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Future tech

Mechatronics engineering program first of its kind in Atlantic Canada

By Jackey Locke

First-year engineering students can choose a new major this fall.

At full capacity, the mechatronics engineering program in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will provide students an opportunity to meet the demands of the growing high-tech sector in careers such as advanced manufacturing systems, robotics, autonomous driving, unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely operated underwater vehicles, among others.

“The mechatronics engineering program is exciting for Newfoundland and Labrador, as it will be the only such program in Atlantic Canada,” said Dr. Greg F. Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Unlike other mechatronics programs in Canada, it will have unique areas of strength, such as autonomous systems and human factors in ocean and naval architectural engineering.”

Dr. Greg F. Naterer is smiling and wearing glasses and a blue suit.
Dr. Greg F. Naterer
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Naterer also says that by including intelligent systems development and artificial intelligence, the program will help grow the tech sector in the province.

He also says that in the future digital economy, fewer engineering systems will be purely mechanical or purely electrical, but instead increasingly both combined.

Interdisciplinary partnership

The interdisciplinary program is a partnership between the faculty’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering comprising fundamentals from both electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering.

The program will lead to growth for both departments, and aligns with the university’s strategic directions of information and communication technology and ocean technology.

“Through this new program, we will be able to provide even more highly qualified personnel, and more mutually beneficial research interactions, to our well-established and growing high-tech economy,” said Dr. Geoff Rideout, head, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“This new program will provide a great opportunity to conduct engineering education in a multidisciplinary fashion,” said Dr. Cheng Li, head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Students will learn how our future autonomous and intelligent systems will be designed, integrated and developed.”


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