheville area, but students have held summer positions in locations such as Raleigh, Silicon Valley and Boston.
NC State has a strong program in formal Cooperative Education (Co-op). At least three semesters of work are alternated with semesters of study to earn a co-op certificate signifying a full year of work experience. Participation in Co-op extends the graduation date by a full year. Students must enroll in a COP X00 course at NC State and pay a Co-op fee to maintain active student status while employed. No academic credit is earned. For further details: NC State Cooperative Education
Mission & Program Educational Objectives
Industrial Advisory Board
The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the Joint BSE-Mechatronics Concentration (JEM) consists of a select group of industrial leaders who form a partnership between industry and academia. The IAB is a forum where ideas are exchanged and recommendations are made. It provides direct linkage and communication between the academic department and industry. The IAB is composed of members from various industries that have a vital interest in the purpose of the JEM program. IAB members have demonstrated leadership and professional success in their career, and are fully dedicated to assisting in developing and maintaining a highly competitive program.
The IAB serves as the primary source of external guidance to the program by providing counsel and direction for JEM’s educational and economic development plans. Members serve as a powerful tool to help the program in the accreditation process. IAB members provide leadership to the program by helping to improve the program’s capacity to meet its short-term and long-term goals, and to further promote the program to the profession and general public. Members can also serve as mentors on industry-sponsored projects and assist in finding internship or coop opportunities for students and faculty. IAB participation in curriculum development will ensure that our students are taking the necessary courses to obtain the skills needed to compete globally with other engineering graduates. Finally, the IAB can also serve as a fund raising mechanism providing a margin of excellence by having its industrial partner give grants for scholarships for incoming freshmen, monies to help purchase equipment and supplies for laboratory enhancement, and funds to support discretionary spending.
Current IAB Members:
John Wehrli, Eaton Corporation
Jim Oliver, AvL Technologies
Joe Hungerford, Borg Warner
Gary Eades, InMechaSol
Freshman Design Experiences
The freshman year in the Mechatronics curriculum has a design class in the spring semester, JEM 180, Introduction to Mechatronics laboratory. Among the project assignments is the design of an autonomous sumobot.
In addition, a 1 credit course, JEM 123, Introduction to CAD for Mechatronics Engineering, is offered. (CAD: Computer Aided Design)
Project requires the design of a puzzle box with SolidWorks software, and the 3D printing of the product for oral presenation and demonstration.