Why I Chose Mechatronic Engineering
I chose Mechatronic Engineering because I saw it as the future. It was a discipline that can be used in a myriad of industries from production processes to product design to large scale works. As there is more and more interaction between software and hardware, it is the mechatronics engineer who builds the link.
In general, mechatronics combines several engineering disciplines and allows you to look at the big picture and understand the interactions between systems. I was always a big picture kind of guy, and so this fit in quite well.
To me the heart of Mechatronics is the taking in of information, processing it, and using that data to control or perform an action, the simple input-process-output flow. What traditionally required elaborate mechanical systems now just needs a simple microcontroller with associated sensors and actuators, and what you study in Mechatronics is the key to unlocking all this potential.
How I Felt When I Was an Undergraduate
Being an undergraduate was an interesting experience. Coming from high school, you are suddenly put into a group of like-minded people who share the same interests and passions. That was great, it made it really easy to get along with my classmates.
Joining student groups such as Formula SAE and MAVSTAR meant that I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge to practical applications and learn about the real life challenges of engineering. From there, I met new people, learned about organisations and played with some amazing equipment.
The academic workload in engineering was stressful at times. In those times I remember as a class, we would work together as a group to ensure we developed adequate levels of knowledge to pass the course. That was a great way to build relationships with classmates.
After leaving university, I still keep in touch with my classmates as we move into various industries. These people become great contacts for life.
When I left university, I joined Cochlear as a graduate engineer. During my graduate rotation program, I worked with various teams contributing to improving Cochlear's products and manufacturing processes. The Graduate program gave me exposure to all corners of the business, allowing me to build connections across a myriad of engineering disciplines.
Following my graduate program, I moved into the Systems Engineering team. In this role, I contribute to ensuring Cochlear's innovative products meet our recipients' needs by utilising system engineering practices including requirements engineering, system design and system integration. This is a highly collaborative role requiring interaction with various engineering design teams such as Mechanical, Electrical, Software and Firmware, as well as liaising with other business functions such as Marketing and Clinical. The mechatronics skills I developed in university allows me to engage with these teams to ensure that we are all on the right track. It is rewarding to be with our recipients to see first hand how our products impact the lives of so many people.
Being a big picture kind of guy, I would like to one day become a decision maker and be in charge of the strategic direction for a business. I see the conceptual nature of engineering (i.e. understanding the mechanics of things in general) as a foundation to reaching this goal.