Do you want to know how a Mechatronics Engineering degree is more beneficial than Mechanical Engineering? | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Do you want to know how a Mechatronics Engineering degree is more beneficial than Mechanical Engineering?

What is Mechanical Engineering and what is Mechatronic Engineering?

Mechanical is a branch of engineering which focuses on designing a component, machine, process, or system with the fundamental knowledge of force, energy, and motion. Mechanical Engineers are the group of people who design the engine of a car, the compressor of air conditioner, or the mechanism of the maneuver arm. On the other hand, Mechatronics Engineering is a specialized combination of both Mechanical and Electronics Engineering. It is a combination of principles in mechanics, electronics and computing. Mechatronics is a branch of engineering aims to improve technical systems with the added artificial intelligence like autonomous vehicles, auto-braking systems, even down to autofocus camera. In short, Mechatronic Engineer is a profession to make any existing systems smarter.

Mechatronics Engineering with Core Mechanical Engineering Elements

As mentioned above, Mechatronics Engineering is a hybrid programme which engages in a learning experience covering core elements of electronics, robotics and mechanical engineering. This is the programme that allows students to adapt to the vast changing technologies required to be learnt at the university level embedded with electronics, in which the use of Information technology becomes a bridge between all three main cores. The Mechatronic Engineering programme at Asia Pacific University (APU) has been accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) who is a signatory for Malaysia under the Washington Accord, of which 21 countries are aligned to in terms of engineering education being on the same platform.


The Washington Accord requirements as followed under ABET is also part of the Malaysian Engineering Accreditation Council’s (EAC) core curriculum to be followed.

As Mechatronic Engineering is defined under both Mechanical & Electronics Engineering, all core required subject matters are covered in APU’s Mechatronic Engineering curriculum. The ones specific to Mechanical are shown below.


Mechanical ABET/EAC Core Subjects vs APU Coverage


Materials - Covered as ‘Engineering Materials’ – Year 1 Semester 2


Statics & Dynamics - Covered as ‘Engineering Statics & Dynamics’ – Year 1 Semester 2


Fluid Mechanics - Covered in Year 3 Semester 2


Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer - Covered in Year 4 Semester 2


Mechanical Design (Capstone Project) - Covered as ‘Group Design Project’ in Year 4 Semester 1


Instrumentation and Control - Covered as ‘Instrument & Measurement’ in Year 1 Semester 1


Vibrations - Covered as ‘Strength of Materials’ in Year 2 Semester 1


Solid Mechanics - Covered as ‘Strength of Materials’ in Year 2 Semester 1


Manufacturing & Production - Covered in ‘CAD/CAM in Year 4 Semester 1 and in ‘Product Creation Technology’ in Year 4 Semester 2


Electrical Power & Machines - Covered as ‘Introduction to Electrical Systems’ in Year 2 Semester  1


Electronics & Microprocessors - Covered as ‘Microprocessor Systems & Embedded Software’ in Year 3 Semester 2


Computer Aided Engineering - Covered in 2 subjects – ‘Engineering Design’ in Year 1 Semester 1 and in ‘CAD/CAM’ Year 4 Semester 1

With the above it is very clear that the APU Mechatronics Engineering programme has all required Mechanical Engineering core subjects embedded within its curriculum as part of the fulfillment of the ABET or EAC regulations/standards.

In addition, to be future ready and to cater to the market needs for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), APU Mechatronics also offers Programming with Python, Engineering Software and Applications, Digital Electronics and Industrial Automation to equip students with more skills to meet employers’ expectation and to meet future jobs’ requirements.

Industry 4.0 and Market Demand

In the era of IR4.0, many industries and manufacturers are integrating automation and smart systems to their manufacturing operations. It is not an easy task as it requires the involvement of computing system, electrical and electronics, sensors and actuator, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), with the addition of artificial intelligence, internet of things and smart systems. This is not limited to creating new systems or SOP but it is also required to transform existing system to meet the market needs. This is a sophisticated process and we definitely need the talents with the knowledge from multiple fields.

Mechatronics vs Mechanical in IR4.0 and Future Market Trend

It is undeniable that we are moving towards to a new era of technology and we have to be future ready to meet the market demand. Therefore, Mechatronics Engineering definitely is a better choice to equip yourself with the knowledge which is essential for IR4.0 and its core pillars such as Internet of Things (IOT), Smart Technologies etc.

Boston Dynamics

One of the examples is the “Spot” by Boston Dynamics. It is a dog-a-like robot which helps in automating sensing and inspection, capture limitless data for multiple applications. It is an agile mobile robot that navigates terrain with unprecedented mobility, allowing the automation in routine inspection tasks and data capture safely, accurately, and frequently. This is the perfect example of the integration in Mechatronics Engineering. It combines sensors and actuator, controller system, programming, electronics and robotics.


Another popular example of Mechatronics invention is Tesla. Tesla cars are the perfect integration between Mechanical and Electronics, i.e. Mechatronics. It uplifts the driver experience by incorporating various electronic devices to provide comfort, safety and reliability while maintaining the engine capability as a normal petrol vehicle. This indeed requires the talents, skills and knowledge as a Mechatronics Engineer to achieve this aim. Moreover, Tesla cars are zero-emission car as this is alongside with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) declared by the United Nation (UN) for the future developments. Therefore, the need of Mechatronics Engineers is undeniably increasing in the future.

Click HERE to read about the APU Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronic Engineering with Honours programme.

Written by: 
Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology (FCET)