Jul 01, 2007 Print Article
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By: John Vanston, Henry Elliott, Jim Brazell, Eliza Evans, James Irwin, & Michael Bettersworth.

Mechatronics is another way of saying “intelligent mechanical systems” and it is the foundation of many 21st century enabling technologies. Mechatronics involves the integration of mechanical and electrical systems with control systems and information technology.

Mechatronic products and processes are increasingly pervasive across a broad range of industries. These same industries are expressing a clear demand for highly skilled employees capable of excelling in these technologically advanced environments and competent in the multidisciplinary application of technologies associated with mechatronics. Colleges should to respond to these employer demands by updating curriculum and creating new courses and programs to serve this emerging technology workforce need.

The analysis and information resources provided in this report will aid colleges in developing Mechatronic programs and certificates. This publication includes an overview of mechatronic technology and analysis of related occupations and salaries, inventory of existing mechatronic curriculum and considerations for colleges considering developing related programs and lists of industry experts and mechatronics companies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface ix
Executive Summary xi
Chapter One: Recommendations 1
Observations 1
Methodology 2
Recommendations for Community & Technical Colleges 3
Recommendation for the Texas Leadership Consortium for Curriculum Development CCD 6
Texas State Government 6
Conclusion 8
Chapter Two: Overview of Mechatronics 9
Current Status of Mechatronics 9
Mechatronics Trends-Drivers and Constraints 22
Chapter Three: Mechatronics Technicians 25
Mechatronics as a Career 25
Chapter Four: Initiating Mechatronics Programs in Texas Colleges 37
Demand for Formal Multidisciplinary Training 37
Relationship of Mechatronics to Existing CTC Programs 38
Texas State Technical College Harlingen Mechatronics Program 39
Challenge of Holistically Integrating Several Traditional Disciplines 41
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 42
Qualified Faculty 44
Laboratory Facilities 45
Importance of “Hands on Training” for Mechatronics Students 48
Thoughts on Mechatronics Program Initiation 51
Chapter Five: Support for Mechatronics Program Development 53
Relevant Information from Government and Trade Association Sources 53
Relevant Information from Existing Mechatronics Programs 53
Chapter Six: Conclusions 67
List of Appendices
Appendix A: Survey 71
Appendix B: Experts Consulted 79
Appendix C: Recommendation of Texas State Leadership Consortium for Curriculum Development 83
Appendix D: Mechatronics Company Directory 85
Appendix E: Select K-12 Mechatronics Programs 99
Bibliography 105
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