If you’re the kind of person who likes to break down all sorts of equipment into pieces, repair and connect the parts back together, you’re probably the perfect candidate for either a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering or Mechatronics. Mechanical engineers and Mechatronics engineers do not only make things go faster, but they also make them smarter.
Finding out the differences between the two will help you make an informed decision about what’s the right Bachelor’s to apply for.
What is Mechanical Engineering and what is Mechatronics?
Mechanical Engineering deals with designing a component, machine, system or process by using principles of motion, energy and force. You will focus on creating new technology that meets human needs: the engine of a car, the printer that helps you copy a document, or the air-conditioning that cools you during hot summer days.
As a mechanical engineer you can also go into research in areas like nanotechnology, development of composite materials, biomedical applications, or environmental conservation.
Top locations where you can study Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering are:
- Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in Germany
- Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in Canada
- Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in China
- Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in the US
- Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in the UK
Mechatronics combines principles of mechanics, electronics and computing to improve technical systems and to create new equipment with built-in 'artificial intelligence'. The autofocus camera, automated guided vehicles, robots and anti-lock braking systems are all applications you’ll become familiar with during a Mechatronics Bachelor’s degree.
Mechatronics engineers focus on finding new ways to make a system smarter. In Mechatronics, you integrate in one project mechanical components, electronic sensors, mechanical and electrical actuators, and computer controllers. Top locations where you can study Bachelors in Mechatronics are:
- Bachelors in Mechatronics in the US
- Bachelors in Mechatronics in Turkey
- Bachelors in Mechatronics in the UK
- Bachelors in Mechatronics in Australia
- Bachelors in Mechatronics in Canada
Mechanical Engineering degree vs Mechatronics degree
The target of Mechanical Engineering undergraduate studies is to train you to find mechanical solutions and become an innovative thinker.
Bachelor programmes in Mechatronics will give you a broad view on how to build and connect components like control systems or micro-processors, and will introduce you to the world of futuristic technology.
Some interesting programmes in Mechanical Engineering can be found at:
- Izmir University of Economics, in Turkey
- Oregon State University, in the U.S.
- Hanze University of Applied Sciences, in Netherlands
- Savonia University of Applied Sciences, in Finland
You can study Mechatronics at universities like:
- Kaunas University of Technology, in Lithuania
- Fontys University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands
- Sabanci University, in Turkey
Connections between Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics
And now the answer you were looking for! What’s the difference between Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics?
Well, let’s put it this way: a mechanical engineer will know everything that is related to the pure mechanical aspects of a machinery, equipment or device, while a mechatronics specialist knows a little bit of everything that involves creating that same system. You could say mechatronics integrates mechanical engineering knowledge, but in fact, the two field overlap only up to one point.
A mechatronics engineer will rarely possess the entire knowledge and skills of a mechanical engineer. Mechatronics is a little more sophisticated, but both mechanical engineering and mechatronics share this common goal: to be one step ahead of the future of technology.
How to decide between a Mechanical Engineering and a Mechatronics undergraduate degree?
Since both fields are quite similar, the final decision for which degree you should apply to is not easy. You have to think if you’re more inclined towards learning and dealing with the logical tasks of Mechanical Engineering that make things work better, or if you’d like to go beyond the principles of mechanics and make devices smarter.
Whatever you choose, you will learn fascinating things and you might even be the next prestigious engineer that makes a ground-breaking discovery!